Menu
PM sets up advisory council to counter gloomy business sentiment

PM sets up advisory council to counter gloomy business sentiment

Council led by Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Credit: Reuters

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has responded to firms' sinking confidence by announcing the formation of a business council, led by Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon, to advise her on major issues facing the economy.

Ardern assured an audience at a business event hosted by Westpac Bank in Auckland that she took the deepening business pessimism seriously, but that the government was determined to charge ahead with its plans for economic reform.

“I want to work closely with, and be advised by, senior business leaders who take a helicopter view of our economy, who are long-term strategic thinkers who have the time and energy to lead key aspects of our economic agenda," she said as she announced the business council.

Business confidence has sunk to decade lows since Ardern's centre-left coalition government took the helm in October, promising to reduce widening inequality.

Firms had complained about a five per cent hike in the minimum wage in April, uncertainty over new environmental and immigration regulations and fears that international investors would be spooked by a ban on many foreign homebuyers and on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

Economists and the central bank have warned that firms' gloomy sentiment could start to drag on economic growth if they hold off on investment.

"The reality is that our economy faces a number of challenges, global in their nature, that by working together we must confront to protect our long-term prosperity," Ardern said.

She added, however, that she hoped to work with the business community and that the newly formed Business Advisory Council would help smooth communication as the government pushes ahead with its policy changes.

Luxon, the council's chair and CEO of the country's national air carrier, would put together a team of business leaders in the next few weeks.

"I'm excited to chair this important initiative because I think building a better, more sustainable New Zealand is a cause well worth putting all our collective efforts and energy behind," Luxon said in an emailed statement from the Prime Minister's office.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Dan Grebler)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentJacinda Ardern

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.​

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments