Welcome to the NZAE blog


The intention of this blog is to highlight economists’ work and provide material to support education and general understanding, especially as it relates to economics in New Zealand. It is not a forum for advocacy (other than better use of economics). Posts are categorised as Events, Insights or NZAE News (includes subcategories). Posts are also tagged with the JEL Classification and/or as considered appropriate (see list below). Authors are generally Councillors of the NZAE. Anyone can provide comments. Any views expressed are not necessarily those of the NZAE.

NIWA Environmental Economist

Want to work in Aotearoa New Zealand? Passionate about delivering economic research that makes a difference?

  • Full time, permanent position (37.5 hours per week)
  • Based in Hamilton
  • $95,000 to $125,000, depending on skills and experience.
  • Generous benefits (i.e., leave, professional development, wellness, family sick leave

NIWA is a dynamic research organisation and New Zealand’s largest and pre-eminent provider of climate, freshwater and marine science. Our core purpose is to enhance the economic value and sustainable management of New Zealand’s aquatic resources and environments, to provide an understanding of climate and the atmosphere, and increase resilience to weather and climate hazards to improve safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

The position is part of the Social Sciences and Economics Team within NIWA. The team comprises seven staff based primarily in Hamilton. We work across NIWA’s scientific platforms on multidisciplinary research and consultancy projects and lead social science and economics research providing applied knowledge and engagement to support decision-making by industry, government, Māori and community organisations.

What we’re looking for

The purpose of this position is to conduct economic research that supports the delivery of NIWA’s National Outcomes: Adapting to a changing climate; Transitioning to a low carbon economy; Caring for our biodiversity; A more productive sustainable economy; and, Improving the health of our waterways and oceans. We seek a formally trained economist to support and work as an effective team member across a number of multidisciplinary projects, applying specialist expertise in economic assessment and appraisal. Tertiary qualifications in economics are essential, as is demonstrated experience in applying economic theory to real world problems. Candidates must be able to demonstrate expertise in non-market valuation, and preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in this area. Knowledge of and experience in Aotearoa New Zealand freshwater contexts is an advantage. You will engage widely with staff across NIWA’s science platforms and national centres, as well as external partnerships, providing innovative research design and economic insight to enhance NIWA’s research and consulting activities, external bidding activities (research and commercial), and establishing value for stakeholders and partnerships.

What you will bring: To be successful in this position you will have:

  • A formal tertiary qualification in economics.
  • Demonstrated experience in applying resource economics and economic assessment.
  • Demonstratable skills in non-market valuation.
  • Strong technical skills applicable to analysing the economic dimensions of the biophysical world.
  • A track record of working in applied settings with decision-making and policy implications.
  • Research design, project management and/or delivery experience.
  • Familiarity with environmental priorities in New Zealand and the Pacific region, including climate change adaptation, transitioning to a low carbon economy, caring for biodiversity, enhancing a sustainable economy, and improving the health of waterways and oceans.
  • Experience working with multidisciplinary and or multicultural teams.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively in multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams.
  • Skills in oral and written communication to multiple audiences, including a scientific and/or industry publication track record.
  • A willingness to working with Māori and developing the associated capabilities to working effectively with Māori (incl. researchers, senior leaders, groups and organisations).

For more information about the vacancy, please see here: NIWA Environmental Economist job description

NZARES-NZAE Joint ECR Virtual Workshop 2023

We are pleased to announce that NZARES and NZAE organize the first-ever Early Career Researcher (ECR) workshop this year on September 6, 2023. We define Early Career Researchers (ECR) as students at the undergraduate (honours), graduate (honours or masters), or post-graduate level and scholars within 5 years of receiving their Ph.D. This workshop offers a platform for ECRs to connect, receive feedback on their work, and build connections, albeit virtually. The ECRs focusing on agricultural economics, resource economics, environmental economics, development economics, farm management, agricultural systems, agricultural extension, and food marketing are encouraged to submit extended abstracts of their ongoing research. The day-long workshop will be divided into three parts. Part one will comprise a keynote presentation by Dr. Ana Manero, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, highlighting the Opportunities and Challenges of publishing as an ECR. Part two will have three consecutive sessions with contributed papers. Each accepted paper will be allocated 15 minutes for presentation, followed by 5 minutes of questions and discussion. Part 3 will conclude with a panel discussion on the future of publishing academic papers and AGM of NZARES for 2023.

The organizing committee cordially invites interested students and scholars to submit their extended abstracts to nzares@nzares.org.nz by July 14, 2023, at 5:00 PM NZST. Authors will be informed about the acceptance of their submission by August 7, 2023. A 350-words extended abstract is required in the following format:

  1. Motivation/problem statement
  2. Purpose/Research Question(s)
  3. Method(s)
  4. Findings
  5. Policy Implications

We will award two prizes for the best presentation; NZD 1,000 for the best presenter and NZD 500 for the first-time presenter enrolled in an NZ University.

Organizing Committee:

  • Assoc. Prof. Nazmun N. Ratna, Lincoln University
  • Prof. Peter Tozer, Massey University
  • Meike Guenther, Lincoln University
  • Assoc. Prof. Dennis Wesselbaum, University of Otago

Recipients of NZAE Conference 2023 prizes

Congratulations to the following recipients of prizes associated with NZAE Conference 2023. More detail on each prize is available at https://nzae.org.nz/prizes/

David Teece Prize in Industrial Organisation and Firm Behaviour Doriani Lingga, Simona Fabrizi & Steffen Lippert: “The News Media Bargaining Code: A two-sided Market Framework”
New Zealand Economic Policy Prize Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy: “Evaluating the Long-Run Effects of Zoning Reforms on Urban Development”
A R Bergstrom Prize in Econometrics Daniel Watt: “On the Effect of Social Housing in New Zealand”
NZIER Poster prize – open Linda Tran: “Measuring the wellbeing impacts of urban regeneration“
NZIER Poster prize – student Linda Tran: “Measuring the wellbeing impacts of urban regeneration“
People’s Choice Poster Linda Tran: “Measuring the wellbeing impacts of urban regeneration“
Jan Whitwell Doctoral Stuart Donovan: “An urban overhead? Crimes, amenities, and agglomeration economies”
Jan Whitwell Bachelors / Masters Maui Brennan: “The effect of Workfare on Material Well-being: Evidence from the 2012 Welfare Reform”
Best NZ Economics Honours Dissertation Daniel Watt: ”On the Effect of Social Housing in New Zealand”
Seamus Hogan Research Prize Doriani Lingga, Simona Fabrizi & Steffen Lippert: “The News Media Bargaining Code: A two-sided Market Framework”
Stata Prize for Excellence in Graphics Communications Guanyu Zheng & Marea Sing: “Sectoral reallocation and income growth in the labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic”
Stats NZ Prize Stuart Donovan, Thomas de Graaff, Henri L.F. de Groot & Aaron Schiff: “An urban overhead? Crimes, agglomeration and amenity”

NZAE Conference 2023: First call for papers

The New Zealand Association of Economists is pleased to announce the First Call for Papers for its 63rd Annual Conference.

Please submit an abstract of not more than 250 words of your paper for either an oral presentation or the poster session. Full papers are not required at this stage, but for a paper to be considered eligible for the Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Economic Policy, Seamus Hogan, David Teece, Bergstorm or Stata prizes, a full paper must be
submitted by Tuesday 6th June.

Abstracts can be submitted here.

You are welcome to submit up to three papers. If we are only able to accept one of the submissions, we will contact you to ask which paper you prefer to present. This limit applies to the number of papers presented by any one person, and not to the number of papers on which they are a co-author.

Please see the 2023 First Call for Papers notice for more information and key dates. 

Please address all conference enquiries to:

John Saunders
NZAE Conference Committee

Shelley Haring
Conference Co-Ordinator

NZAE Conference 2023: Key dates

The 63rd New Zealand Association of Economists Annual Conference will be held at Auckland University of Technology on 28 June – 30 June 2023.

Key dates:

  • February 24 – Abstract portal opens
  • March 27 – Conference registration opens
  • April 3 – Abstracts due
  • By April 24 – Notification of acceptances
  • May 15 – Registration deadline for presenters
  • May 19 – Deadline for early-bird registration
  • June 6 – Full papers due (entries for SNZ, NZEP, SH, DT, B, Stata, prizes)
  • June 28 – Conference begins

Suzanne Snively awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Suzanne Snively was born in the United States and came to New Zealand on a Fulbright scholarship in 1972.  Her undergraduate years were spent at a liberal arts college, Reed College, with an academic focus, requiring every undergraduate to attend two years of shared lectures that covered the history of western civilization, 2 years of a foreign language, 2 years of a science subject as well as several terms doing physical activity.  Weekly tutorials, capped at 7 students, were held for all subjects. Freedom of thought and speech were key principles, and everything was on the table for discussion.

While at Reed, Suzanne worked half-time at the Office of Economic Opportunity, a US agency set up by JF Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan mandated to test poverty alleviation programs.

Amongst others, her professors at Reed included her senior year thesis supervisor, Carl Stevens, (industrial relations mediation/negotiation, health economics) who taught half time at Harvard, Arthur Leigh (monetary economics) and Millie Howe (income distribution).  Her senior year thesis was about the public provision of health care to assist in alleviating poverty.  It included an analysis of Kaiser Permanente’s Service wrap around health services. While researching for her thesis, Suzanne was also seeking a federal grant for drug rehabilitation of returning Vietnam War Veterans called Janus.  The program received $3 million dollars in federal funding and is still in existence today.

Suzanne served on the Reed Council which was composed of half students and half faculty.  She became President of the Council and was the student rep on the committee to select a new Reed college president (Vice Chancellor).  Another role was to engage speakers to come to the campus and amongst these was Milton Friedman (whose son also attended Reed).  Friedman spoke on campus two times while she was at Reed and a lot of preparation went into questions from faculty and students to encourage him to think about whether his monetary policy was conducive to reducing poverty. For Friedman, everything hinged on equality of opportunity.  It wasn’t until later when Suzanne had children that it became clear that everyone is starting from a different place even when born into the same family.  In 1970, Seventeen Magazine changed the policy for its annual August college (university) edition to select women who were thought leaders on campus.  Suzanne was one of the top 10 college women for the magazine and was taken to New York to stay at the Plaza Suite Hotel for the photo shoot and to be interviewed along with the other 9 women student leaders by David Frost. 

When it came time to apply to graduate school, Suzanne decided to apply for study overseas prior to going onto law school.  As her mailbox was full of anti-apartheid, anti-Vietnam, Black Power and “Stop Eating California Grapes” literature, many of the other circulars had fallen out.  Reed was very focused on its students applying for overseas scholarships. Fortunately, her studies with Millie Howe had described how New Zealand was renowned in the 1960s for having one of the most equal income distributions with very low recorded rates of unemployment, apparently little poverty and the fourth highest GDP per capita. Suzanne’s studies with Carl Stevens had discussed the greater availability of government-funded health care to vulnerable populations.

“I thought I needed to go and see what New Zealand’s secret is, so I can bring [that knowledge] back to the US and change it for the better,” she said in an interview.

When Suzanne arrived in New Zealand on 21 February 1972, there were 212 people registered as unemployed and people joked to her that everyone knew their names.

Her 1972 Honours Year at Victoria University was a rich experience.  The class comprised two women and three men at the core plus another Fulbright scholar and some other part-timers.  John Zanetti taught methodology, sprinkled with lots of Karl Popper. FJL Young led the VUW Industrial Relations Centre with Noel Woods and Ted Keating. They built strong relationships with the Department of Labour, the Employers and Manufacturers and the CTU.  Brian Philpott brought national income accounting to life via the works of Cambridge Economist, Richard Stone. Les Castle’s previous experience at MFAT, his leading role with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (he raised $100,000 from the US-based Ford Foundation, a lot of money in the day) and his close association with public policy via Treasury Secretary Henry Lang provided helpful context for scoping her Fulbright research.

Despite a successful Honours year, it was difficult to gain acceptance as a career woman and an American in New Zealand.  So, Suzanne made plans to return to the US to complete a law degree. Then, days before her departure, in unexpected circumstances, she met television interviewer Ian Fraser (who later became head of TVNZ). He was a much more perceptive interviewer than David Frost.  Suzanne and Ian settled in the Wellington suburb of Kelburn, where they raised their 3 children.

Denis Rose employed her at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research where she learned from Kerrin Vautier and eventually took over running Conrad Blythe’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion.  She was part of the Quarterly Predictions Team, specialising in forecasting the consumers price index and the government’s budget deficit. It was a high point in New Zealand economic forecasting.  The forecasting teams of NZIER, the RBNZ, the Treasury and later Inland Revenue and Infometrics, met regularly to compare forecasting models, assumptions, and trends.  

Frank Holmes recruited Suzanne in 1980 to work for the New Zealand Planning Council chaired by National Government Energy Minister, Bill Birch. There she contributed to two reports examining the tax system. The analysis let to options for simplifying the tax system and addressing the impact of fiscal drag on the progressive personal income tax rates. 

Paul Baines then invited Suzanne as the first economist to work for sharebrokers, Jarden and Co.  The research division was expertly led by Brian Gaynor and included Ray Thomson and Lloyd Morrison.  Her decision to work there was based on the opportunity it provided to widen her economic knowledge so that her income distribution research would be taken more seriously. 

Suzanne began part-time work at the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in 1986 after submitting her thesis and receiving a Masters with Distinction

While working at DSW, Suzanne was approached by Dr Carol Shand to join Help, the Sexual Abuse Foundation, and by Aucklander, Barbara Goodman, to join the Women’s Refuge Foundations. One of her first contracts when joining Coopers in Lybrand in 1993 was to do the research for a report, The New Zealand Economic Cost of Family Violence. This report became the basis for similar overseas studies including in the UK and the US.

The Housing Corporation of New Zealand recruited Suzanne to join in 1988 to produce a housing model.  This was followed by a contract with the Department of Health from 1990 to manage the mainstreaming of people with disabilities into the community. 

While she was working on part-time contracts with the public sector, Suzanne took on some Board appointments.  Roger Douglas appointed her to the Reserve Bank Board starting in November 1985. 

Through her association as an inaugural friend of Circa Theatre, Suzanne met Edith Campion who appointed her to R A Hannah’s Board as the Shareholder’s representative in 1987.  As well as the shoe company, Hannah’s had several subsidiaries including Modern Bags, Warnocks and Dress for Less. It has shoe factories in Wellington and Whanganui.

Suzanne Chaired Cosmopolitan FM between 1987/89 while it applied for one of the first licenses in the FM frequency. 

In 1989, Wellington City Council appointed Suzanne via a competitive process to join the Board of Capital Holdings.  This was the name of the Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE) overseeing the city’s commercial entities.  At that time, the WCC was involved in many commercial activities and Capital Holdings had 10 diverse subsidiaries including port, meat, milk delivery, energy, property companies and so on.  It also governed WCC’s interest in Wellington Airport and Suzanne was appointed to represent Capital Holdings on that Board as well for a couple of years.

Minister David Caygill appointed Suzanne as a member the Sir Spencer Russell Committee on the Taxation of Charities and Sporting Bodies in 1989. As a result of the economic analysis carried out by the committee, the incomes of volunteer organisations remained untaxed and the tax rebate available to those making donations was increased.

Sir Basil Logan included Suzanne along with Malcolm McCaw and Richard Miller to carry out an independent review of Wellington City Council in 1990/91.

Suzanne attended both Expo 88 and Expo 92 to accompany her husband on New Zealand National Days. She was an economic commentator on radio and for the Dominion newspaper describing the opportunities for New Zealand business and tourism.

Suzanne approached Coopers & Lybrand for a job in 1993, where she was invited into the Partnership in 1996, shortly after that merging with Price Waterhouse to become PwC and she remained with the firm until 2010. While at PwC, she was lead partner in projects relating to strategies for MSD, IRD, DIA and other government agencies.  She also led several economic strategy and social impact studies.

In 1993, she became a Judge of the Business Kapiti/ Howowhenua Electra Business Awards, becoming the Chief Judge in the mid-2000s.  These are one of the longest existing continuously improving business awards.

As chair of Fulbright New Zealand from the mid-1990s until 2004, Suzanne and the Executive Director, Mele Wendt, led and implemented a strategy that increased the number of Fulbright awards, promoting the awards to potential funders both in terms of the educational and economic value gained. 

Suzanne also chaired the Board of Mary Potter Hospice at this time, working with the Board and Management on activities that led to increases in both its revenue from donations and from the government.  This enabled the service to provide strong support for its nurses, clinicians and staff across the wider Wellington west-coast region.

Other Board roles during that time include:

  • HealthCARE Wairarapa/ HealthCARE Otago
  • Whititeria NZ ITP (2002 – 2013)
  • WNZL, Chair (2009-2013)
  • Weltec ITP (2010 – 2013)

In 2009/10, Suzanne was appointed by then Whanau Ora Minister, Hon Dame Tariana Turia, to the Whanau Ora Task Force chaired by Sir Mason Durie. The focus was on the development of wrap around services that would lead to greater whanau wellbeing and through this, increased economic productivity. In 2014, Suzanne was invited to join the Board of Te Pou Matakana, the North Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency.

When PwC Director, Alex Tan, promoted Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) as an organisation for Suzanne to consider joining, her initial answer was no as she was looking to work with organisations that had aspirations that would increase economic wellbeing.  Upon learning that active members of this non-partisan organisations were from four major political parties, Suzanne saw the potential for it to become a vehicle for a long-term economic strategy for New Zealand. Suzanne was the chairperson of the New Zealand chapter of TINZ, addressing corruption, from 2011 until her retirement in November 2020.  She led two projects to examine the strength of New Zealand’s national integrity system.

As a TINZ lifetime member, Suzanne is the Project Director of the Financial Integrity System Assessment which aspires to attract investment to New Zealand’s financial system because of its demonstrated integrity. This will provide investment for growth in scale, leading to the quality jobs that underpin income equality and poverty eradication.

Other roles where economics has played a role include:  Chair of the Agriwomen’s Development Trust (2011-13), Director Health Research Council (2010 – 2019), External Director, Army Leadership Board (2013 – 2019), Director of New Zealand Opera and the Opera Foundation since 2010. Director Experience Wellington from May 2022.

In 2017, she was invited by the Minister of Finance to Chair the Independent Expert Advisory Panel for the Review of the RBNZ Act.  Suzanne chaired the Phase 1 which led to the adoption of the RBNZ’s dual objectives of price stability and maximum sustainable employment.  She chaired Phase 2 of the review until October 2021. This was followed by time on the Deposit Takers Act Steering Committee and the Transition Board leading up to the new governance board for the Reserve Bank from 1 July 2022.


In 1993 Suzanne received a New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal. In the 2005 Queen’s Birthday Honours, she was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to business. In 2013 she was named Wellingtonian of the Year. In the 2021 New Year Honours, she was promoted to honorary Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to governance.

This year we are pleased to mirror these honours and make Suzanne a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.  The criteria for this award specifies it awarded to “distinguished New Zealand economists to recognise their contribution to the development of economics (and its application).”  Looking at Suzanne’s career development and achievement there cannot be any doubt that she has focussed on the application of economics in informing public policy with a fifty year commitment to poverty alleviation and social justice.


  • Member NZ Association of Economists (since 1974)
  • Member of Institute of Directors (since 1991)/ Certificate in Company Direction (2009)
  • Member NZICA for non-accounting Partners (1993-2010)
  • Member NZ/ US Businessmen’s Council (since 2005)
  • Inaugural Member, Global Women Network (begun 2009)
  • Member of the Advisory Committee for the VUW Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Business
  • Member of the Rotary Club of Wellington

Alan E. Bollard awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

Alan E. Bollard  CNZM, PhD, LLD(hon), D Com(hon), FRSNZ

At the end of the school year in 1968, Mr Murray Nairn, the then Headmaster at Mt Albert Grammar School, wrote a testimonial for one of the senior leaving students. In that testimonial he stated:

“He has a tremendous capacity for independent work, and is thoroughly reliable. He is a boy of good appearance, well mannered and well spoken. He is of the soundest character and will develop exceptionally well.”

While Headmaster Nairn was clearly an astute judge of character, little did know just how exceptionally well that boy would in fact develop. But 54 years on, we have the benefit of hindsight, and we can attest to the accuracy of the forecast made by Headmaster Nairn. Who today could ever doubt that Alan Bollard did in fact proceed to “develop exceptionally well;” arguably an understatement given Alan’s career and contributions. 

Of course, the headmaster’s prediction was grounded in some solid empirical evidence. Alan had been dux of the school, as had his father before him. Much later when Alan was inducted into the school’s Hall of Distinction, he joined his father as the only father and son to have been both dux and inductees in the Hall of Distinction.

Alan’s studies at the University of Auckland culminated in his PhD thesis on the responses of agricultural producers to technical change on Atiu in the Cook Islands. While PhD theses are typically seldom read by more than the academic supervisor and the external examiners, Alan’s 1977 thesis presages much of what is to characterise his subsequent career. It is a rich blend of economics and anthropology, with sensitive treatment of the historical, social and cultural context. The most advanced and relevant analytical frameworks of the time for individual decision making and risk modelling are applied to a rich data set, collected after months of careful and detailed survey work on the island.  A 135 page technical appendix attests to Alan’s solid grounding in mathematics and econometrics. Current students of technological change would do well to read this thesis.

After a spell at the South Pacific Commission in New Caledonia, Alan ventured further, and drawing on his background in technical change, worked in London at the Intermediate Technology Development Group (currently named Practical Action). Much of his work focused on the role for appropriate technology to enhance employment. But there were two important additional themes addressed by Alan. Notably, a concern that economic analysis should encompass distributional consequences; in short, people matter. And long before it was fashionable, he was writing on the importance of energy conservation.

1984 saw Alan repatriate and join the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research where he was subsequently appointed the Director. A key activity of the Institute was the long running Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion, and Alan served as its editor for this key cornerstone product of the Institute for over five years.

The years immediately following his return saw economic policy in New Zealand go through one of the most substantial transformations in the country’s history. This provided fertile ground for the work of the Institute. Through Alan’s leadership and his own research and writings, there followed a substantial series of reports and books covering many aspects of the reforms: changes in the labour market, reductions in the tariff regime and import licensing, the regulation of industry, the restructuring of the telecommunications, gas and electricity sectors. Alan paid particular attention to the impact of reforms and regulation the business sector. Given much overseas interest in the economic liberalisation undertaken by New Zealand, the work of the Institute, and in particular books authored, co-authored and edited by Alan, provided a wide international audience with a broad understanding of the processes and outcomes of the economic reforms.

This work, in part, laid the ground for Alan’s appointment in 1994 as Chairperson of the Commerce Commission. As the Commission was established under the Commerce Act only in 1986, Alan arrived to lead an organisation that was still in its relatively early years. The Commission has a wide-ranging mandate to ensure markets are competitive; to regulate selected markets where there is limited competition (including gas, telecommunications, electricity); and to protect consumers from unfair trading practices. The Commission needed to achieve a balance between its regulatory and compliance roles while not impeding efficiency and economies of scale. Alan was acutely aware of the trade-offs.

There were a number of important, high profile cases, not the least being the acquisition of Ansett Airlines by Air New Zealand. The health sector had been restructured, separating purchasers from providers. The Commission, focusing on education, ran a series of seminars to explain the application of the Commerce Act to the health sector, and to promote awareness of compliance. 

The Commission had just under 70 staff and a prodigious workload of enforcement of both the Commerce and Fair Trading Acts. To ensure the Commission was operating efficiently, Alan introduced a series of output and quality indicators, and initiated systems for monitoring awareness, acceptance and compliance with the Acts, so enhancing the ability of the Commission to, in Alan’s own words: “assess its own performance more effectively.”

For five years from 1998, Alan was the Secretary of the Treasury. His appointment marked an important change. Until that time, all previous Secretaries had been appointed from within the department. The appointment of an outsider was seen as a healthy development and one supported by Ministers. Soon after his appointment, the Fourth Labour government was elected. Their leadership had made no secret of their somewhat disparaging view of the Treasury.  Alan undertook the task of rebuilding the government’s confidence in its principal economic advisor. In time, a much closer relation with the government was restored. 

At the same time Alan recognised two aspects of the Treasury that he viewed as shortcomings. He felt that the Treasury should have more cooperation with the academic community. To this end he established an Academic Linkages Programme involving, scholarships, internships and visiting academics who would spend time working in the Treasury on topics of mutual interest. An important element in the linkages programme was the Guest Lecture Series which continues after more than two decades, and has seen leading academics from New Zealand and overseas deliver an invited lecture at the Treasury. 

Furthermore, he was concerned that the Treasury’s own capacities in economic research were not at a level commensurate with keeping the organisation at the frontier of good practice. To address this, he appointed a number of former academics to provide a more solid foundation for the Treasury’s policy work in taxation, macroeconomics and productivity. It should also be noted that Alan commissioned a major history of the Treasury: 1840-2000, an important legacy of his tenure.

In 2002, Alan accepted the position as Governor of the Reserve Bank, a position he was to hold for the next 10 years. Alan’s contributions during his time as Governor extended well beyond the basic mandate of achieving price stability. In fact, by the time of his appointment the inflation rate was down to around 2%, a factor contributing to enhanced credibility of monetary policy. Alan saw this as an opportunity to provide greater scope for a somewhat more flexible approach. With this, the Bank could “look through” short term volatility and achieve the mandated level of price stability over the medium term. This was encapsulated in the 2002 Policy Target Agreement signed by Alan. At the same time, continued attention was given to output and employment in the formulation of monetary policy.

While the OCR system had been adopted in 1999 as a central mechanism of monetary policy, during Alan’s tenure it was firmly embedded. Furthermore, Alan emphasised the importance of communicating with, and providing forward guidance to the markets. An important feature of Alan’s tenure was the increased role for prudential supervision of the banking and financial sector. He gave particular attention to the governance of local banks operating in New Zealand which were part of their large Australian parent banks. The dividends arising from these moves were amply demonstrated in the resilience of the banking system at the time of the Global Financial Crisis.

In yet another major appointment to a senior leadership role, in 2012 Alan was named Executive Director of the Secretariat for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) based in Singapore. He would go on to be the first Director of APEC to serve two terms. Traditionally APEC had focussed on a range of impediments to trade in the region including border barriers, tariff barriers and  non-tariff barriers at the border. But new challenges and opportunities arose throughout Alan’s directorship. While earlier APEC sessions had identified behind-the-border barriers, additional emphasis was sustained during Alan’s term together with a concomitant new focus on regulatory harmonisation. Furthermore, additional new policies were needed to promote great integration in the fast growing trade in services.

Currently Alan is a Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Wellington School of Business and Government, and the inaugural holder of the Chair for Pacific Region Business. He is the Chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Centres for Asia-Pacific Excellence and Chair of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). In addition, he chairs the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission. He is a Director of China Construction Bank. Allied to his keen interest in painting, he Chairs the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.

No synopsis of Alan’s career and contribution would be complete without reference to his efforts to highlight the life and work of New Zealand born economist, A.W.H. (Bill) Phillips. Phillips, in the immediate post WWII years invented an hydraulic machine to solve a set of economic relationships, then beyond the analytical capacity of any existing computer. A small number of the so-called MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer) machines were made. An important legacy of Alan’s efforts is that New Zealand now has a working machine, originally housed at NZIER, and currently installed in the Museum of the Reserve Bank, another contribution of Alan’s time as Governor.

Despite holding a succession of senior leadership roles, Alan has always found time to write: at last count some 14 books authored or co-authored, and numerous essays. What is remarkable is the breadth of his writings, covering economic history, a personal saga of the global financial collapse, the life and times of Bill Phillips, numerous essays and novels.  These writings, and his continuing contribution to economic debate in New Zealand attest to his role as a communicator.

Few if any, could match the extraordinary breadth of his contributions to economic policy, both in New Zealand and more widely. This award is made in recognition of his outstanding contributions to a wide range of economic policies, for his leadership of all of New Zealand’s major economic institutions, for his focus on governance, and for his role in fostering trade, economic growth and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. The New Zealand Association of Economists is pleased to make the award of Distinguished Fellow to Dr Alan Bollard.

Grant M Scobie


Bibliography: A Selection of works by Alan Bollard and co-authors.

Small Beginnings: New roles for British businesses, 1983: Intermediate Technology Publications.

Industrial Employment through Appropriate Technology, 1983: Intermediate Technology Publications.

Just for Starters: A Handbook of Small-Scale Business Opportunities, 1984: Intermediate Technology Publications.

Less Fuel More Jobs: Promotion of Energy Conservation in Buildings 1985: Policy Studies Institute (with Mayer Hillman).

Markets, Regulation, and Pricing, 1985: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Paper 31 (Co-edited with B. Easton).

As Though People Mattered: A prospect for Britain, 1986: Practical Action Publishing (with John Davis) Revised edition 2013.

Economic Liberalisation in New Zealand, 1987: Allen & Unwin/Port Nicholson Press. (Co-edited with R.A. Buckle).

Research and development in New Zealand : a public policy framework, 1987: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 39 (with David Harper and Margriet Theron). 

The Economics of the Commerce Act, 1989: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 52 (Editor).

Productivity and quality in New Zealand firms: Effects of deregulation, 1989: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 46 (with C.Campbell and J.Savage) 

Turning It Around: Closure and Revitalization in New Zealand Industry, 1991: Oxford University Press (Co-edited with John Savage). 

Dismantling the Barriers: Tariff Policy in New Zealand, 1992:  New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Research Monograph 57 (with R.G. Lattimore and I. Duncan)

How Economically Stressed Firms Adjust, 1992: NZIER Working Paper 92/11(with L. Fraser Jackson).

Economic Stress in the New Zealand Business Sector: 1975-1992, 1992: NZIER Working Paper 92/12 

 An Analysis of Change at the Level of the Firm: A Prelude to a Definition of Stress, 1992: NZIER Working Paper 92/23 (with L. Fraser Jackson).

New Zealand: Economic Reforms, 1984-1991 (Country Studies) 1992: Ics Pr Publishers.

A Study of Economic Reform: The Case of New Zealand (Contributions to Economic Analysis) 1996: North Holland (Co-edited with B. Silverstone and R.G. Lattimore).

Chapter 6: pp. 69-84 in The Coming of Age of Competition Law in New Zealand. (1996) Commerce Commission, Wellington. 

The Structure and Dynamics of New Zealand Industries, 1998: Dunmore Press (Co-edited with M. Pickford)

Succeeding in the world economy: New Zealand outward direct investment: causes, patterns and effects, 1999: Dunmore Press.

Flexibility and the limits to inflation targeting, 2008: Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, 71:3 (with T. Ng)

Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse, 2010: Auckland University Press (with Sarah Gaitanos).

What I have learned from the Global Financial Crisis, 2012: 11th Annual Sir Leslie Melville Lecture, Australian National University, Canberra.  https://crawford.anu.edu.au/news-events/events/1169/11th-annual-sir-leslie-melville-lecture-what-i-have-learned-global-financial.

The Rough Mechanical: The Man who Could, 2012: Xlibris.

Economic Disruptions in The Asia-Pacific, 2016: Public Lecture, Centre for Banking and Finance Law, National University of Singapore,

Changes Afoot in the APEC Economy, 2016: Guest lecture, The Treasury.

A Few Hares to Chase: The Life and Times of Bill Phillips, 2016: Oxford University Press.

Globalisation Challenges and New Zealand’s Upcoming APEC Hosting 2021, 2017: Guest lecture, The Treasury.

The Code-Cracker and the Tai-Chi Dancer, 2018: Xlibris.

New Zealand as a Leaky Economy: Are we responding to changes in globalisation? 2019: Guest lecture, The Treasury.

Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars, 2020: Oxford University Press.

Who wants to be an economic policymaker in a crisis? 2020: Institute of Public Administration,https://ipanz.org.nz/Story?Action=View&Story_id=150595

Weaponization of Money: Could this be the First Economic World War? 2022: https://iai.tv/articles/the-weaponization-of-money-auid-2077 

Economists in the Cold War: How a handful of Economists Fought the Cold War of Ideas, forthcoming, Oxford University Press.

McKinnon, M. (2003) The New Zealand Treasury: 1840-2000. Auckland University Press.

Stephen Knowles elected NZAE Life Member

Stephen has continuously made significant contributions to the Association and the economic community in New Zealand. He has played a major role in the leadership of the Association serving as President of the NZAE between 2011 and 2013, Vice President from 2009 to 2011, and Immediate Past President from 2013 to 2015. Prior to this period, he served as a Council Member from 2007 to 2009.

Stephen was a member of the Organising Committee of the NZAE Annual Conference in 2009, 2010, and 2011. He has been an active participant in NZAE conferences for many years and has encouraged Otago Economics students to participate in the PhD Workshop and the Conference.

He has also contributed to the New Zealand Economics Papers as an author and as referee.

More broadly, Stephen has served the economics community in New Zealand through many other channels. He was member of Senate of the University of Otago, Head of Department of Economics at Otago, Director of Postgraduate Studies at Otago, Member of the Steering Committee of the International Health Research Network, and PhD examiner for theses in New Zealand and Australia. He also has an extensive record of refereeing and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics.

The Association is delighted to award Professor Stephen Knowles with Life Membership of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Recipients of NZAE Conference 2022 prizes

Congratulations to the following recipients of prizes associated with NZAE Conference 2022. More detail on each prize is available at https://nzae.org.nz/prizes/

David Teece Prize in Industrial Organisation and Firm Behaviour Tim Ng – Business practices, dynamic capabilities and firm performance in New Zealand: unpacking the black box of innovation
New Zealand Economic Policy Prize Stuart Donovan, Thomas de Graaff, Arthur Grimes, Henri L.F. de Groot, David C. Maré – Cities with forking paths? Agglomeration economies in New Zealand 1976
NZIER Poster prize – open Alexandra Turcu – The impacts of COVID-19 on earnings trajectories and New Zealand’s underutilised workforce
NZIER Poster prize – student Alexandra Turcu – The impacts of COVID-19 on earnings trajectories and New Zealand’s underutilised workforce
People’s Choice Poster Alexandra Turcu – The impacts of COVID-19 on earnings trajectories and New Zealand’s underutilised workforce
Jan Whitwell Doctoral Jaimie Monk – The effect of screen time on child behaviour problems: an instrumental variable approach
Jan Whitwell Bachelors / Masters Robbie Maris – Social Media and the Evolution of Vaccine Preferences During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Seamus Hogan Research Prize Michael Ryan – New Zealand’s lauded fiscal legislation: Has it reduced fiscal uncertainty?
Stata Prize for Excellence in Graphics Communications Stuart Donovan, Thomas de Graaff, Arthur Grimes, Henri L.F. de Groot, David C. Maré – Cities with forking paths? Agglomeration economies in New Zealand 1976
Stats NZ Prize Tim Ng – Business practices, dynamic capabilities and firm performance in New Zealand II: unpacking the black box

NZAE Conference 2022: Final call for papers

The New Zealand Association of Economists is announcing the Final Call for Papers for its 62nd Annual Conference.

Please submit an abstract of not more than 250 words of your paper for either an oral presentation or the poster session. Full papers are not required at this stage, but for a  paper to be considered eligible for the Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Economic Policy, Seamus Hogan, David Teece or Stata prizes, a full paper must be submitted
by Wednesday 6th June.

Abstracts can be submitted here.

You are welcome to submit up to three papers. If we are only able to accept one of the submissions, we will contact you to ask which paper you prefer to present. This limit applies to the number of papers presented by any one person, and not to the number of papers on which he or she is a co-author.

Please see the for 2022 Final Call for Papers notice more information and key dates. 

Please address all conference enquiries to:

John Saunders
NZAE Conference Committee

Shelley Haring
Conference Organiser

NZAE Conference 2022: First call for papers

The New Zealand Association of Economists is pleased to announce the First Call for Papers for its 62nd Annual Conference.

Please submit an abstract of not more than 250 words of your paper for either an oral presentation or the poster session. Full papers are not required at this stage, but for a  paper to be considered eligible for the Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Economic Policy, Seamus Hogan, David Teece or Stata prizes, a full paper must be submitted
by Wednesday 6th June.

Abstracts can be submitted here.

You are welcome to submit up to three papers. If we are only able to accept one of the submissions, we will contact you to ask which paper you prefer to present. This limit applies to the number of papers presented by any one person, and not to the number of papers on which he or she is a co-author.

Please see the 2022 First Call for Papers notice for more information and key dates. 

Please address all conference enquiries to:

John Saunders
NZAE Conference Committee

Shelley Haring
Conference Organiser

NZAE Conference 2022: Key dates

The 62nd New Zealand Association of Economists Annual Conference will be held at, and with the generous support of, Victoria University of Wellington on 29 June – 1 July 2022.

Key dates:

  • 21 February – First notice of conference sent out
  • 21 February – Portal for abstract submissions opens
  • 23 March – Final notice of conference sent out
  • 28 March – Conference registration opens
  • 4 April – Abstracts due
  • By 22 April – Notification of acceptances
  • 13 May – Registration deadline for presenters
  • 13 May – Deadline for early-bird registration
  • 6 June – Full papers due for entries to prizes
  • 29 June – Conference day 1
  • 30 June – Conference day 2
  • 1 July – Conference end

Aug 2021 AI (#71) includes obituary of Professor Fraser Jackson

Asymmetric Information Issue No. 71


  • Editorial
  • In Open Seas. Part I: On the Seashore: (1943-1970) (By Brian Easton)
  • Obituary – Professor Fraser Jackson (By John Yeabsley)
  • The Five-Minute Interview with …Vhari Mcwha Associate Commissioner at the Commerce Commission
  • John Creedy – Citation for NZAE Distinguished Fellow Award
  • Professor John Creedy – Acceptance Speech NZAE Distinguished Fellow Award 2021
  • Congratulations to New Royal Society Fellow: Distinguished Professor Caroline Saunders (by Paul Dalziel)
  • Recipients of Prizes Associated with NZAE Conference 2021
  • A personal reflection on Not in Narrow Seas (by Shamubeel Eaqub, CFA)
  • Delinking the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme from the Kyoto Protocol: Comparing Theory with Practice (by Dominic White)
  • 2B RED
  • Research in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Canterbury
  • New Members

2021 NZAE Virtual PhD Workshop

This initiative continues the tradition started with the Inaugural NZ Virtual PhD Workshop that was held in Sept 2020, when repeated lockdowns and disruptions to travel persisted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to offer another virtual edition of this PhD workshop, this time to take place in late Oct 2021. We look forward to lots of discussions around research, to high-quality presentations, and to welcoming guest speakers and panellists once more. Please join us for this event and do submit your work for inclusion in the program. We welcome participants interested in all facets of economics, from academia, public and private sectors alike.

This event is endorsed by the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) and the Best Paper and the Best Presentation Prizes are generously sponsored by the NZAE Education Trust (*).

(*) Prizes for the best paper and the best presentation can only be granted to PhD students based in New Zealand.

For further information, please see here.

2021 NZEP Issue 2 includes link between Nobel Memorial prize and Canterbury

The contents of New Zealand Economic Papers, Volume 51, Issue 2, 2021 (available online or by subscription):

    • The safe asset frontier by Kartik Anand & Prasanna Gai
    • The 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics: the Canterbury connection by Richard Watt
    • Changes in New Zealand’s business insolvency rates after the GFC by Viv B. Hall & C. John McDermott
    • Evaluating the impact of 20 hours free early childhood education on mothers’ labour force participation and earnings by Isabelle Bouchard, Lydia Cheung & Gail Pacheco
    • Relative income dynamics of individuals in New Zealand by John Creedy, Norman Gemmell & Athene Laws
    • Inequality in South Africa: what does a composite index of well-being reveal? by Stephanié Rossouw & Talita Greyling

John Creedy awarded Distinguished Fellow of NZAE

John Creedy is Professor in Public Economics and Taxation at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) where his research interests focus on public economics, labour economics, income distribution and the history of economic analysis. John initially worked for the New Zealand Treasury from 2001 to 2003. From 2011 to 2017, he was employed half time at VUW and half time in the Tax Strategy section of the New Zealand Treasury. In 2016, John received the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Economics Award and in 2018, he was elected to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Before coming to Wellington, John was the Truby Williams Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne.

John’s publication record is most impressive. John has over 400 publications that include refereed journal papers, books, edited books and book chapters. Refereed journal articles account for around three-quarters of this total. Reflecting his strengths in public economics, John has not only published several papers in the Journal of Public Economics, but he also published papers in other leading journals that include the Economic Journal, European Economic Review, and Journal of Econometrics. According to the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) worldwide citation rankings for over 60000 authors, John comfortably sits inside the top 1 per cent.

John has contributed immensely to economic analysis of the countries in which he has lived. This has resulted in a very substantial output in Australasian economics journals, including New Zealand Economic Papers (NZEP) and Economic Record. Indeed, in the published history of the first 50 years of NZEP by Buckle and Creedy (2016), John was shown to be the lead author in terms of frequency of contributions to NZEP. In fact, he has published even more since then. One of the reasons that John has been so prolific is because of his work with junior colleagues and students. He has played an immense role in developing the research capabilities of his students and of many younger staff. Indeed, his time with the New Zealand Treasury was particularly notable for joint publications with colleagues.

John’s work is not only well grounded in theory, but it is also acutely attuned to policy issues. This is illustrated by recent publications since 2015 many important issues in public finance that include among others, debt projections and fiscal sustainability, the labour supply effects of tax and transfer changes, tax rates and the user cost of capital, savings, housing and pensions, GST and food expenditure. John’s work on the analysis of inequality over this period and earlier is similarly impressive. This work has dealt with topics that include the treatment of leisure time in inequality decompositions, benefit flows, the effect of ageing on distributional outcomes, the measurement of inequality in New Zealand, and a range of papers on value judgements in relation to redistribution policy and the measurement of inequality.

We should also not overlook the many contributions John has made to topics in economic history throughout his career. These contributions include his books on the development of the theory of exchange, and separate analyses of the seminal contributions of inter alia, Pareto, Edgeworth, Marshall, Jevons, Walras and Hicks, plus a short history of economic thought. John’s ability to bring together theory and data, coupled with an understanding of economic history and the history of economic thought, makes his contributions to economic analysis stand out. His ability to combine all these aspects with a real eye to public policy relevance – especially in the countries in which he has chosen to live – make his contributions exceptional. The New Zealand Association of Economists is delighted to bestow upon John Creedy a Distinguished Fellow award.

Robert A. Buckle & John Creedy (2016) Fifty years of New Zealand Economic Papers: 1966 to 2015, New Zealand Economic Papers, 50:3, 234-260, DOI: 10.1080/00779954.2015.1116022