NZ has ‘pro­duc­tiv­ity dis­ease’, says Air NZ boss

The Press - - Business - Anuja Nad­karni

Busi­ness Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil chair­man and Air New Zealand boss Christo­pher Luxon says New Zealand needs to tackle its ‘‘pro­duc­tiv­ity dis­ease’’.

‘‘We have a pro­duc­tiv­ity dis­ease across this coun­try and many of our sec­tors. Take tourism as an ex­am­ple,’’ he said.

‘‘As good as the growth has been in the last few years, when we line up the value of tourism di­vided by the num­ber of peo­ple work­ing in it we’re about mid-ta­ble in the world. If we can get our­selves to the top 10 per cent of the world there’s $9 bil­lion that will come to the tourism sec­tor, which will en­able high-pay­ing jobs.’’ Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern and Luxon an­nounced the group’s four pri­or­ity ar­eas yes­ter­day.

It will fo­cus on build­ing New Zealan­ders’ skills, ac­cel­er­at­ing the re­gions, at­tract­ing high­qual­ity in­vest­ment and ‘‘un­leash­ing’’ small busi­nesses. Luxon said com­mon ground had been quickly found.

‘‘We both share the same am­bi­tion to see New Zealand suc­ceed and are con­fi­dent that we have aligned on four ar­eas where busi­ness and Govern­ment work­ing closely to­gether can make a hugely pos­i­tive im­pact ... I am con­fi­dent we can start to de­liver the first out­puts from the pri­or­ity ar­eas prior to Christ­mas.’’

Luxon said the busi­ness com­mu­nity was united on the need for wage growth.

Ardern said the work of the coun­cil would help to un­leash the full po­ten­tial of the New Zealand econ­omy.

‘‘New Zealand has a long-term pro­duc­tiv­ity prob­lem. It is a hand­brake on the econ­omy and we need to fix it,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to ad­vice from the Busi­ness Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on how we can at­tract high-qual­ity in­vest­ment into the pro­duc­tive econ­omy.’’

Christo­pher Luxon

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