New Zealand biggest loser in world competitiveness rankings

Sat, 18 Jun, 2022

“Labour’s various policy missteps are being noticed globally, according to the latest edition of the World Competitiveness Booklet. New Zealand is the biggest loser, falling 11 places to 31st out of 63 countries,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Swiss-based Institute for Management Development compiles the index each year. It uses 333 data points from publicly available data and surveys of executives to evaluate the competitiveness of each country in four areas, being Economic Performance, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency, and Infrastructure. They have been publishing the index for 34 years.

“This year New Zealand is 31st out of 63 countries, while Australia is 19th. Comments on New Zealand include ‘labour shortages across almost all sectors of the economy… low productivity and resultant lack of competitiveness on wages… high house prices and stubborn inequality… Short term policy thinking…’

“In other words, Labour have closed New Zealand off from the world, productivity remains in the tank, house prices went crazy thanks to inflationary fiscal and monetary policy, and the Government engages in a series of knee-jerk fixes. We could have said that, but the IMD has now discovered it.

“Looking deeper into the data, things have been getting worse for some time under Labour. In Government Efficiency, one of four subcategories, we have sunk from 7th to 17th since 2018. Economic performance, 33rd down to 47th. Business Efficiency, 28th down to 36th, Infrastructure, 25th down to 29th. In every area we are performing worse under Labour.

“As I said when launching ACT’s alternative budget, we risk losing first world status. As we lose competitiveness, we lose skilled people and investment. As we lose skilled people and investment, we become less competitive. This is the spiral we must avoid.

“ACT’s policies would remedy this slide. One of the worst scores for New Zealand is in foreign investment. ACT would remove restrictions on investments from democratic OECD countries. We would introduce 30-year partnerships between each council and central Government to embed long-term thinking on infrastructure.

“Unfortunately things are going to get worse before they get better. We score badly for our labour market, but Labour want to give us so-called “Fair Pay Agreements” and an immigration ‘reset.’

“Yet another good reason we need a Government of real change is to prevent us losing our international competitiveness.”