New Zealand can turn economy around fast, be 'wealthier than ever before' - Winston Peters

New Zealand can emulate the success of the US after the Great Depression by exploiting our own resources to turn the economy around quickly, the Deputy Prime Minister says.

Winston Peters told Magic Talk that New Zealand has an opportunity to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic a "superior, more wealthy, more egalitarian society than we ever were before".

The New Zealand economy has taken a hammering during the coronavirus outbreak, with banks anticipating a 6 percent contraction of our gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

But Peters says New Zealand can harness the crisis to make our economy stronger in the long-term, in a similar fashion to Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s, which saw the US become the world's most powerful economy.

"There are examples in history where you can turn that around... If you follow the right script, it doesn't take a long time," he told Magic Mornings with Peter Williams.

"Roosevelt with the New Deal set out to change the United States, and dramatically they did in a very short time. But in that short time, they had got tremendous industrial utilities going to make themselves the strongest economy in the world."

Peters says the key for New Zealand is in becoming "a smarter economy" by "[getting] rid of some of the dross and stupid ideas that dragged this country down in the past".

"We realise that our country's future lies in what we do well, the added value and the great advantages we have as a country," he continued.

"This is a country that had four pharmaceutical companies and ended up with none - don't go down that pathway again in the future... This country, that has all this wood, doesn't have a wood-first housing policy.

"All those things have got to change, rather than the waste of money in the importation of substitutes, when we've got so much that's here to exploit, make an economic success of and provide employment from.

"We have got to be a smarter economy, and this gives us the chance to hopefully come out of it and be just that."

Earlier this month, the Government unveiled a $12.1 billion financial package that offered tax breaks, wage subsidies and sick leave support to keep the otherwise crippling economic impacts of coronavirus at bay.

In announcing the package, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said it was just the start, and promised that the Government would be "constantly monitoring the situation and adjusting its response".