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Smelter Meltdown A Symptom of Our Overvalued Dollar

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

6 September 2012

Smelter Meltdown A Symptom of Our Overvalued Dollar

New Zealand First says the 100 redundancies at the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter shows the Government must address our seriously overvalued New Zealand dollar.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the smelter owners have blamed the overvalued Kiwi dollar as playing a major role in the redundancies.

“The Government has its collective head in the sand about controlling our dollar which many economic experts agree is about 20 per cent overvalued.

“Our Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill would expand the Bank’s focus to give it the flexibility it needs to properly control our currency.”

Mr Peters says the smelter owners are also playing hardball over renegotiating their contract with Meridian Energy so they can get cheaper electricity.

“Any reduction in the price paid for electricity at the smelter will be subsidised by mum and dad domestic users who can expect to see significant hikes in their power bills.

“It makes much more sense to instead bring our dollar under control through our Private Members Bill,” says Mr Peters.


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