Staying virus-free has been bad for New Zealand’s economy

World

Staying virus-free has been bad for New Zealand’s economy

PM Jacinda Ardern to announce reopening strategy as labour shortages hurt businesses and spur inflation

Praveen Menon

Under pressure from businesses and public sectors facing a worker shortage that policymakers fear will fuel inflation, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to unveil plans this week to reopen the country’s borders.

Ardern garnered global praise for containing local transmission of Covid-19 via an elimination strategy, imposing tough lockdowns and slamming New Zealand’s international border shut in March 2020.

However, that tactic is now straining an economy heavily reliant on an immigrant workforce, leading to higher costs and lower output...

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