Key Looks Ahead

6 March 2009 – The idea of growing a nation out of recession by improving productivity puts Prime Minister John Key and his conservative National Party at odds with Washington, Tokyo and Canberra writes Mary Kissel for the Wall Street Journal. You have to travel far to find a national leader who is talking about market-based approaches to the global recession. “We don’t tell New Zealanders we can stop the global recession, because we can’t,” says Key. “What we do tell them is we can use this time to transform the economy to make us stronger so that when the world starts growing again we can be running faster than other countries we compete with.” Key’s coalition government, which includes parties to the right and left of the Nationals, has moved fast to implement a program of tax cuts, regulatory reform and government retooling. He won’t label it supply-side economics and smiles when I ask if he’s a Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek acolyte. “I’m not deeply ideologically driven,” he says. “I believe in good center right politics.”

Tags: global recession  John Key  Mary Kissel  Wall Street Journal (The)