(Bloomberg) -- Top officials from New Zealand’s central bank held a “constructive” meeting with the new National Party-led coalition government, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said.
Orr, his chief economist and deputy governor met Tuesday with new Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister Nicola Willis to discuss the near-term outlook for the economy, Orr said at a press conference in Wellington Wednesday following the bank’s decision to keep its key rate unchanged at 5.5%.
“The vibe in the room was incredibly constructive and highly focused on the job in hand,” Orr said. “And the number one job in hand is for us to reduce inflation.”
Read more: New Zealand Keeps Rates Unchanged, Forecasts Risk of Hike
Orr’s response to the new government was highly anticipated due to his sometimes tense relationship with the National Party. He has previously clashed with Willis in fiery select committee meetings, and she was less than flattering when he was reappointed as governor last year.
The new government also plans to strip the central bank of its dual mandate and return it to a sole focus on inflation. It will also take advice on deeper RBNZ reforms.
“We have to deal with whatever the mandate is,” Orr said.
Orr also defended the RBNZ’s use of Māori language in its communications, as the new administration prepares to curb government department’s use of the language.
Orr said the bank will continue to use its Māori name, Te Pūtea Matua, and to embrace te ao Māori — respect and acknowledgment of Māori customs and protocols — while being anchored to its legal mandate. He described it as a “proud position” and signed off the press conference with a Maori expression, “kia ora”.
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