Business community 'in safe hands' with Steven Joyce - expert

Steven Joyce (file)
Steven Joyce (file)

Business expert Rod Oram says there's a lot of confidence Steven Joyce will be a competent replacement for Bill English, if he takes over the country's finances today.

New Zealand will have a new Prime Minister, Deputy and Finance Minister by the end of Monday, following John Key's shock resignation last week.

Mr Oram says Mr Joyce is no rookie when it comes to financial matters.

"He's been dealing with a great deal of financial complexity in major roles, particularly business, innovation and employment... so I think there will be good confidence."

Mr Key will officially tender his resignation with the Governor-General later today, before Mr English and Ms Bennett are sworn in as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively.

But Mr Oram believes despite Mr English's success in charge of the country's books for the last eight years, it may take some time before he's able to shake his leadership failures of 2001.

"People... will recall how uncomfortable he seemed as party leader, particularly in the 2002 election, and National's very poor result in that."

However Mr Oram thinks the business community will feel like they're being left in safe hands, if Mr Joyce is named as Finance Minister.

"The crucial thing would be to keep the tight financial discipline that Bill English has exercised all the way through to this point as Finance Minister," he said.

Mr Oram says Mr Joyce's financial dealings with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment means he's well and truly equipped for the Finance Minister role.