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Annual report 2019

Read our Governor's statement and download a PDF of our annual report for the 12 months ending 30 June 2019.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Governor's statement

Kia orana

This year has been exceptional and I am proud to be reporting on what has been achieved by the Bank with the support of our many and varied stakeholders.

Our priorities in the past 12 months have focused on setting the foundations for significant change and setting us up for growth and innovation. Some of the work we have done is to catch up on areas of under-investment, but all initiatives this year have been propelling us forward to be a Great Team, Best Central Bank.

Highlights of the year have included the establishment of a new framework for the way we run our monetary policy functions. Amendments to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, which came into effect on 1 April, gave responsibility for monetary policy decisions to the Monetary Policy Committee. At the same time our dual mandate of achieving and maintaining price stability and supporting maximum sustainable employment came into law. The Monetary Policy Committee is subject to a Remit and Charter and members must also follow a Code of Conduct. This framework has now been implemented and is working well, with three Official Cash Rate decisions by our new Monetary Policy Committee. In particular, the Summary Record of Meeting is giving people insights into the discussions on each decision.

We have made good progress on our currency transformation work, aptly renamed Te Moni Anamata, ‘The Future of Cash’. The name change reflects the wide range of stakeholders we are co-designing this strategy with and for, and our awareness of the social impacts of our decisions in this area.

We have also made good progress on our Te Ao Māori strategy, with many of our staff increasing their confidence in te reo and tikanga. In addition, those working in the core functions in the Bank are deepening their understanding of the touchpoints in our economy and the wider financial system for Māori.

We have shared our Reserve Bank story in a new way, with the release of The Journey of Te Pūtea Matua: Our Tāne Mahuta. The narrative, which draws on Māori mythology, was written to help broaden the public’s understanding of our heritage, role and many interdependencies. Te Pūtea Matua is the Māori name for the Reserve Bank. Te Pūtea Matua’s activities include issuing currency to the public and maintaining price and institutional stability in New Zealand’s money exchange systems. Te Pūtea Matua’s roots are in its legislation. The money exchange systems and functions are its trunk, allowing the money – the sap – to flow throughout the system. The branches are the regulated financial institutions grafted onto the trunk for their legitimacy and access to our money and banking system.

These functions are interrelated and allow Te Pūtea Matua to protect, nurture and grow New Zealand’s wider financial ecosystem for the greater benefit of all New Zealanders.

The year has not been without its challenges. The resilience and strength of our people was put to the test during the almost 8 months we spent out of our Wellington building to allow for asbestos remediation, and we’ve returned with a deeper understanding and appreciation of flexible and collaborative working.

Adrian Orr

30 September 2019