Economy starting to fire: Key

Last updated 11:09 15/03/2013

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The New Zealand economy is emerging from tough economic times, Prime Minister John Key says.

Speaking in Auckland this morning, Key said he "didn't want to oversell things" but the economy was improving.

The Government was on track to a return to surplus in 2014-15, the tax take was on track, the Christchurch rebuild progressing, the business community more positive, Resource Management Act reform progressing and construction strong in Auckland and Christchurch, he said.

"In the end New Zealand is sort of coming out the end," he told the GE Capital Building Better Business event.

"Can we reposition ourselves over the next decade and become a wealthy nation? I reckon we can."

Speaking about his "how to make the boat go faster" job as prime minister, Key said the emergence of Asia and resulting shift in global power provided a huge opportunity for New Zealand.

Just back from Latin America, Key said the trip was "an incredible example of where good public policy works and bad public policy doesn't".

There was no single silver bullet, but good public policy and labour laws, low interest rates and strong capital markets all helped make things easier for businesses to navigate, he said.

"We are never going to be able to control the exchange rate, the only thing that will work is if we sell things the world wants."

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