Coronavirus crisis to be 'significantly worse' than GFC - Finance Minister Grant Robertson

Robertson. Photo credit: Getty

Finance Minister Grant Robertson reiterates New Zealand will go through a significant economic struggle in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.

"This is going to be significantly worse than the GFC [global financial crisis]," Robertson told reporters on Thursday.

Roberston said the Government had anticipated the COVID-19 crisis to be worse than the GFC, when New Zealand's unemployment rate climbed to 6.7 percent.

"This is going to be significantly worse than that," he said.

"I've seen some numbers in the media - from economists making projections. Those are very difficult projections to assess but we're here to cushion the blow.

"We cannot save every job and we cannot save every business so this is going to have a very, very large effect."

Earlier on Thursday, economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the economic recovery package unveiled by the Government last week, which totalled more than $12 billion, will become pivotal in ensuring New Zealand comes out the other side of this harsh economic period somewhat secure.

"When we come out the other side, we still have the businesses that exist and still have the jobs that are secure," he told The AM Show. "If we can do that, then at least the recovery out of this is going to be better than most other countries."

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, most countries have closed their borders, leading to airlines pulling out of routes and trade lines being disrupted. The tourism sector has also been shattered as a consequence.