Verve Article - February 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Looking forward to a great 2016

Heading into 2016 the National Government is strong, refreshed, and motivated to continue working hard for Kiwis.  I’m as confident as ever that we have the right team in place to manage our economy carefully and deliver smart, focused policy where it is needed most.

We’ve had a very strong start to this term of Government. Thanks to a steady, predictable approach, our economy has grown by 2.3 per cent in the year to September 2015, putting us in the top half of all OECD countries. We are expecting solid economic growth in the medium term, with a projected average 2.7 per cent growth each of the next five years.

The trade deals we have signed will give New Zealand businesses huge opportunities in the years to come.

A stronger economy leads to more jobs. Over the past five years more than 180,000 jobs have been created, and we expect a further 195,000 people will be in work by 2020.

In my own portfolio of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, I have a full programme of work. In 2016 I will be progressing a number of important pieces of legislation, and my officials will continue to work to ensure our competition and regulatory settings are fit for purpose and working as effectively as possible.

The start of the year, with its many costs, is a good time to be thinking about your financial situation. Financial capability is a major focus for this government. We want people to have the financial knowledge and confidence to manage their money and achieve the long term goals important to them – be it saving for that first home, or saving for retirement.

In July 2015 I released a Government Statement on Financial Capability. The statement sets out the great deal of working going into raising financial capability across a wide range of agencies. We want these agencies to work closely with each other to ensure that every effort is being made to raise capability levels throughout New Zealand. You can find out more about the work we are doing, and how you can be involved, at

Finally, I’d like to wish everyone all the best for 2016. As always, it’s a privilege to work for this country in the John Key led Government, and I’m looking forward to another positive year for New Zealand.