The New Zealand dollar saw a slight rise today - from 65.78 to 65.84 US cents. But was the quiver unjustly caused by a misstatement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?
That was the accusation from Opposition leader Simon Bridges today as he spoke with reporters in Parliament, just hours after the PM made a statement on Newstalk ZB that she insists wasn't an error.
"I am very pleased with the way we are tracking," she told host Mike Hosking, also stating that she'd been given "a hint" ahead of the second quarter gross domestic product figures set to be released in two days.
The Opposition says it shows the Prime Minister is distracted.
Source: 1 NEWS
But she was referring to the government's unaudited financial accounts, Ms Ardern later clarified. She doesn't have advanced access to GDP figures and so won't be able to comment on them until they're released on Thursday, she said.
Mr Bridges, however, referred to it as a serious "misstep".
"This matters, because these are possibly the most -- or certainly up there as the most - important figures," he said, adding that he listened to the interview live and the question seemed clearly to him to be about GDP. "They move the dollar. They move a bunch of other economic indicators. She needs to get that right.
"That she didn't I think shows that she is distracted. She's focused on the shambles of the coalition rather than what matters to New Zealanders."
The PM says her answer about the economy was correct but misunderstood while speaking on a radio show today.
Source: 1 NEWS
During her own chat with reporters at Parliament this morning, Ms Ardern held firm that the misunderstanding was on the part of Mike Hosking and Newstalk ZB.
"I know what I was talking about. Unfortunately, the question that was being asked was something different," she said. "I accept I was thinking about one thing, he was talking about another.
"Of course the Prime Minister does not get the GDP figures, nor should they. I could not comment on them because I haven't seen them."
Despite the criticism. Mr Bridges has acknowledged the fluctuation in the Kiwi dollar value is unlikely to be anything more than a minor blip because the Prime Minister's interview was clarified so quickly.