17 Nov 2012

PM doubts bank forecast on Christchurch rebuild

11:01 am on 17 November 2012

Prime Minister John Key has dismissed a Reserve Bank forecast that economic growth rates will begin to decline next year as the rebuild peaks in earthquake-hit Christchurch.

Reserve Bank modelling shows continued growth through to 2013, when it says the Christchurch rebuild will peak, after which growth will decline.

Mr Key told TV3's The Nation on Saturday that New Zealand at least has growth - which is better than most other countries.

He says he also doubts that the Christchurch rebuild will peak next year.

"I'm not so convinced of that. We all sat around saying it was a $20 billion problem in Christchurch. Well, actually, it could be a lot more than that. So there's a lot of stimulus to happen for a long period of time."

Mr Key says if the central bank truly believed that there would no growth beyond 2013, it could cut interest rates which remain high compared with rates around the world.