Minister of Commerce Craig Foss (left), with Wanaka Chamber
of Commerce president Leigh Stock, flew in from the North
Island yesterday to be a keynote speaker at the New Zealand
Chambers of Commerce annual conference being held at
Edgewater hotel in Wanaka this week. Photo by Lucy
Minister of Commerce Craig Foss insisted the Government
was doing all it could to ease the impact of an overvalued New
Zealand dollar, when he appeared as a keynote speaker at the
New Zealand Chambers of Commerce Conference in Wanaka
Mr Foss flew to Wanaka from the North Island for a brief
appearance at the three-day conference, themed "Leading the
Leaders", which began yesterday at Edgewater hotel in Wanaka.
"We are doing all we can to help businesses in New Zealand
deal with an overrated exchange rate with the US dollar," he
told the assembly of 48 delegates, representing 31 chambers
Although reducing the New Zealand dollar's value was
desirable, "practically, we cannot do it", he said.
"Every dollar spent defending what might seem an ideal level
to help our exporters ... is one dollar at risk, which is not
one dollar for a school, hospital, infrastructure, or any of
"By and large, most companies in New Zealand actually managed
their way through the whole situation. They've tightened
their lines, they've tightened their margins, they're pretty
lean and ready to fly once the economy starts to kick again."
He told the Otago Daily Times the Government
understood the frustration the high value of the dollar
caused, but was working hard with the things it could
control, such as government accounts and spending, to keep
interest rates and inflation low.
Former New Zealand cricketer Warren Lees and Waitaki MP
Jacqui Dean will speak during today's programme.
This is the first time the Wanaka Chamber of Commerce has
hosted the national conference.