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Action Required Over RBA – Not Navel Gazing

New Zealand First has welcomed Helen Clark’s announcement that Labour will amend the Reserve Bank Act’s Policy Target Agreement to keep the exchange rate competitive but says it is only “tinkering” with the problem.

The Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, says the worst periods of fluctuation of New Zealand currency came during the Labour government in the mid eighties, when the dollar soared from 44 cents US to 72 cents US.

“This had devastating effects on New Zealand exporters and the only people to benefit were the paper shufflers in the financial markets.”

“A similar situation developed between 1993-96 when the exchange rate rose 26 per cent under National.”

Mr Peters also criticitised the response of Treasurer, Bill English, to Labour’s statement, describing his comments about identifying and maintaining a competitive exchange rate as “intellectual drivel.”

“This country needs some major changes to the Reserve Bank Act itself to include export growth, economic growth and employment.

“The new Government must provide bold leadership and new direction to get New Zealand working again and some bold changes to the Reserve Bank Act will set the course for more economic growth and employment opportunities.” Mr Peters said.


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