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New Zealand’s economy and the case for optimism

If you missed Grant Robertson’s recent speech on New Zealand’s economy, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a super quick overview of what the Minister of Finance said about the Government’s economic plan, as well as the latest figures that show how New Zealand’s economy is tracking.

What’s the Government’s economic plan?

The Government is focused on building a high wage, low emissions economy that gives economic security in good times and bad.

To do this, we will continue to support businesses to grow jobs and wages, while taking cost of living pressure off New Zealand families.

How is New Zealand’s economy tracking?

There’s no question that things are getting gloomier around the world, but while there will be challenges ahead, there is every reason for New Zealanders to be optimistic about the future.

The fundamentals of our economy are strong.

Thanks to the Government’s strong economic management, and the hard work of all New Zealanders, our economy has pulled through the pandemic better than the Global Financial Crisis.

The country’s debt is low, GDP is up, our exports are in demand, and we’re seeing more people in work, with higher wages, which makes both families and our economy stronger.

Check out the latest statistics:

  • Unemployment is at a near record low of 3.3%
  • People’s incomes are growing at the highest rate since records began
  • The size of our economy is larger than pre-COVID, following a 1-in-100 year economic shock
  • More homes have been built in the past year than since records began
  • Kiwi exports are in demand, with a record $53 billion record in agricultural exports
  • GDP is up 1.7% in the June quarter
  • 100,000 people moved off a benefit and into work in the past year

All of this means that we’re ready for whatever the world throws at us next, and that we can get people through tough times – including with cost of living support, and a plan focused on jobs and lifting incomes.

The strength of our economy also means that we can continue to tackle inflation and invest in critical services, like health and education, while bringing down debt further too.

We’ve created advantages for New Zealand.

Despite facing the same global headwinds, New Zealand is starting the next phase of our economic recovery in a better position than many other countries.

That’s because we’ve built unique advantages that give us reason for optimism.

From day one, our Government has focused on securing New Zealand’s clean, green brand. This has given New Zealand an economic advantage and, as a country, we’re in demand. Not only has this boosted exports, it’s supported our tourism industry and attracted investment.

Our ongoing investment in renewable energy has given New Zealand an advantage too. It’s meant that we’re not facing the same crisis that European nations are when it comes to reliance on oil and gas for their energy needs.

How we’re supporting New Zealanders with the cost of living

While the fundamentals of our economy are strong, we know that things are tough for many families right now, with global factors driving up costs here at home.

That’s why we’ve rolled out a range of support to ease the pressure, including a fuel tax cut, the Cost of Living Payment, and more. Read about everything we’re doing to help Kiwis with cost pressures here.


As the Minister of Finance said in his speech:

“There are challenges ahead, but there is also every reason to be optimistic about the future. That is because of the hard work all New Zealanders have done to put us into a strong position, the work that we already have underway and the plan that will drive home our unique advantages. As a Government just as we have been there in the tough times we are right alongside New Zealanders to take the opportunities that lie ahead.”


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