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Finance Minister Nicola Willis blames Labour for reckless spending and economic mismanagement



Labour Deputy Leader dubious about NZ’s economic prospects, despite GDP rise

Carmel Sepuloni raises her concerns with the country’s economy despite recent data showing some increase in New Zealand’s measure of economic growth.

New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased despite doubts from Labour’s deputy leader ahead of the data announcement.

“Not expecting anything great” was Labour’s deputy leader, Carmel Sepuloni’s prediction ahead of the GDP announcement.

But despite her doubts, Stats NZ announced today that the country’s GDP has risen 0.2 percent in the March 2024 quarter following a 0.1 decrease in the December 2023 quarter.

GDP provides a snapshot of the performance of the economy and is New Zealand’s official measure of economic growth.

Rises were seen in rental, hiring and real estate services, up 0.9 percent and falls were seen in several industries including construction, business services and manufacturing.

Prior to the announcement, Sepuloni spoke to William Terite on 531pi’s Pacific Mornings that they're expecting the economy to further decline.


“The decisions that are being made by this government have broad repercussions for New Zealanders and for the economy and we’re feeling it at the moment.

“We’re seeing it in our own little townships, in our own little shopping malls, in our communities so we’re not very hopeful that the GDP figures are going to look very good.”

Although the data released today saw an increase in GDP, annually it fell by 2.4 percent per capita, which is the sixth consecutive quarterly fall, showing that the economy is not matching New Zealand’s strong population growth.

And despite the small increase in GDP, Finance Minister Nicola Willis blames Labour for reckless spending and economic mismanagement for the current issues with inflation.

“Today’s data confirms the Government’s approach to strengthening and growing the economy is the right one - careful government spending, lower taxes for hard-working New Zealanders and rebuilding New Zealand’s economic foundations.

“Inflation is tracking in the right direction. Last week we saw food prices in New Zealand increase just 0.2 per cent in the 12 months to May 2024, the smallest increase since September 2018. “

Sepuloni added that the cuts to public services and the resulting job losses, will have broad repercussions for New Zealand.

“Thousands of public servants are suffering this blow at the moment. Out of work, a struggling economy.

“I’ve heard from many who work in public service who have now been made redundant or facing no jobs that they're looking elsewhere, going overseas.

“I think that quite often the government is dismissive of the fact that our public servants are highly qualified, highly capable New Zealanders who contribute so much to our country.

“And if they leave and go elsewhere, like to Australia, then that is at the detriment of New Zealand.”

Watch Labour's deputy leader, Carmel Sepuloni's full interview here: