National’s new export strategy fails to address two big
issues that threaten our exporters: the high New Zealand dollar and
the risk to our brand posed by National’s anti-environment
agenda, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.
The Building Export Markets report released today largely
repackages previously announced Government policies.
"National’s plan for our export industry fails to address the
number one issue our exporters are facing - the high New Zealand
dollar," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
"Our high and volatile exchange rate is hurting our export industry
with close to half of all New Zealand export companies saying it is
the biggest barrier they faced to growth.
"Our exporters struggle to compete because our dollar is
over-priced and our domestic manufacturers are undercut by
artificially cheap imports.
"The result has been a disaster. 25,000 manufacturing jobs have
disappeared under National while the number of companies exporting
has stagnated since 2009."
The Government also outlined its new plans to build our
international brand around "The New Zealand Story".
Industry-targeted campaigns such as 100% Pure New Zealand will sit
under the broader ‘story’.
"The National Government is recognising the value of our brand to
our export economy, and the New Zealand Story is an important part
of this, however its economic agenda actively undermines our clean
and green brand," Dr Norman said.
"By gutting the Emissions Trading Scheme, intensifying agriculture,
and pursuing their deep sea mining agenda, the National Government
is putting our $20 billion clean, green brand at risk."
Dr Norman proposed a number of possible measures for addressing the
high exchange rate but warned that there was no quick fix, hence
the need for a wide public policy debate on the issue.
"We can reduce the pressure on the exchange rate and the export
sector by empowering the Reserve Bank with a mandate beyond
inflation to include exchange rate levels and volatility," Dr
"Instituting a tax on capital gains (excluding the family home)
would also ease upward pressure on the exchange rate.
"And we need to ensure that profits generated from New
Zealand’s resources stay in New Zealand, by restricting
foreign purchases of land.
"There are smarter ways to manage our economy than the National
Government’s current focus on selling our most productive
state-owned assets," said Dr Norman.