PM: Bad economic news 'overblown'

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Jul 2015, 8:44AM
John Key (Getty Images)

PM: Bad economic news 'overblown'

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Jul 2015, 8:44AM

Updated 5.30pm: A slew of gloomy economic news, but the Prime Minister says it's all a bit overblown.

LISTEN ABOVE: PM John Key speaks to Mike Hosking. 

John Key says the economic fundamentals of New Zealand are very strong.

He said while dairy prices are down significantly, China's slowing down and there's uncertainty around Greece, there's another side of the coin.

"Dairy is 5% of our economy. So yes dairy prices are down and it's tough on those dairy farmers who are resilient people, but 95% of our economy is not involved in that."

He said our manufacturing, ICT, wine and construction sectors are doing very well, and tourism is booming.

And our exchange rate is 25% lower than it was at its height, which has a huge impact on our exporters.

John Key also isn't ruling out a crack down on foreign home ownership.

The Government has rejected the idea of a foreign buyers register, but will require non-resident buyers to have an IRD number and a tax identification code.

Labour claims Chinese buyers are dominating Auckland's housing market.

The Prime Minister said he hasn't seen any evidence of that, but the Government will change its policy if it sees evidence there is a problem.

"If the information really spelt out that it was a huge issue, we would consider what the next steps might be."

However, opposition are hitting back at the Prime Minister's claims.

The Green Party has produced research, showing non-tradable growth is above tradable growth by the highest level since 2000.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw said that means productive sections of the economy are wallowing and it's totally at odds with promises made while National was in opposition.

"Bill English promised to deliver more saving, less debt for fuel consumption and a continued shift away from leveraged property investment, and in fact there is more of all of things now."

Labour says Key isn't being straight when it comes to dairy prices.