Oil dependence driving mortgage costs
Green Media Release 17th January 2008
Today's announcement that rising petrol prices have driven inflation above three percent must trigger the Government to
rethink its love affair with motorways, says Green Party Co-leader Dr. Russel Norman.
"New Zealand's current oil-dependent economy is extremely vulnerable to world oil prices, and until the Government acts
to insulate us from the ever-increasing price of oil, kiwi families will pay for this short-sightedness not only at the
petrol pump, but also through their mortgages and rents," says Dr Norman, the Green Party's spokesperson on economics.
"With inflation pushing over the three percent ceiling that Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard is charged with
maintaining, there is little hope that interest rates will come down, leaving many families struggling to make mortgage
and rent payments.
"This means that people with home mortgages will continue to pay a fortune in interest payments to overseas owned banks
just to have a roof over their heads. This will also flow into higher rents making it harder for families to pay the
"What we need is for the Government to drastically alter the balance between investments in motorways, and investments
in less oil dependant modes of transport. We need more buses and trains, so that people can get where they need to, on
time, without taking the car. We need liveable cities, where cycling and walking is safe enough so that parents
encourage their kids to get active on the way to school. If we increased investment in rail, we could get freight off
our roads, further decreasing our oil dependence.
"The right choices are clear, and I am hopeful that this latest economic indicator will wake the Government up so that
they act now to release our economy from the stranglehold of imported oil."