ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner was the guest speaker at the latest Electra Business Breakfast held at the Southward Car Museum in Kāpiti.

"She spoke on the New Zealand Covid economic environment covering the macro global view, drilling down the New Zealand and regional perspective," organiser Helene Judge said.

"She spoke with knowledge and confidence and certainly demonstrated that she and her team are in a unique position to provide the views that she did as we start the recovery phase post-Covid.

"She made it clear New Zealand is the envy of the world with no community transmission and a supportive Government, yet our reward for Covid will still be a recession.


"Quarantine at the border is needed to keep the virus out yet very expensive at $4000 per person.

"This has a real impact on all New Zealanders and those wanting to return home – there are more than a million New Zealand passports resident around the world so just imagine the impact if they all want to return home in the short term with pressure on housing and some likely needing social assistance, and others just wanting a safe haven until they can return to where they came from.

"These New Zealanders have the potential to be high-value domestic tourists while they are here.

"She went on to cover industries hard-hit like health and construction, particularly with migrant worker losses and the tourism trail from Auckland, the Coromandel, Rotorua and the South Island, along with the education sector with the lack of foreign students.

"With some hope is the New Zealand agricultural and food production in between the tourism hot spots which other countries need and are demanding.

"With nimble exporters this means the potential for an export-led recovery.

"She made it clear monetary policy is tapped out and New Zealand banks are preparing for potential negative interest rates in April or May 2021.

"She referred to this as 'twilight zone material' and we need to be careful not to give the key to politicians to the money printing room.


"She confirmed a reset will be necessary for New Zealand to reduce debt and she felt some Governments in the world may never pay back money they have borrowed during this time.

"She was certain the US will shrink, China will grow out of this recession and New Zealand and Australia will need to make value and commodity price choices.

"The New Zealand Reserve Bank is likely to print more money in August and interest rates will remain at historical lows for some time, which first home buyers and investors will embrace.

"Sharon was insightful, well-spoken and we thank ANZ for bringing her to Kāpiti and for hosting many of their local business clients at the breakfast."