Cullen Strangely Silent After Positive Trade Statistics

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Labour's Michael Cullen has been strangely silent after yesterday's positive trade statistics, Trade Minister Lockwood Smith said today.

The statistics suggested the value of New Zealand's exports in September 1998 was nearly 10% higher than in September 1997, despite the Asian Economic Crisis. In response, Dr Smith said he had "quiet hopes" that the worst of the crisis could be behind New Zealand. Labour said nothing.

"In the early stages of the Asian Economic Crisis when some economic statistics were less than positive, Michael Cullen was all too ready to comment, trying to give New Zealanders the impression that Government policy was at fault.

"Now, after the positive trade statistics, he has nothing to say.

"I think it's wrong for the opposition to be using a political strategy which relies on New Zealanders suffering from the Asian Economic Crisis.

"It would be nice if just occasionally Michael Cullen could say something positive about our country."