Economic Development and Sustainability

Executive Summary

New Zealand’s economy depends on a handful of sectors – a scenario which is unlikely to be sustainable, can be unfair and may not be fit-for-purpose in a changing world. New Zealand needs a more diverse economy with world-class innovation and commercialisation for sustainable, broad-based economic growth. This includes managing climate change for a low carbon economy. Achieving such an economy is vital for the future of work as it would enable workers to benefit from more and better jobs, fairer sustainable wages and higher value skills.

The key challenges for businesses will be capacity building, time and money. Solutions include creating networks of expertise, assistance for micro-businesses, crowd-funding, tax reform, facilitating business clusters and Government partnerships with iwi.

For world-class innovation and commercialisation, economic policy will need changes to incentivise new technology, new business models and high-value services. Achieving the right balance in intellectual property law and tackling financial and human capital constraints for high-growth businesses are major challenges here.

Promoting sustainable, broad-based economic growth will require levelling the playing field with off-shore businesses. Tackling out-dated regulation could include: a new minister or commissioner for regulation, or requiring officials to spend time in businesses. Reducing compliance and targeting government procurement could also help small business.

We need to look again at how we measure success in the economy, better manage our resources through environmental standards, higher value production and incentives. To tackling climate change there needs to be a smooth transition to a low carbon economy, more long-term planning and future-proofing of affected industries.

Key Questions

  • What do you see as the opportunities for New Zealand businesses and growth?

  • What do you see as the challenges for economic development and sustainability?

  • What policy solutions should Labour be looking at to ensure economic development policy supports the goals of decent work and higher wages?

  • What do you think of the issues and proposals raised in this paper?

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