Coronavirus: High credit rating shows NZ in strong position to bounce back from COVID-19 - Finance Minister Grant Robertson

The Finance Minister says an analysis by international credit agency Moody's shows the country is in a strong position to offset the economic impact of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, Moody's reaffirmed New Zealand's Aaa credit rating, indicating the highest level of confidence in the country's economy.

The rating means that there is a high level of trust that New Zealand can meet its financial obligations and is creditworthy.

An analysis of the country's economy released on Monday said that New Zealand’s low government debt puts it in a position to invest in infrastructure, housing, education and measures to support families.

Finance Minister Grant Roberston says the report should give Kiwis confidence that the country is in a solid position to bounce back from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

"New Zealand’s low government debt compared to the rest of the world puts us in a strong position to invest in the economy to create jobs and lift incomes as we recover from the impact of COVID-19," said Finance Minister Grant Roberston. 

The Government has already poured billions of dollars into the economy in stimulus packages aimed at offsetting the effects of the pandemic. 

Earlier this month, Robertson said the Government had earmarked $50 billion to stem the fallout, but that even more could be spent if needed.

"We do have to do what it takes here to get New Zealanders through this and allow us to kickstart the economy on the other side," he told The AM Show at the time.

The nationwide lockdown - which on Tuesday shifted from level 4 to level 3 - has had a crippling effect on many businesses in the country. Although the Government wage subsidy scheme has aimed at keeping as many companies as possible afloat, many have already lost their jobs and experts have warned that unemployment is set to surge as the economic impacts of COVID-19 resonate. 

Robertson on Tuesday said the focus for the Government now was to rebuild the economy and get as many people back to work as possible.

"We are continuing to build our recovery plan in areas like infrastructure investment, manufacturing, regional opportunities, and the digital economy to cushion the blow of COVID-19, create jobs and boost incomes."

Although experts have widely agreed stimulus is needed to help kickstart economies around the world and help them recover, many have also warned such measures will have long-lasting effects as Governments will need to grapple with paying back the debt in years to come.