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Orr Reappointment Shows Labour’s Low Standards

“Despite a term of poor leadership, poor focus and poor outcomes, Adrian Orr has somehow been reappointed for another term as Reserve Bank Governor,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In September I sent Finance Minister Grant Robertson an extensive letter outlining the many reasons we can’t afford another term of Adrian Orr in the role.

“He has shown poor leadership throughout his term, punctuated by high staff turnover and a failure to accept any responsibility for these issues.

“A failure to accept responsibility is possibly the defining feature of Orr. When appearing in front of the Finance and Expenditure Committee last week he refused to accept the Reserve Bank has gotten anything wrong, despite massively overstimulating the economy, causing consumer price inflation, asset price inflation, inequality, and now higher interest rates.

“He also carried out an extensive and expensive review into New Zealand banks’ conduct and found nothing of note but refuses to admit as much and claims changes are still necessary. He is incapable of accepting a mistake.

“The Governor at his best can be described as colourful, but might be more accurately described as indulgent and unfocused. His analogies where the financial system is a forest and his organisation happens to be Tane Mahuta, the god of the forest, are an excellent example of this.

“Giving a speech to the Central Banking Global Summer Meetings entitled Why we embraced te ao Māori during a cost of living crisis that hits Māori hardest. Failing to mention the Reserve Bank’s failure to contain inflation shows that he is not focussed on issues that the Reserve Bank should be.

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“ACT has made it clear it has no confidence in Adrian Orr, and with polls showing we are on track to play a big role in the next Government, Grant Robertson should not have appointed him for a full term.

“The good news is that a Government with ACT in it will keep Adrian Orr on a tight leash. There will be no more loose monetary targets that allow targets to be met in the ‘medium term’, a timeframe that even the Prime Minister couldn’t define.

“ACT would set a strict Monetary Policy Remit with specific targets in specific timeframes. We will restore monetary policy credibility to the Reserve Bank by returning its mandate to solely taming inflation, allowing the appointment of monetary policy experts from New Zealand and abroad, and applying stricter scrutiny in future before granting Crown indemnities.

“This just shows the low standards Labour is setting for New Zealand. Reappointing Orr says that that it is ok to have a Governor with questionable leadership skills, a diffuse focus, and terrible outcomes. The Minister should have aimed higher, it’s what New Zealanders deserve so they are not the victim of monetary incompetence that amounts to a thief in their pocket."

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