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Dumb Economics Ruining Exporters – Peters

23 March 2005

Dumb Economics Ruining Exporters – Peters

An alarming number of New Zealand exporters are starting to go to the wall because of “dumb” economic and trading policies that are causing high interest rates and an over-valued currency, claims Rt Hon Winston Peters.

His comments follow the announced closure of Tanner Group's sawmills which will mean the loss of about 160 jobs in Northland, Waikato and the Coromandel.

The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar and increased costs of infrastructure for losses in recent years.

Mr Peters warned that the Tanner Group’s problems represented the tip of the iceberg and that major exporters would be facing serious problems by the end of the year.

“New Zealand is an exporting nation and an export dependent economy. It simply cannot function properly with high interest rates and an over-valued currency. That is plain common sense.

“It makes it too hard for exporters to compete on world markets and at the same time makes it easy for importers to flood local markets.

”Many exporters will be running out of forward exchange cover over the next few months and the results of this will severely affect some of our major companies.

“New Zealand’s balance of payments crisis has reached unprecedented levels. Doing nothing and pleading “market forces” as some sort of excuse for inaction is economic lunacy.

“Our economic slide in the last 20 years goes on unchecked because of the economic approach taken by this and former governments,” said Mr Peters.


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