National aims to ensure resilient economy
By Sarah Robson
The state of the economy is high on the minds of the National Party faithful amid gloomy predictions of a slowdown on the back of lower dairy prices.
But Finance Minister Bill English says despite that, New Zealand remains on-track for moderate sustained growth.
Nearly 700 party members have descended on Auckland's SkyCity convention centre for their first annual conference since their 2014 election victory.
And Mr English today moved to reassure them the government's got what it can under control.
"Over the last couple of months, we've had some negative news from the world, lower dairy prices, headlines about Greece, uncertainty in China," he said.
"But we remain on track for sustainable moderate growth - that is the growth that can deliver to households the one to three percent pay increases, not just one year but year after year through to 2020, which will continue to generate new jobs and also lift incomes."
Mr English said the government was working to ensure the economy remained resilient, despite the challenges.
"We're finding out we can't control dairy prices," he said.
"The issue is not so much whether the government can guarantee New Zealand can get the prices it wants, it's whether we can manage our way through the difficult passages and take advantage of the very positive opportunities that we get."
Earlier, Prime Minister John Key said despite the next election being two-and-a-half years away, he's cautiously optimistic about another victory in 2017.
Housing, Auckland infrastructure projects and welfare have also been hot topics of discussion amongst ministers and party members.
Mr Key will make his keynote speech on Sunday morning, where he's likely to make an announcement.