Jacinda Ardern promises no new surprises for businesses

  • 28/08/2018

It's been a dire time for business confidence, with reports continuing to claim there's a slump.

It's so low that earlier this month former ANZ economist Cameron Bagrie told The AM Show the economy was "dangerously close to stalling".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has gone on the charm offensive speaking to the business community in Auckland on Tuesday morning.

She told The AM Show before making her speech there would be no new surprises for businesses.

"This is a chance for me to come out and try to give a little certainty... that's something absolutely we can do, give that level of certainty so we see businesses go out and invest," she told host Duncan Garner.

"We've had a change of Government... it creates a period of uncertainty and also we're an MMP Government, so no longer is it a case of go and look at an election manifesto and then you see the path you're heading down.

"So my message today is actually, if you want this Government's agenda they're in three places."

Ms Ardern is working on "changing our economic agenda", and says business confidence numbers don't accurately describe economic indicators which show things are going well.

"There have been economists who've said -and I quote - 'don't worry, be happy'," she says.

"I don't think anyone wants us to keep with the status quo where our economy is driven by housing speculation and migration."

Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett told The AM Show business needs confidence and certainty to succeed.

"One of the things we need to be really clear about is that a lack of confidence doesn't mean a bad economy," he says.

"But a lack of confidence and a lack of certainty do mean that we're not making the most of the environment that we've got at the moment.

"Making the most of the environment right now would be some decision-making from Government that would accelerate some of the activity for this economy."