20 Oct 2008

NZ First says Reserve Bank Act a bottom line issue

5:01 pm on 20 October 2008

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says changing the Reserve Bank Act will be a bottom line in any post-election negotiation with his party.

Mr Peters told a gathering of party supporters in Whangarei on Sunday 19 Occtober that exorbitant interest rates are destroying small businesses and threatening homeowners.

The New Zealand First leader has long argued for changes to the Reserve Bank Act, saying it needs to be rewritten to benefit exporters, but on Sunday he said the policy would be a bottom line in any agreement with either major party.

Mr Peters says he would not stand by and let people lose their homes purely because of high interest rates and "blind ideology".

He says with the country in a recession, he wants legislation changed to give the governor of the Reserve Bank the right tools to encourage growth and employment.

"Right now, inflation is not New Zealand's problem, our problem is a massive lack of confidence, a significant recession coming, and nothing being done to stop it now, before it sets in."