Taupo-nui-a-Tia College wins Monetary Policy Challenge

Release date
21 August 2014

The Reserve Bank has announced that Taupo-nui-a-Tia College is the national winner of the Reserve Bank 2014 Monetary Policy Challenge (MPC). Takapuna Grammar School from Auckland was placed second and Glenfield College from Auckland came third.

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

The national final took place at the Reserve Bank in Wellington yesterday and was strongly contested. The judges were Assistant Governor John McDermott and two Reserve Bank economists, Amy Wood and Nikki Kergozou.

The judges said that all the presentations were excellent, and the teams all showed an impressive knowledge of economic principles in justifying their monetary policy decisions. They were particularly impressed with the Taupo-nui-a-Tia College team's innovative way of showing how inflationary pressures accumulate in the economy.

"All the schools coped extremely well with some very challenging questions and were fantastic at applying their knowledge to current issues," Dr McDermott said.

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College won $2500 in prize money for their school. The team will also travel to Wellington to spend Thursday, 11 September 2014 at the Reserve Bank where they will watch the release of the next Monetary Policy Statement by Governor Graeme Wheeler, meet with senior decision makers and see first-hand how economic theory is put into practice.

Takapuna Grammar School won $1500 and Glenfield College won $750 in prize money for their respective schools. The other competitors in the national final were Lindisfarne College (Wellington regional winners), Christchurch Girls' High School (Christchurch regional winners) and James Hargest College (Lower South Island regional winners).

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 or national finalist, delivers an oral presentation.

"It was really great to see how much study and preparation teams had put into their entry in the competition, their teamwork, and their breadth of knowledge about the role of monetary policy and the role of the Reserve Bank," Dr McDermott said. "We also acknowledge the efforts of the many teachers who have contributed valuable time and effort to inspire and guide their students."

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

Media contact:
Rachael Drummond, Internal Communications Adviser
04 471 3767, rachael.drummond@rbnz.govt.nz