Steven Joyce brushes off controversial Forbes article

You'd think a Forbes column predicting Labour will drive the New Zealand economy into a recession would be welcomed by ex-Finance Minister Steven Joyce.

Think again.

"This is just one guy with another opinion. Frankly, I've seen all sorts of opinions from around the world," he told The AM Show on Thursday.

"I wouldn't put too much credence in that."

The column, published on Tuesday (NZ time), was written by ex-Lehman Brothers trader Jared Dillian. In it, he claimed the new Government's policies on immigration, housing and the Reserve Bank would see New Zealand "probably lose its status as one of the most open, free economies in the world" and it was "likely that New Zealand will experience a recession during [Prime Minister Jacinda] Ardern's term".

On Twitter, Mr Dillian said New Zealand was committing "pointless economic suicide".

Mr Joyce said the views Mr Dillian expressed were "only a milder version" of what Winston Peters said in October, when the Deputy Prime Minister warned of "dark days ahead".

"Everybody has agreed growth will be softer next year, largely as a result of Government policies," said Mr Joyce. "That's what all the major banks are saying."

But none are predicting a recession. ANZ says to expect a "near-term wobble in growth"; ASB predicts GDP growth will rise slightly over the next couple of years, before easing; and Westpac expects a minor slowdown, but no recession.

Reaction to the Forbes article on social media was largely negative. Some suggested Mr Dillian's background as a Lehman Brothers trader prior to the global financial crisis destroyed any credibility he might have. Lehman's collapse in 2008, the biggest bankruptcy filing in US history, is credited with putting the crisis into overdrive.

Others pointed out basic factual errors in Mr Dillian's piece. He got the date Ms Ardern became Prime Minister wrong, and claimed a quote from her first interview as Prime Minister-elect actually came during the election campaign, which had finished a month earlier.

Mr Dillian's article came two weeks after another prominent international publication, the Washington Post, published an opinion piece claiming "the far-right is poisoning New Zealand".