December 7, 2022

Incremental changes needed to address supply chain issues – NZIER

Photo: Massey University

The Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) says New Zealand industries must continue to make incremental changes to address supply chain issues, particularly as normal international trade resumes.

“New Zealand has dodged an economic bullet,” said Chris Nixon, NZIER’s senior economist and report author.

“Although we are not celebrating, there should at least be a collective sigh of relief,” he said, adding that now was not the time for complacency given the continued pressures of recent years.

He said there have been huge upheavals in the supply chain, including the US-China trade war, increased consumer demand with the easing of monetary policy, port congestion – particularly in Auckland and the ongoing pandemic.

“That’s what New Zealand has had to endure, but the value of imports and exports are at record highs, albeit fueled by imported inflation.

“This is especially the case for perishable products that require supply chain flexibility.”

Ongoing work to improve the supply chain included establishing independent and trustworthy border agencies, embracing paperless digital trade opportunities, exploring new supply chains with new trades and reducing waste in the supply chain to mitigate climate impacts, he said.

“Climate change mitigation must be addressed and supply chains must play their part in mitigating food waste.

“None of this is easy, but we should be confident given what we’ve just been through with Covid.”