Six teams selected for Monetary Policy Challenge national final

Release date
23 June 2016

Six finalists from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch have made it through to the finals of the Reserve Bank’s 15th Monetary Policy Challenge.

The annual competition attracted entries from 45 secondary schools to step into the shoes of a Reserve Bank economist.

Three Auckland schools – Macleans College, Auckland Grammar School and King's College were named as finalists, along with Christ’s College Canterbury, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, and Scots College (Wellington).

The Challenge is designed to increase students’ understanding of monetary policy by asking them to assess economic conditions and make a prediction for the Official Cash Rate (OCR) decision. The competition can also contribute towards NCEA achievement standards.

This year’s competition saw a surge in the number of schools participating as well as an increase in entries from South Island-based schools. This is the second year the Challenge has adopted a more accessible format, in which initial presentations are given via videoconference.

Reserve Bank economists, who judged the entries, were impressed with the calibre of the presentations and teams’ understanding of the critical issues.  

The students’ presentations largely focused on current key factors influencing the economy such as dairy prices, housing market activity, and low inflation. 

“We were looking to see if the teams understood the changes to the economic environment over the past year, and how they reflected these in their presentations,” Judge Hayden Skilling said.

The finalists will travel to the Bank in Wellington for the national finals on 28 July to give an oral presentation and compete for the title of Challenge winner.

The winning team will receive $2500 for their school and each student in the winning team will also receive prizes worth $500. They will be invited back to the Reserve Bank on 11 August 2016 to attend the Monetary Policy Statement media conference, meet the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler and to see aspects of the financial markets.

Auckland’s King's College took the crown in last year’s competition, with Waikato Diocesan School for Girls and Taupo-nui-a-Tia College placed second and third respectively.  

More information:
The Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Challenge

Media contact:
Naomi Mitchell
External Communications Adviser
Ph 09 366 2643 or 027 294 3900
Email: naomi.mitchell@rbnz.govt.nz