It is one thing for the America’s Cup to depend on the weather but statistics out today show our economy relies too much on the elements, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“The weather had a big impact today. The 12th race of the America’s Cup was abandoned and Statistics New Zealand figures released today showed that GDP growth in the last quarter stagnated because of the drought. Agriculture activity declined by 6.4 per cent.
“It is one thing for the sporting hopes of our nation to rest upon the weather. The wealth of our nation should not.
“New Zealand’s economy is too dependent on the primary sector. When there is bad weather all of us suffer the impacts.
“Bill English came into office promising to rebalance the economy. He has clearly failed. Primary industries will always be important to New Zealand but we must ensure other industries are given the room and settings to flourish.
“Only that way will we be able to get through a drought without seriously hurting the economy.
“GDP growth of 0.2 per cent was held up by the rebuild of Christchurch, with construction activity increasing by 2.3 per cent. Our underlying economic performance is lacklustre.
“Labour will rebalance the economy by increasing our investment pool through universal KiwiSaver and get that investment into high-growth industries through a capital gains tax and research and development tax credits.
“We will also reform the Reserve Bank’s outdated tunnel vision mandate so the Bank can take stronger consideration of jobs and exports, rather than the primacy given to inflation.
“Bill English has failed to rebalance the economy. He doesn’t have the ideas New Zealanders need. Labour does, says David Parker.
19 September 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT