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John Whitehead Speech to Auckland businesspeople

15 December 2008


Immediate Release

John Whitehead Speech to Auckland businesspeople

Treasury Secretary John Whitehead has this afternoon spoken to a group of Auckland businesspeople about the international financial crisis and its impact on New Zealand.

The speech covers the causes of the financial crisis, its impact on world economies, international policy responses and the likely consequences still to be seen domestically and internationally. It provides context for the release of the Government’s Budget Policy statement and the latest economic and fiscal forecasts on Thursday.

In summary the speech says that while New Zealand is facing economic challenges and an uncertain global environment, it is better placed than many countries to deal with these issues. Our economic framework provides the flexibility to deal with shocks – for example our low government debt levels give us room to take actions that other countries would find more difficult. Longer term, the impact of changes in asset and credit prices should help with structural imbalances in the economy. If the right policy responses are made New Zealand’s future prospects are still bright. A challenge for policy through the longer term is to continue to ensure New Zealand's reputation for fiscal responsibility.

It is available on the Treasury website at: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/globalcrisis


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