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Government Policies Hurt Exporters

Media Release
23 September 2003

Government Policies Hurt Exporters

New Zealand First says exporters are being hurt by the pressure created by Government policies of using high immigration numbers to lift economic growth through increased consumption.

Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters said interest rates in New Zealand were high by international comparisons and the Reserve Bank was keeping them up because of the explosive housing market – particularly in Auckland.

“The pressure on housing is due mainly to the huge population increase caused by hundreds of thousands of immigrants pouring into the area over the past four years.

“The Government foolishly embarked on this policy to push up economic growth without thinking of the downstream effects such as pressure on housing and other social, economic and physical infrastructure.

“The result of all this is that the creators of the country’s wealth, the exporters, are being hurt by a high New Zealand dollar which is affecting their returns and their ability to compete on international markets.”

Mr Peters warned that the situation could not continue because increasing exports held the key to economic growth in New Zealand.

“Our social services are gradually slipping into Third World status and the trend will continue unless the Government stops importing people and introduces plans to increase exports - in short production, not consumption.”

ENDS

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