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Manufacturers urge exchange rate policy

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Latest Political News | Monday January 28 2013 12:40

Manufacturers urge exchange rate policy

Business is putting the hard word on the Government to do more to keep local manufacturers in business.

The strength of the kiwi dollar and the mounting pressure on exporters are key themes at an inquiry being run by Parliament's opposition parties

Wyman Engineering Manager Stewart Hyde says the situation is driving businesses such as his offshore.

"And the question that I would pose is, to what extent does the New Zealand Government want us to stay here, and what policy settings are going to change to make that happen?"

And the maker of the world famous Hamilton jet is urging action on monetary policy.

CWF Hamilton managing Director Keith Whiteley says the biggest threat to his business is the overvalued Kiwi dollar and it's time the Government did its bit.

"The single monetary policy goal of targeting inflation alone, while relevant in the 1980s, in our view is now past its use-by date, and exchange rate considerations must become part of the mix."

Keith Whiteley says without currency hedging his company's net profits would only be two per cent this year, instead of nine per cent.

AW Fraser's managing director Gordon Sutherland, says to suggest putting up prices in response to the strong dollar is naive.

He says as a businessman he puts his prices up whenever he possibly can, but currently his hands are tied by the weak US dollar.

And he says the situation is such that he can't invest and expand his business.

"Should we invest millions of dollars in the current policy settings?

"I think I've got to have rocks in my head to do that."

Photo: Stock.xchng

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