Winston Peters used his speech announcing who he would anoint as Prime Minister to give a lament about how dismal the outlook is.
We in New Zealand First believe that an economic correction, or a slowdown, is looming, and that the first signs are already here:
– In the housing market slowdown
– In Reserve Bank and trading banks nervousness
– In the cessation of hot money into our economy
– In property ownership concerns
– In receding consumer optimism, and
– In ebbing retailer confidence
There were great risks in whatever decision we made and despite our having had no influence on these risks, some will attempt to heap the blame on us.
That those blame caricatures are both spurious and misplaced, won’t stop attempts to misdescribe the cause of events.
That’s why we are putting this scenario out front, right now, so that such attempts will fail.
No-one can blame Peters and his party for events beyond their control. But now they’re in government we can hold them responsible for how they prepare for and react to them.
It won’t be ‘misdescribing’ at all to blame him and the government he’s part if they don’t take a prudent approach to preparing for a gathering storm.
National inherited a projected decade of deficits when it came to power in 2008.
New Zealand was already in recession and then the global financial crisis hit.
It then faced other natural and financial challenges including earthquakes, droughts and a dairy downturn.
No matter what was thrown at them, Prime Minister John Key and his deputy and Finance Minister Bill English projected calmness and confidence. They promised to protect the most vulnerable and were open about making tough decisions.
Thanks to their efforts, and of course all those of the individuals and businesses who contributed to economic growth, the incoming government has inherited a far sounder financial base and outlook.
Peters by sorry contrast has failed his first confidence test with his gloom and doom but don’t-blame-us speech.
This is reflected in a reader survey by the NBR.
Asked if they expected their businesses to thrive, survive or nosedive, 50% opted for survival with 35% picking nosedive and only 15% picking thrive.
That’s not a scientific survey but businesses need confidence to take the risks to invest and Peters has given them none.