New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has hinted the New Zealand dollar was one of the subjects discussed in his meeting with Labour this morning.
Addressing media afterwards, Mr Peters was asked if he welcomed the fact the kiwi dollar is at a four and a half month low – he responded by saying “we have the most volatile currency in the whole wide world.”
Asked if the talks were looking at ways to make it less volatile, Mr Peters says, “I think exporters would be pleased.”
“If you are an export-dependent nation, why would you go ahead with an inflated dollar?”
He would not elaborate on this point.
The New Zealand dollar has been in the NZ First leader’s crosshairs throughout the election campaign.
In a speech in New Plymouth in early July, Mr Peters said because the Reserve Bank Act is “locked in the past, with a fixation on inflation,” it has led to a “persistently overvalued dollar that has been deeply damaging to New Zealand.”
“The New Zealand dollar has been turned into a bonanza for financial speculators and traders,” he said.
“Despite the relatively small size of our economy, the New Zealand dollar is one of the most heavily traded international currencies.”
NZ First wants to broaden the mandate of Reserve Bank so there would be more downward pressure on the exchange rate.
He says the “outdated focus on inflation must be ditched” and must include critical macroeconomic factors such as the rate of growth, export growth, the value of the dollar, and employment.
Mr Peters met with National again this afternoon.
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