Changed mood on economy

The mood of the nation is considerably different now compared with five years ago, ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie told the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday.

Today, ''generally speaking you would get more than half'' of New Zealanders saying yes in a referendum to compulsory savings (KiwiSaver) and raising the retirement age.

But in 1997, when a referendum was held on compulsory savings, it was rejected by more than 90% of the population and it would have been a similar outcome for a question of whether to raise the retirement age, Mr Bagrie said.

''The mood of a nation is suddenly different. They're starting to think different ... and I take that as a real ... plus.''

A year ago, Mr Bagrie predicted the New Zealand economy could reach ''rock star'' status in the coming years. Yesterday, he said the dynamics of the ''rock star'' did worry him.

He told the resort's business leaders economies were notorious for going through stages, induced by humans who were ''wired that we must stuff things up every 10 years'', and that throwing around terms like ''rock star'' could influence haphazard behaviour from businesses or complacency.

''Those dynamics start to sow the seeds of the next calamity.''

The effects of the 2008 global financial crisis were still being felt in some parts of the world but, ultimately,

New Zealand was ''on a real firm track in terms of where we are going'' and the transtasman migration flow ''collapsing'' illustrated the positive direction New Zealand was taking.

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