7 Nov 2011

Main parties keep wary eye on global economy

6:17 pm on 7 November 2011

National Party leader John Key says the timing of the party's partial asset sales could be delayed if the international economy worsened.

The party wants to sell minority stakes in four state-owned energy companies, reduce the Government's majority shareholding in Air New Zealand and use the proceeds for infrastructure spending.

John Key says the National Party could look at delaying the partial sales as its time-frame is flexible.

He says even though international markets had been very volatile over the past year, the equity markets have remained strong.

Labour, meanwhile, says it would have to look at phasing in some of its policies if the international economy crashed.

Mr Goff says whichever party is in Government will need to take account of the international environment.

"If the international economy went belly-up, then of course you have to look again at how you can phase policies in," he said.

"We're basing our policies at the moment on the forecasts that we have to hand."

Mr Goff says New Zealand's focus on trade with the Asia-Pacific region has helped insulate the country to some extent from what is happening in Europe and the United States.