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Labour outlines economic vision

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/05/2017 Karen Sweeney

There were no surprises when Labour leader Andrew Little outlined his party's vision for New Zealand's economy to business leaders in Wellington.

Instead he pitched the party's policies on housing, young people not in work, education or training, and mental health.

Mr Little worries his generation is falling short in some of its efforts to leave a brighter world for those who follow.

"Economic policy should serve the need to prove security, stability and peace for all citizens," he told the Wellington Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Thursday.

There must be investment in health, education, jobs for young people and homes, which are the social foundations for success, he said.

Mr Little also touched on Labour's plan for immigration but didn't go into any detail on the policy which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

"You know, none of us would invite 20 people over for dinner if we didn't have 20 chairs for them to sit on," he said.

"Well right now, our cities don't have enough chairs."

Labour plans to focus on higher-skilled jobs to carefully manage immigration, he said.

Indications have been that work and student visas will be cut by "tens of thousands".

Earlier finance spokesman Grant Robertson told NZ Newswire that from monetary policy modernisation to plans for investment the party has been "pretty clear" on its broad economic framework.

"The core policies are really around how do we ensure that there is decent work for New Zealanders right around the country, how do we make sure that we invest in those building blocks of opportunity," he said.

Labour has also publicly committed to a series of budget responsibility rules with the Green Party, which Mr Robertson said gave an idea of how Labour would manage the economy if elected in September.

"I think it's important for New Zealanders both in terms of the business community and the public at large to have some certainty about the approach that an alternative government would take," he said.

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