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Reserve Bank Act Dinosaur Must Go

Reserve Bank Act Dinosaur Must Go

The Reserve Bank’s decision to lift the official cash rate today brings into focus the urgent need to update the Reserve Bank Act, now something of a dinosaur, says New Zealand First.

“New Zealand is $150 billion in debt so there is a dire need to rebalance,” says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“As a proportion of gross domestic product that is among the highest in the OECD.

“There is no magic wand or silver bullet in relation to economic policy but there is sensible prudent and practical action to deal with the new reality of a changed economic era.

“New Zealand First would give the bank the power to set monetary policy in a way that achieves a broad range of economic objectives, including employment, exports and price stability.

“A chronically overvalued dollar is doing all sorts of short and long-term damage to the export sector – but that is disguised to some extent by our terms of trade being at a 40-year high.

“The world is in a new economic era but New Zealand is locked into a Reserve Bank Act that has passed its use-by date. The Act inhibits new ideas and new thinking on managing our exchange rate.

“New Zealand First has consistently proposed changes to the Reserve Bank Act.
“We introduced a Reserve Bank Amendment Bill in 2012 and again in 2013, that was only narrowly defeated,” says Mr Peters.


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