Steven Joyce: NZ dollar could hit USD parity

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says that while the closure of one paper machine at the Kawerau mill was a consequence of the fact that newsprint making was a “declining industry”.

Speaking this weekend on TV3’s “The Nation” he rejected claims from the mill owners, Norske Skog, that the high New Zealand dollar was a factor in the closure.

Asked then if he agreed with Prime Minister John Key earlier in the year that above 73 cents to the American dollar it was “very difficult” for New Zealand manufacturers, Joyce said it was challenging.

“There’s no doubt about that, and there’s never been an exporter that doesn’t want to lower exchange rate, no matter what level” he said.

Joyce said that the dollar “may” hit parity with the US dollar.

“But that’ll be because the US is completely in the toilet,” he said.

“Ultimately it’s market fundamentals.

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