New Zealand Labour Party

Parity is no party for export businesses

The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

“When the dollar rises, exports across the ditch drop significantly. That’s a blow to businesses. It costs jobs and stifles innovation and expansion.

“In 2012 for the three months to February our exports to Australia were $2.3 billion with the dollar at .79 Australian. Over the next three years in that same period the dollar has been higher and export sales lower.

“This year in the three months to February our exports across the Tasman were $1.7 billion with the dollar worth .94 Australian. That’s a drop of $600 million, a very big hole to fill.

“A strong dollar is good in the short term for those who have the money to travel to Sydney for a spend-up. But it can cost jobs and pay rises. We are an exporting country and we need our businesses to be competitive.

“Despite the Government’s best efforts to cheerlead on parity, our dollar is strong against the Australian because their economy is in trouble, not because ours is strong.

“The longer our dollar stays high, the more damage it will do to our businesses and economy. That’s no cause to celebrate at all,” Andrew Little says.

3 months to February

Exports to Australia

NZD/AUD average













Source: Statistics New Zealand Overseas Merchandise Trade series and Reserve Bank of New Zealand exchange rate series