National winners announced in Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Challenge
The Reserve Bank announced today that New Plymouth Girls' High School is the national winner of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand 2007 Monetary Policy Challenge (MPC). Timaru Boys' High School placed second in the national final and Lindisfarne College from Hawkes Bay came third.
The national final took place at the Reserve Bank in Wellington on 22 August and was hotly contested. Two economists from the Reserve Bank were judges.
New Plymouth Girls' High School won $2,500 in prize money for their school and will visit the Reserve Bank on 13 September to watch the announcement of the next Monetary Policy Statement by Governor Alan Bollard.
Timaru Boys' High School won $1,500 and Lindisfarne College won $750 in prize money for their respective schools. The other competitors in the national final were Avondale College (Auckland), Kristin Senior School (Auckland) and Burnside High School (Christchurch).
Judges said the winning teams demonstrated an exceptional level of understanding about the economy. "Their ability to apply the economic theory they had learned in the classroom to real-world situations was impressive," they said.
The MPC is designed to expand senior secondary school economics students' understanding of monetary policy and 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 presents the reasons for their decision in a written submission and, if selected as a regional finalist, an oral presentation.
Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said: "The Challenge gets students thinking about how the New Zealand economy works, what influences it and the impacts of economic policy. It confronts students with the difficulties and considerations involved in a decision-making process."
The MPC is open to all New Zealand secondary school economics students and runs annually from May to August. This year over 70 schools from Whangarei to Invercargill entered the competition.