Greens dump money-printing plan

Last updated 05:00 19/06/2013

Relevant offers


Education Minister Hekia Parata announces Marlborough colleges decision Live Chat replay: Chief Social Worker Paul Nixon talks child abuse in NZ Partner of Kiwi detainee speaks out about detention centre struggles Stories of detained Kiwis show 'crude' nature of Aus policy - Andrew Little Why I'm voting my daughter's choice in the flag referendum Positive signs from Andrew Little's Australia trip, but more heat than light? Jacinda Ardern: 'It's not a good place to be a child' Waikato ratepayers pay for investigation into mayor's swear word Lack of trust in National Standards on the agenda for Blenheim schools MP Clare Curran posts photo of invalid flag vote online

The Greens have dumped their call for quantitative easing - or printing money - after it became an electoral liability for the party and a future Labour-led government.

Green co-leader Russel Norman yesterday confirmed the u-turn after Monday’s release of the joint Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana report into manufacturing left the policy out of the mix.

Prime Minister John Key and other Government ministers have latched on to the plan to ‘‘print money’’ to paint the Opposition as economically radical.

Norman said it was never Green policy but was included in a discussion paper, issued last October.

‘‘Obviously it wasn’t as big a deal for us as it was John Key.’’

Other elements of the paper had been implemented by the Reserve Bank, such as using macro-prudential tools to control inflation in the housing market and intervening to lower the currency.

But on quantitative easing or QE ‘‘it’s pretty clear that there’s not a consensus’’ among the parties that would make up an alternative government.

Asked if it had caused political damage to the Opposition, he said it had been used extensively by National.

‘‘We pushed out the boat on QE ... and had advocated hard for,’’ he said.

He thought QE would be a sensible thing to do, ‘‘but the reality is the reality’’.

It was clear it would not be put in place given the views of the other opposition parties.

Labour finance spokesman David Parker welcomed the Green move.

‘‘It had become a lightning rod that let the Government avoid questions about policy that needed addressing,’’ he said.

They included changes to monetary policy to bring down the rising current account deficit. Printing money had never been Labour policy.

The Greens discussion document was aimed at driving down the value of the New Zealand dollar by requiring the Reserve Bank to essentially "print money" to invest in earthquake bonds and to buy overseas assets to rebuild EQC funds.

Norman said at the time that the measure would improve New Zealand's competitiveness, boost jobs and send a message to speculators that the Kiwi currency, underpinned by higher interest rates than in most economies, was no longer a one-way bet.

It suggested QE should be implemented in stages of $1 billion at a time but grow to as much as $7b to refinance EQC, which is in deficit after paying for damage from the Christchurch earthquakes.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content