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‘The Only Briefing A Minister Needs,’ Report Presents Key Solutions For Next Government

Over the next few years, New Zealand will face an immense challenge to keep Kiwi’s employed, get the economy growing again and rein in debt. According to a report by The New Zealand Initiative, there is also an important opportunity to fix the worst social and economic ills that have plagued this country for decades.

After relative success in combatting Covid-19, Kiwis are ahead of the game and in a position to finally make up lost ground against our peers.

Tackling our poor productivity performance, sound fiscal management and employment growth are critical.

A new report, Roadmap for Recovery: Briefing to the Incoming Government, builds on the robust work that the Initiative has done to help deal with the economic consequences of Covid-19 and the lockdown.

It also collects the think-tank’s “greatest hits” from the last eight years in one place, says executive director Oliver Hartwich.

“The team has identified key issues holding the country back and have solutions. “There is no need for another Working Group,” Hartwich says.

Every issue in the report is top of mind for all political parties; he adds - from climate change and productivity to the housing shortage and woeful infrastructure.

“The next Government can score some major wins by addressing these issues, judiciously following our roadmap for recovery.

“This report may be the only briefing a new minister needs to read,” Hartwich says.

The report discusses boosting workers’ skills to help fix the country’s lagging productivity; removing regulations choking new house building; incentivising Local Councils to promote development; and doing away with the Overseas Investment Act.

In the short term, the next Government must resist the temptation to tighten labour market settings which have served us well. Labour market flexibility is key to employment growth post-Covid-19.

Raising tax at this time would hurt growth and impede our recovery. More taxes are not necessary to get public debt under control. Instead, there is ample scope to reduce low quality public spending, says Hartwich.

“The next leaders should know what levers to pull and buttons to push.

“More than ever, a clear and evidence-based roadmap is needed,” Hartwich says.

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