Do we need a Plan B?

Do we need a Plan B for the New Zealand economy?

Andrew Little versus Bill English last week:

[Sitting date: 08 September 2015. Volume:708;Page:6295. Text is subject to correction.]

1. ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister : Why did he say “Plan A is a good plan” given the state of regional economies?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Acting Prime Minister) : He said “Plan A is a good plan” because plan A is a good plan. It enables regions to be resilient to shifts in global prices. The Government is supporting regions in a number of ways, including water reform and Resource Management Act reform, recognising that most regional economies are resource-based economies, and we are investing in regions through better alignment in training and skills, education, and research and development. Some regions are under pressure from the volatility in dairy prices. The Government is working with those regions—for example, through regional growth studies—to attract more investment, jobs, and growth.

Andrew Little : Given plan A is a failure that has led to higher unemployment, weak growth, and record debt, why is he refusing to consider a new direction?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : We do not agree with the member’s description of the future of the New Zealand economy. I know he is among the very few people who want to see the economy crash, because he thinks it might benefit his poor leadership and party standing. But, actually, we have a longer-term view that although this is a softer patch for the economy and a difficult period for some industries, we have longer-term confidence in the New Zealand economy.

Andrew Little : Given that plan A has failed, will he update National’s 2014 slogan to now read “Not working for New Zealand”?

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The question was not heard because of the level of interjection, mainly from my right—[Interruption] Order! I invite the member to repeat the question.

Andrew Little : The question is and was: given that plan A has failed, will he update National’s 2014 slogan to now read “Not working for New Zealand”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : No, because plan A is working for New Zealand, much better than Labour’s political strategy is working for Labour.

What would a Plan B be?

Or if we keep chugging away much as we are (National’s Plan A) are we likely to do ok?

As shown in GDP growth up for June quarter after a slowdown in the March quarter to 0.2% GDP growth has improved in the June quarter to a still modest 0.4%.

What would work best, a reactive economic policy approach, or steady as she goes?

Leave a comment


  1. Mike C

     /  18th September 2015

    Steady as she goes suits me, because that was how National brought New Zealand through the global slump several years ago in a very healthy way compared to almost every other country in the world 🙂

    Although, National do have a few things that they have implemented over the past few years that could be considered to be ground breaking and new and unusual, that are still in their growth phases, and yet to come to fruition.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th September 2015

    Fix our infrastructure and get bureaucracy out of the way. That’s plenty to be going on with.

  3. Goldie

     /  18th September 2015

    NZ has annualised growth of just over 3%.
    I really do wonder at Andrew Little.

    • Mike C

       /  18th September 2015


      Andrew Little’s entire beltway work career has basically always been focused upon finding the negative in any given situation on a daily basis … and I don’t think he will ever be able to reverse that entrenched mind-set 🙂

  4. Brown

     /  18th September 2015

    Alan W is correct. The govt does nothing that creates wealth so should severely curtail their intrusion into people going about their business trying to make a living. Look at the Dept of Stats producing a bunch of bullshit about birthdays. FFS, who cares that people appear to shag carelessly while pissed on their summer holidays? You can always get a card, a present (Mike C is organised and gets his well in advance) and take the loved one out for dinner. The govt doesn’t have to lay on extra cabbage soup because there’s a blip. Little’s real problem is that National have replaced Labour.


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