June 17, 2009
Improving productivity needs to be at the centre of the government's agenda over the remainder of its term in office. The previous government's focus was on drawing more people into the workforce - in fact paying people to join the workforce. The damage of such an approach has not yet been calculated. However, some work has been done on the effects on productivity. New Zealand Business Roundtable Articles shows that productivity growth slumped during the first nine years of the 21st century. New Zealand continued to lag behind the faster-growing Australian economy. Other commentators have already highlighted the greater use of technology, labour-saving devices, shorter working weeks and quality of management as potential contributing factors in the superior performance of other countries such as France and Ireland.