Stripped of his housing portfolio, Phil Twyford has to rebuild his political reputation.
Given his spectacular failure with KiwiBuild, PM Jacinda Ardern might have been pardoned for leaving Twyford to work out his redemption in his other portfolio of Transport, which has enough problems of its own to demand the full-time attention of a struggling minister.
But Ardern has entrusted the Economic Development portfolio to Twyford. This has surprised some business leaders, and dismayed others.
NZ’s economic development is suffering from sustained and deep-seated malaise. Labour productivity, or output per hours worked, is around 40% lower than the output per hours worked of international peers. In a recent report the Productivity Commission noted the only members of the 36 countries within the OECD with both a lower productivity level and weaker productivity growth than NZ are Mexico and Greece. Continue reading “Our productivity growth has been flagging – so fixing this should be high on Phil’s new agenda”