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Timid Labour and National Selling NZ Short

27 April 2000


New Zealand continues to be sold short by timid economic leadership from both the Labour and National Parties, says United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

He was commenting on the less than enthusiastic reactions from both major Parties to the Institute of Policy Studies’ proposals for Trans Tasman currency union.

“Their cautious and predictable reaction is typical of the tired old thinking that has held New Zealand back for too long.”

“Today’s increasingly globally interdependent world, and the spread of e-commerce are leading to the most radical shake-up ever in both international trade patterns and the perception of national boundaries, and demand a new approach by Governments.”

“It is foolhardy to think that a small, isolated economy like New Zealand can buck this trend, yet that is precisely the attitude that the ‘Think Small’ approach of both Dr Cullen and Mr English is encouraging.”

“All they are doing is confirming New Zealand’s slide to economic backwater status,” he says.

Mr Dunne says while currency union with Australia should not be viewed as a panacea, it is inevitable.

“Currency unions are the logical next step from the development of the integrated trading blocs we have seen throughout the world over the last 25 years or so.”

“Instead of Canute-like resistance to the move, we should be able to count on our Government to listen to business and commercial opinion about the advantages of currency union, and then to work progressively to achieve it.”

“At the moment, the only assurance we seem to have is that the Government will play its usual wet blanket role so that nothing will happen and thus another potential opportunity will be squandered.”

“New Zealand is too small and vulnerable to allow small-minded, timid, ‘live for today’ politicians to continue to dice with its future in this way.”

“The IPS study provides an opportunity we should build on, rather than automatically knock down,” Mr Dunne says.


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