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Crisis Management Demands Govt - Business Teamwork

Calling for the resignation of Finance Minister Michael Cullen at a time of currency crisis is knee-jerking and stupid.

“That’s playing politics when it is the policy direction of the country that is the issue, not the performance of one Government Minister,” said Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

The simple truth is that the NZ dollar’s plunge is being made worse by loss of confidence in this country as a place to invest, not just the strengthening of the US$ and Yen at our dollar’s expense.

“Our country’s future is at stake – that is, NZ’s policy direction is an issue for everyone.” But the country’s policies have been determined by Government in a void of a good business relationship, which is the perception both locally and internationally. “It’s time to change that.”

Business has a constructive role to play, and must be brought to the table, said Mr Barnett.

The Chamber of Commerce today called for a better Government-Business relationship. “It is time for a team of Government and business to talk through the issues and then act”.

Mr Barnett warned that the current export success has not been achieved through good business practice to boost productivity and efficiency, it’s been achieved by the “good fortune” of our plunging currency.

It is imperative that exporters realise this “good fortune” will not last. They should focus on what will happen at the cycle’s end when the lack of productivity efficiency gains are revealed.

For further information, contact: Michael Barnett 021 631 150

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