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Economy top priorty for incoming New Zealand government

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 01:49

The New Zealand dollar fell to 5-month lows on Tuesday as the incoming coalition government announced its policy priorities. As Kate King reports, that includes a plan to review and reform the Central Bank Act to possibly include employment, alongside inflation, as a dual target.

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Securing a coalition partner and sweeping into power may in fact be the easy part for New Zealand's 37-year-old Prime Minister. (SOUNDBITE) English NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER ELECT, JACINDA ADERN, SAYING: "We are committed to a fiscally responsible government which grows the economy but makes sure that everybody shares in its prosperity." Jacinda Adern is inheriting a country where a sixth of its children are being raised in poverty and average house prices in Auckland have soared past one million NZ dollars - that's around 700,00 US dollars and higher than property in London. Rejuvinating smaller districts then, one of her first concerns. (SOUNDBITE) English NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER ELECT, JACINDA ADERN, SAYING: "We have prioritized regional economic development and job creation for New Zealanders. There has been a period of neglect in the last nine years for our regions." The New Zealand dollar hit five months lows as the centre-left Labour party and populist New Zealand First confirmed their policy priorities. Adern's government plans to stick to its campaign pledge of cutting migration, and restricting foreign ownership of houses. It also wants to review and reform the Central Bank Act to possibly include employment, alongside inflation, as a dual target. (SOUNDBITE) English CCLA, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "I think there is a clear expectation that New Zealand policy agenda has got to be pro growth but controlling inflation and that when one gets a change of political direction there is a natural concern that the policy agenda will be much less supportive of companies." New Zealand's minimum wage is also set to go up to $16.50 starting April 2018 before rising in steps to $20 by 2021.

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Economy top priorty for incoming New Zealand government

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 01:49