2 Jul 2016

National Party gathers for annual conference

3:15 pm on 2 July 2016

The Finance Minister Bill English has told the National Party conference Britain's decision to leave the European Union is a further risk to global financial stability.

The National Party conference in Christchurch this weekend.

The National Party conference in Christchurch this weekend. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

The party's 80th annual conference is being held in Christchurch this weekend.

Mr English told delegates financial markets seemed to be settling down after the initial shock, but Brexit has added to the risks in the global economy.

Asked whether this country would reorientate its economy back to Britain after the split, he said that it had spent 40 years reorientating away from the UK and was unlikely to change its focus again.

In his opening address to the conference, Prime Minister John Key said it was mid-way through a Parliamentary cycle and it was easy to spend time focussing on trying to be a fourth-term National government.

"But I don't think ... we should think so much about that factor, I think what we should focus on is that the voters of New Zealand don't concentrate on which term of government you're in, but about the results you can achieve for New Zealanders.

"We have delivered very stable and predictable government and we have to remain committed to the task, and there is absolutely no room, in my view, in the government for complacency, for arrogance or for mediocrity."

Party president Peter Goodfellow told delegates the party had been working for some time to make sure it has its finances were in place for next year's election.

He warned there was no room for complacency, and said National had worked too hard to lose to a fractured opposition.