New Zealand Labour Party

Economy stalling after nine years of National's complacency

The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

Data released by Statistics New Zealand today shows that GDP per capita fell 0.1 per cent in the March Quarter, following an 0.2 per cent decline in the December Quarter. Exports fell 0.4 per cent, following a 3.2 per cent decline in the December Quarter and a 1.1 per cent decline in the September Quarter. The construction sector shrunk 2.1 per cent.

“After nine years, National is asleep at the wheel. The economy is going backwards on a per person basis, the export sector is in recession, and, now, construction is falling too. Relying on population growth and an overheated housing market to prop up the economy is a dangerously complacent approach."

“The decline in the construction sector is particularly worrying. We already have a shortage of 60,000 houses, growing by the day. We need more houses than ever, yet the building sector is shrinking. The complete failure to address the housing crisis is National’s biggest economic legacy.

“Labour’s fresh approach will invest in our regions, in building, in infrastructure, and in training our young people for the future of work.

“Just this week, Andrew Little announced funding to help revitalise the Whanganui economy and create jobs by upgrading port infrastructure. This builds on similar announcements in Gisborne and Dunedin. Labour will be making similar investments up and down the country in infrastructure projects that unlock growth and create jobs in the regions.

“National will have all the usual excuses for the fall in GDP per capita. After nine years, their time for making excuses has run out. We need an economy that delivers for New Zealand; we need to change the government,” says Grant Robertson.