The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand’s central bank. We promote a sound and dynamic monetary and financial system. We work towards our purpose, vision and values by
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand's central bank. It was established in 1934, and although not a government department, has been wholly owned by the government of New Zealand since 1936. Like most central banks, the Reserve Bank is primarily a policy organisation, and has three main purposes.
The Reserve Bank is required to ensure that, throughout the economy, money works as well as possible as a mechanism for making transactions, storing value, and keeping account.
Under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 (‘the Act'), the Reserve Bank is responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policy, promoting a sound and efficient financial system, and carrying out other functions and exercising other powers as set out in the Act.
Our vision is to promote a sound and dynamic monetary and financial system. Our values are Integrity, Innovation and Inclusion.
A guide to how the Reserve Bank of New Zealand releases information including Monetary Policy Statements, Financial Stability Reports and associated media conferences, Official Cash Rate announcements, news releases, speeches, Official Information Act request responses, articles and research and statistics.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been wholly owned by the New Zealand Government since 1936. Although it has statutory independence to carry out its functions under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, the Reserve Bank is accountable to Parliament, and provides an annual dividend to the Government.
The Reserve Bank’s senior management team is made up of the Governor, a Deputy Governor, a Head of Operations, and the heads of the Bank’s various departments.
The Reserve Bank has a Board of Directors whose primary function is to review the performance of the Governor and the Bank. The Board holds regular meetings at which it receives extensive briefings on the Bank’s activities, decisions and policies. At these meetings the Board also provides advice to the Governor.
Monetary policy external adviser roles are appointed to assist the Governing Committee in fulfilling the Reserve Bank’s obligations in respect of price stability under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 (the Act) and any Policy Targets Agreements (PTA) created pursuant to the Act.
Responsibility and accountability
The Reserve Bank is required under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 (ss 163-165) to provide an Annual Report, an annual accountability document, to the Minister of Finance no later than 3 months after the end of the financial year. The Annual Report contains a signed statement from the Governor, as well as the Board’s assessment of the performance of the Bank’s functions and the exercise of its powers. It also contains a summary of key activities, and presentation of the Bank’s financial statements.
The Reserve Bank Act requires that price stability be defined in a specific and public contract, negotiated between the government and the Reserve Bank. This is called the Policy Targets Agreement (PTA). The current PTA, signed in March 2018, defines price stability as annual increases in the Consumers Price Index (CPI) of between 1 and 3 percent on average over the medium term, with a focus on keeping future average inflation near the 2 percent target midpoint.
The Reserve Bank is required under the Reserve Bank Act (section 162A) to provide a Statement of Intent (SOI) to the Minister of Finance before the start of each financial year. The SOI sets out the objectives for the next three years and the budget for the first year of that period. The SOI also details the Bank’s strategic priorities for the next financial year.
The Reserve Bank's Funding Agreement is a five yearly agreement between the Governor and the Minister of Finance that specifies how much of the Bank's revenues can be retained by the Bank to meet its operating costs, with the remainder going to the Government.
These papers have been prepared to brief the incoming Minister of Finance on the role and functions of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The papers are also intended to be a useful briefing for other interested parties.
Letter from the Minister of Finance to the Governor of the Reserve Bank outlining broad expectations of the Bank's relationship with the Minister and areas of particular interest for the year.
The Reserve Bank is at times a party to Memoranda of Understanding with other organisations, which establish the principles governing how it will work together with those parties.
In 2009 the Reserve Bank marked its 75th year of operations three-quarters of a century spanning some of New Zealand’s most tumultuous decades.
This chronology lists key economic and financial events for the period January 1982 to December 2014. Annual chronologies for earlier periods can be found in successive Reserve Bank Bulletins (generally published the month or quarter following the end of the year in question).
The role of the Governor (or chief executive) of the Reserve Bank has changed and grown since the Bank’s establishment in 1934. Today, the Governor is accountable for the Bank’s performance in maintaining price stability, promoting a sound and efficient financial system, and meeting the currency needs of the public but retains statutory independence as to how these key outcomes are achieved.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has a formal coat of arms which features on the cover of many of the Bank's publications. The coat of arms is also the central element in the Reserve Bank's logo and a large-scale casting of it can be seen in the foyer of the Reserve Bank's Wellington office.
The Reserve Bank Museum is the only specialist economic and central banking museum in New Zealand, designed to educate and inform, highlighting and celebrating New Zealand’s wider economic and banking history, as well as the origins and role of the Reserve Bank.
A fact sheet giving details of the art displays in the Reserve Bank foyer.
A fact sheet detailing the background and meaning of the carving over the main entrance of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
In July 1930 Otto Niemeyer of the Bank of England was asked by the Prime Minister of New Zealand to report on ‘Banking and Currency in New Zealand’. His report, tabled before Parliament in 1931, recommended that New Zealand should establish a central bank.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Alumni Register ensures we keep track of as many former employees as possible. Whether you have moved overseas or simply changed organisations within New Zealand, we would like to know.