The Minister of Finance says it is possible the economy could fall back into recession.
New Zealand would be officially in recession again if the outcome of the next quarterly Gross Domestic Product figures due out in March show a second consecutive economic contraction.
Bill English told Morning Report that could happen if GDP falls by 0.1-0.2% as the economy slowly adjusts.
He says the recovery is taking a lot longer than anyone expected.
He says this particular type of recession, which has been caused by excessive debt more than anything else, takes a lot of time to unwind.
He says the experience of other countries, including the United States and Britain, show recovery is a bumpy road.