It is with great pleasure that the Association honours Alan Bollard with the award of Life Membership of the New Zealand Association of Economists.
Alan graduated with Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees in economics from the University of Auckland in the 1970s. After working in London, he returned to New Zealand to join the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research in 1984. He held the role of NZIER Director from 1987 to 1994, working to restore its financial position while continuing to ensure that the Institute conducted high quality economic research relevant to New Zealand.
Alan then took on three successive high profile public sector positions: Commerce Commission Chairman (1994-1998), Treasury Secretary (1998-2002) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor (2002-2012). Few, if any, New Zealanders have served in such a range of high profile public sector economic leadership roles.
In each of these roles, Alan was a champion for the application of economics in general, and for the activities of the New Zealand Association of Economists in particular. He served as an NZAE Council member for three years from 1995, including serving as NZAE President in 1997. He has also been an active supporter of Association events in many other ways. While at the Treasury and the Reserve Bank, he encouraged economists at those institutions to present papers and to attend the Association’s annual conferences, and ensured provision of financial support to assist the attendance of high quality keynote speakers for the conferences. Particularly noteworthy
was his role in Chairing the International Advisory Board for the the 2008 NZAE/ESAM Conference in honour of AW Phillips; his speech on the life of AW Phillips was a conference highlight for many.
While at the NZIER, Alan was instrumental in having one of Bill Phillips’ MONIAC machines repatriated to New Zealand and restored to working order. He has promoted economics education in a number of ways, including through the Young Enterprise Trust and through the establishment of the Reserve Bank museum, which currently hosts the MONIAC. These education initiatives continue to bear fruit within New Zealand now that Alan has moved offshore to take the position of Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat in Singapore.
Alan’s contributions to New Zealand public policy have been recognised through honorary doctorates from the University of Auckland and from Massey University, and through being named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013.
The Association honours Alan for his contribution to the Association and to New Zealand economic policy, economic research and the economics profession, and has pleasure in awarding him life membership of the Association.