16 Oct 2010

Labour signals wider role for Reserve Bank

7:46 pm on 16 October 2010

The Labour Party has signalled that, if elected to government, it will require the Reserve Bank to do more to keep the value of the New Zealand dollar down.

At the party's annual conference in Auckland on Saturday, delegates were told that the high value of the dollar is damaging exports.

Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe says the Reserve Bank has taken limited action to influence the exchange rate and Labour would make that a more important priority.

As an incoming government, Mr Cunliffe says, Labour would require the bank to "play a much more activist role in currency markets, intervening on occasion to impose costs on speculators and, if you like, make the New Zealand dollar less attractive as a risk punt".

Mr Cunliffe says that this approach will form part of a more interventionist economic policy to be included in the party's election manifesto next year.