New Zealanders Should Take A Bow

  • Jenny Shipley
Prime Minister

"New Zealanders should take a bow as our country enjoys a return to economic growth. Their hard work and efforts have brought our country through a period of drought and one of the most severe economic shocks we have seen in the last 20 years," Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

Mrs Shipley commented following confirmation that economic activity for the September 1998 quarter had increased by 0.7 per cent.

"While these figures are retrospective, they confirm the strong anecdotal evidence that growth has been improving since the middle of the year. It is recovery and growth that brings jobs and prosperity.

"This growth is export led, and a tribute to New Zealand's positive trading environment and achieving beyond our size. This growth is tremendous news for exporters, primary producers and investors. It means they can do business with greater confidence which means a more positive future for us all.

"I appreciate that this past year has been challenging for New Zealand. This Government's on going attention to see that NZ businesses remain competitive internationally through lower costs in electricity, ACC, petrol, lower interest rates and lower taxes is creating a positive environment and businesses have responded.

"The economy is finally rewarding the efforts and strengths of New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses.

"The misery merchants in the Labour Opposition who have opposed every step of progress during 1998, now want to unstitch every thread of progress that this Government has made, should publicly acknowledge that they are wrong.

"Reactionary and backward looking policies, such as those Labour is promoting, would plunge New Zealand back into an uncertain environment and rob New Zealanders of the rewards that they have worked so hard for.

"Labour would deliver New Zealanders higher interest rates, higher taxes and a return to union dominated work places. No-one wants to go back to those bad old days.

"New Zealanders can end 1998 and begin 1999 confident that we will see further growth in the December quarter and continuing through next year.

"This will strengthen New Zealand's foundation for our future success giving us more investment, more jobs, and leading us into an exciting and prosperous 1999. It will also bring great interest to election year as New Zealanders consider which political party is most likely to deliver a positive future," Mrs Shipley said.