The Treasury

Global Navigation

Personal tools


New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview 2016

Economic Overview


New Zealand has a small open economy which operates on free market principles. It has a sizeable manufacturing and a large services sector complementing a highly efficient export-oriented agricultural sector. Primary commodities account for more than half of total goods exports while exports of goods and services represent around one-third of real expenditure GDP.

New Zealand's high proportion of winter sunshine hours and considerable rainfall provide an ideal base for pastoral agriculture, forestry, horticulture and hydro-electricity generation. New Zealand is also a popular overseas visitor destination and tourism is an important source of export income.

Over the past three decades, the New Zealand economy has changed from being one of the most regulated in the OECD to one of the least regulated. The minority National-led Government first elected in November 2008, and re-elected for a third term in September 2014, aims to lift the long-term performance of the economy through five key policy drivers: building a stronger economy; investment in world-class infrastructure; better public services; rebuilding Christchurch; and by building a safer New Zealand.

Page top