12 Apr 2011

Low wage economy a fact - PM

10:13 am on 12 April 2011

Prime Minister John Key says Finance Minister Bill English was simply stating facts when he made remarks about New Zealand's low wages.

Mr English on Friday told the Australia - New Zealand leadership forum that one of the current advantages New Zealand has over Australia is its lower wage rates.

Mr Key says Mr English was simply saying that lower wages present an opportunity to attract some investment in New Zealand.

He says the Government remains totally committed to closing the wage gap with Australia, but some companies are coming to New Zealand because it represents good value with high quality people.

However, Labour leader Phil Goff says the country is going backwards and to try to make an advantage out of how far it has slipped behind Australia in regard to wages and employment, is an absolute disgrace.