Population needs to reach 15m by 2060 - Export NZ

A new report into lifting the country's export performance suggests New Zealand's population needs to reach 15 million in the next 50 years.

That's two and a half times current projections - and it's got Export New Zealand calling for a serious debate on population policy and immigration.

Executive director Catherine Beard thinks if our population doesn't increase, New Zealand risks being an isolated country at the bottom of world which can't catch up with others in terms of wages and jobs.

She says that means future generations may not be able to afford to stay in new Zealand.

Ms Beard says our country's smallness and isolation are big issues, and you can’t fake scale.

"The consultants say that we should be aiming for at least 15 million, three reasonable sized cities of 5 million each, and that would certainly give quite a big boost to our local economy and our ability to grow bigger businesses."

Catherine Beard adds the government could help to ease pressure on the Kiwi dollar by cutting less vital spending, like Working for Families.

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