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News In Brief

New Zealand's new regime plans steps to aid economy

The newly elected Labour Party government said Wednesday it would devalue the New Zealand dollar by 20 percent, freeze prices for three months, and abolish all controls on interest rates.

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Prime Minister-elect David Lange told a news conference his government had no choice but to devalue the dollar because of severe economic problems for which he blamed the outgoing prime minister, Sir Robert Muldoon, who is also finance minister.

The new value of the New Zealand dollar will be measured against a group of other currencies.