Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


$5 billion trade bungle

$5 billion trade bungle

The Government's failed free trade agenda and its refusal to actively manage the New Zealand economy are the root causes of today's all-time record $5 billion trade deficit, says the Green Party.

Statistics NZ reported today a May year trade deficit of $5,005 million - an all-time record in dollar terms. This represents 16.3 percent of exports - the largest annual deficit in percentage terms since the mid-1970s.

"The more free trade agreements the Government signs up to, the faster our economy goes down the gurgler," says Green Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"What will it take for Labour and National to face up to the fact their trade liberalisation policies have led to a flood of cheap imports that have caused our trade deficit to career out of control?

"Sooner or later the Government must step in to avert the trade and current account crises. Historically, New Zealand used to run a positive goods balance, which offset negative dividend and interest flows. With the goods balance now running at a $5 billion deficit for the year to May, it is inevitable that the June year current account deficit will exceed the 7 percent GDP trigger-point."

The Green Party is proposing a number of measures to get the New Zealand economy out of the red and back into the black.

"The Government should immediately launch an extensive 'Buy NZ made' campaign, to reduce our demand for imports and boost our domestic manufacturing sector. "It should also look seriously at an across-the-board tariff on imports to dampen New Zealanders' seemingly insatiable appetite for imported goods.

"With petroleum and oil product imports increasing in the last year by a massive 39 percent, to $3,985 million, the Government must implement a comprehensive plan to reduce our dependence on imported fuel.

"And, last but not least, the Government needs to take steps to get the Kiwi dollar down to where it belongs. This would increase the cost of imports and improve our export receipts.

"For too long, the Government has acted like an irresponsible parent, allowing the kids to put whatever they like on the family's credit card. Before the banks cut up our cards and foreclose on the mortgage, the Government needs to rein in our out-of-control spending, " says Mr Donald.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election