It is with great pleasure that the Association honours Kerrin Vautier with the award of Life Membership of the New Zealand Association of Economists.
Kerrin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (economics major) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1965. After graduating she went to work at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). While there she became editor of the Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion (QSBO) and also worked on Quarterly Predictions and contract research. On moving to Auckland in 1975 she continued editing the QSBO, launched her consultancy business and started tutoring at the University of Auckland.
Kerrin’s achievements and contributions are too numerous to mention in detail but she has held a diverse range of appointments across academia, public, commercial and charitable sectors and has published widely. Her expertise in competition law has seen her as a member of the Commerce Commission, a Lay Member of the High Court under the Commerce Act and leader of the Competition Policy work of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). She has been a Director of a number of large corporates including Norwich Union Holdings, Fletcher Challenge Ltd, News & Media (NZ) (formerly Wilson & Horton Holdings) and Fletcher Building and has served as External Monetary Policy Advisor to the Governor of the Reserve Bank, as a member of the Appeal Board of NZ Electricity market, and external advisor to the Partnership Board of Deloitte. She has also served as a Board member of several not-for-profit organizations, including Chair of NZPECC and NZIER.
During this very busy professional life Kerrin has maintained her interest in music (especially opera and sacred choral music) and theatre even though she has not had time to keep up her own playing of the piano and violin. This is clearly a loss given that through her time at university she was a violinist in the National Youth Orchestra. She is also a keen sailor and cook.
It was during her time at NZIER that Kerrin became involved with the Association, a relationship she has maintained ever since. She acted as Business Manager for New Zealand Economic Papers from 1969 – 1976, served on Council from 1973 – 1981, Vice-President 1975-1976 and President for 1977-1978. She was one of only two women active in the Association through that time and while President played a key role in Auckland hosting the Pacific Trade and Development Conference (PAFTAD). This conference was hosted primarily under the auspices of the Association and that year had the theme: Cooperation and Development in the Asia Pacific Region: Relations Between Large and Small Countries.
Kerrin’s contributions to New Zealand business and economics were recognised when she was appointed a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1993.
Now the Association is pleased to honour Kerrin for her contribution to the Association and to New Zealand economic policy, by awarding her life membership of the Association.