Refreshing our fiscal strategy
The Government borrowed to support the economy in response to COVID-19, keeping businesses afloat and helping to prevent long-term scarring
Our prudent fiscal management of running surpluses and reducing net debt before COVID-19 meant that we had a stronger starting position than other countries to use our balance sheet to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic. While the Government's fiscal response to the pandemic led to higher net debt and created a period of operating deficits, it also led to a stronger-than-expected economic recovery. The strength of our policy response to COVID-19 helped to prevent a deeper and longer-lasting recession as well as the associated impacts on New Zealand's wellbeing and living standards.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), OECD and international rating agencies have all recognised New Zealand's successful economic management of the COVID-19 crisis through investments that protected jobs and incomes and resulted in a strong economic recovery. This is also reflected in the two Triple-A credit ratings from Moody's and S&P Global Ratings on domestic currency debt, and a Triple-A credit rating from Moody’s on foreign currency debt.
-  See: International Monetary Fund, New Zealand: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2022 Article IV Mission, 23 March 2022 (https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles).
-  See: OECD, OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand 2022, 31 January 2022 (https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-economic-surveys-new-zealand_19990162).
-  For example, see S&P Global Ratings Bulletin, Surplus On The Horizon For New Zealand, December 2021.