Sir John Key says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern uninterested in post-COVID-19 economy

Former Prime Minister Sir John Key says while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern communicates well she is disinterested in the economy.

In an interview with John Banks on Magic Talk on Thursday Key said the Government is "fundamentally distrustful" of the private sector and Ardern lacks passion for the economy.

"I don't know whether the economy is her big thing really," he said.

"I don't know if she's terribly interested in all that stuff."

He also accused the Government of "not listening" to economic professionals.

"They're listening to the health professionals but not the economic ones," he said.

Despite his disappointment with Ardern's perceived lack of economic passion Key admitted her communication skills are impressive.

"[People say] she communicates well and that's true, she does and she always has."

Key's comments follow his assertion that the borders should open to allow wealthy business people to invest in luxury homes in New Zealand in order to create jobs and stimulate the economy. 

"It's just common sense," he told Banks. 

New Zealand's borders are currently closed to anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident to protect the country against a second wave of COVID-19. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Wednesday the Government is confident in its economic response.

Robertson said in a statement New Zealand entered the pandemic with low debt and therefore fared well. 

"We were in one of the strongest positions in the world to invest to cushion the blow and position the economy for recovery. It has also meant that we will come out of COVID-19 with one of the lowest debt positions for any advanced economy in the world.

"We have always said that the best economic response was a strong health response."