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Rural Sector Key To Economic Performance

14 June 2002

Rural Sector Key To Economic Performance: Peters At Field Days

“While much may be made of the knowledge economy our country cannot raise its living standards without rapidly growing exports. The rural heartland remains vitally important. Land-based industries are still the backbone of our economy,” New Zealand Leader Winston Peters said at the Annual Field days today.

“A comparison of New Zealand with other countries with similar populations but greatly reduced resources clearly makes the point that we have under-performed:

2001 (US$):::::::$3,605::::::::::::::::$19,324:::::::::$34,731

“There are a number of major factors in this poor performance:

· an emphasis on the interests of the financial sector at the expense of the productive sector and exporting;
· long periods of an over valued exchange rate coupled with high interest rates;
· an over emphasis on dampening down inflation which is being fuelled by excessive and poorly targeted immigration; and
· programmes of privatisation by both National and Labour when they governed by themselves.

“When last in Government New Zealand First implemented monetary policies to bring down both exchange and interest rates when both the old parties, National and Labour, then and now, seem paralysed from doing anything to help our exporters,” Mr. Peters said.


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