A survey by New Zealand Chambers of Commerce in the upper region of the North Island reveals business confidence has fallen dramatically.
When questioned on their view of the New Zealand economy in the next six months, only 19 per cent believed it would improve, while 32 per cent believed it would deteriorate.
This compares with 31 per cent and 11 per cent respectively in the last quarterly survey.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec believes a significant part of the reason for the low confidence was the election, and the uncertainty created by a change in government.
“It was a government that took some time to be composed, and also promised significant changes would be coming. We've had some details, but there's a whole lot more to come yet,” he says.
“Business operates best in an environment of certainty – when business is confident it employs and invests.
“The uncertainty around immigration and investment intentions in infrastructure adds to this, but it should be short-lived once the new government clarifies its priorities.”
In regards to a Forbes article claiming New Zealand is likely to experience a recession under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Stan says he hasn't read the article, but has seen other headlines alluding to a more general, international recession on the horizon.
“So I wouldn't link it to the New Zealand government. I think if anything were to happen, the international situation would be just as significant a factor.”
The Chamber of Commerce survey also revealed employers are continuing to have difficulty finding the right people with the right skills, with 44 per cent of respondents indicating difficulty recruiting the right talent to grow their business.