New Zealand had its elections this past weekend and the provisional results leave the fate of the next government squarely in the hands of Mr. Winston Peters, the founder of New Zealand First (sound
Trump-esque familiar???) party, the Kingmaker. Mr. Peters has worked with both the National Party and the Labour Party in the past but his policies seem better aligned with that of the Labour Party’s at the moment.
Labour party wants to expand RBNZ’s mandate to include a focus on employment and NZ-First wants to go one step further and expand it to also include currency management. Labour wants to slash immigration by 20,000-30,000 annually and NZ-First’s Mr. Peters, who has a long standing anti-immigration stance, wants to slash migration to 10,000 a year – a drop of more than 60,000 annually!
If a marriage between NZ-First and Labour materializes, we fear that the New Zealand economy, which has grown tremendously on the back of rising immigration, will take a hit. As a result, RBNZ’s monetary policy will likely take a stimulatory tilt. Add in an expanded mandate for the central bank and this will be a perfect recipe for prolonged NZD weakness.
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