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National winners announced in Monetary Policy Challenge

The Reserve Bank announced today that Kristin School from Auckland is the national winner of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand 2010 Monetary Policy Challenge (MPC). Tauranga Boys' College was placed second and Scots College from Wellington came third.

The national final took place at the Reserve Bank in Wellington yesterday and was hotly contested. The judges were Assistant Governor John McDermott and two economists from the Bank.

Kristin School won $2,500 in prize money for their school and will visit the Reserve Bank on 16 September to watch the announcement of the next Monetary Policy Statement by Governor Alan Bollard.

Tauranga Boys' College won $1,500 and Scot's College won $750 in prize money for their respective schools. The other competitors in the national final were St Kentigern College (Auckland), Christchurch Girls' College and Timaru Boys' High School.

The judges said the finalists performed to a very high standard, and determining the winning school was a very difficult task. They were particularly impressed with the depth of economic understanding shown by Kristin School. "Kristin School demonstrated exceptional understanding of economics and how monetary policy operates in New Zealand. They provided a comprehensive analysis on the economy and worked really well together to answer some very challenging questions."

The MPC is designed to expand senior secondary school economics students' understanding of monetary policy, and it links to NCEA achievement standards.

Just like economists working in the Reserve Bank, each team analyses the economic conditions facing New Zealand and the outlook for inflation. On the basis of that analysis, they decide on an appropriate setting for the Official Cash Rate (the Reserve Bank's interest rate). Each team provides the reasons for their decision in a written submission and, if selected as a regional finalist, an oral presentation.

Reserve Bank Assistant Governor John McDermott said: "Rather than just expecting students to learn established facts, this competition confronts them with the challenges, ambiguity and uncertainty of actual decision-making."

The MPC is open to all New Zealand secondary school economics students and runs annually from May to August.

For further information contact:
Anthea Black, External Communications Adviser
04 4713767, 021 2225225, [email protected]