New Zealand Labour Party

Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine

With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. 

“John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy is unaffected by the dramatic drop in dairy prices. In the face of an economic slowdown and rapidly declining business and consumer confidence, that is just irresponsible spin.

“Last week visiting towns like Ashburton and Te Kuiti I heard first hand from people who are very concerned about what is happening with dairy prices. Of course they are resilient and working hard to get through this, but they deserve better then a patronising brush-off from the Prime Minister. 

“John Key’s claim that dairying is just 5 per cent of our economy ignores the fact that it is more than 20 per cent of our exports, and almost 50 per cent of commodity exports which has significant flow-on effects for the wider economy. At least two years of below break-even returns means a significant reduction in spending in many towns.”

 “While John Key wants to spin his way through this, New Zealanders are clearly worried. Last night’s Colmar Brunton poll showing economic pessimism up 10 per cent. That is just the latest in a series of bad news about business and consumer confidence and declining numbers of job ads. 

“The National Government continues to ignore the reality that the economy is in trouble. Instead they are happy to let economic management drift. That is complacent, reckless and simply not good enough.

“Kiwis need economic vision and support. They aren't getting that from the Government at the moment,” says Grant Robertson.