10 Feb 2012

NZ insulated against Greek default says Finance Minister

6:55 am on 10 February 2012

Finance Minister Bill English says New Zealand is reasonably well insulated against a default by Greece, and he's hopeful leaders will stabilise the euro before a major meltdown.

Mr English says he expects moderate economic growth in New Zealand over the next few years, because of strong export prices and the Christchurch rebuild.

And Mr English says a default by Greece would not have much of an immediate effect on New Zealand, because only about 25% of the country's exports head to Brtain, the United States and Europe.

He says if there is some sort of dramatic event in Europe, such as the break up of the euro or some sort of serial default, then it will have an effect not only New Zealand, but all around the world.

Mr English says there's a chance of that, but the track record so far is that the European politicians in the end take the measures they need to stabilise things, once they realise that not doing anything will be worse.

He says every time the market thinks there will be an extremely bad result then they seem to get together to find some sort of solution.