New Zealand’s place in the world

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently gave a speech on the economy and New Zealand’s place in the world.

Here’s a super quick overview of what she had to say about global challenges, like workforce shortages, and why New Zealand can be optimistic about the future.

New Zealand’s economy is in a strong position

“New Zealand faces this global volatility with one of the best economies in the world.

“An economy 4.8 percent bigger than before COVID, near record low unemployment, low debt and a smaller than expected deficit. All of these economic indicators are running at similar or mostly better levels than achieved during and after the GFC.

“It’s a strong position.” – Jacinda Ardern

As countries around the world face challenging economic conditions, it’s important that the fundamentals of our economy are strong, and they are.

Now, we’re targeting investments to keep debt low, backing businesses to grow jobs and wages, and supporting households with the cost of living.

Together, these measures will provide greater economic security for New Zealanders.

Investing in what matters most to New Zealanders

“We will use that strong position to focus on investing in what matters most to New Zealanders: growing wages and cost of living support, hospitals, schools, housing, and addressing climate change. The best investment in our economy is investing in our people.” – Jacinda Ardern

Thanks to our Government’s economic plan, we’re well positioned to address ongoing challenges while continuing to make investments in the critical services New Zealanders need.

You can learn more about our priorities here.

Positioning New Zealand globally

“New Zealand businesses are trying not just to be the best in the world, but the best for the world too. And we can be… We have so much to offer that the world wants right now.” – Jacinda Ardern

Our Government has worked hard to position New Zealand globally as a great place to trade with, visit and invest in.

We’ve already secured five free trade agreements, including major deals with the United Kingdom and European Union, and made upgrades to existing agreements with Singapore and China. Our agricultural exports reached a record $53 billion, boosted by the return of tourists proving our goods and services remain in high demand.

We’re up to nearly half a million overseas visitors with travel approval since May, and international card spending is back to nearly 90% of pre-pandemic times.

Securing New Zealand’s brand

“A better tourism and hospitality experience, food or fibre that’s environmentally credible, better working conditions, a cleaner, greener environment, a renewable, secure energy supply, a better place to raise your kids.” – Jacinda Ardern

Not only is New Zealand is ready and open, thanks to the work our Government is doing alongside Kiwi businesses, we have the ability to provide all things a cut above the rest. You can learn more about our record here.

We’ve created advantages for New Zealand

“Much of the world is going through an energy price shock, is screaming out for labour, has supply chain disruption, and is facing surging commodity prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… But even amongst these challenges, there is room for optimism.” – Jacinda Ardern

Despite facing the same global headwinds, New Zealand is starting the next phase of our economic recovery in a better position than many others. That’s because we’ve built unique advantages that give us reason for optimism.

While countries around the world are facing skills shortages, we’re already well underway with our plan to grow the skilled workforce that New Zealand needs.

We’ve been deliberate in supporting more people into education and training. More than 200,000 Kiwis have now benefitted from our free apprenticeships and trades training programmes.

We’ve also rebalanced our immigration to make it easier for local businesses to fill gaps by hiring highly-skilled people from overseas.

With more people moving off benefit and into work, unemployment at a near record low, and wages growing, it’s clear that our plan is working. Now we need to keep going.

 Want to read the Prime Minister’s speech in full? Check it out here.

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