Auckland Grammar wins Monetary Policy Challenge

Release date
05 July 2018

Auckland Grammar has been named the national winner of the 2018 Reserve Bank of New Zealand Monetary Policy Challenge. Mount Albert Grammar placed second and Macleans College came third.

The Monetary Policy Challenge (MPC) expands secondary school economics students' understanding of monetary policy. The competition has been running for 17 years and links to NCEA achievement standards. Just like economists working in the Reserve Bank, each team had to analyse the economic conditions facing New Zealand and consider the outlook for inflation in order to then decide on an appropriate setting for the Official Cash Rate (the interest rate set by the Reserve Bank to meet its inflation target).

Thirty five teams from around New Zealand participated in this year’s MPC, presenting their Official Cash Rate decisions via videoconference in May. The top six teams were then selected to present in person at the national finals in Wellington.

The national final took place at the Reserve Bank on Tuesday, and was judged by Assistant Governor and Chief Economist John McDermott, and Reserve Bank economists Amy Rice and Nick Mulligan.

“The Auckland Grammar team had a sound understanding of factors relevant to monetary policy. They answered tough questions with confidence and clarity, and showed great teamwork,” Dr McDermott said.

The Auckland Grammar team won $2500 in prize money for their school, and each team member also won a $500 cash prize to go towards their studies. The winning team will be invited back to the Reserve Bank in Wellington to watch the 9 August Monetary Policy Statement media conference with Governor Adrian Orr, meet with senior decision-makers, and see first-hand how economic theory is put into practice.

The team from Mount Albert Grammar won $1500, and the team from Macleans College won $750 in prize money for their respective schools. The other national finalists were Christchurch Girls’ High School, King’s College (Auckland) and Christ’s College (Christchurch).

"The national finalists had all put a lot of study and preparation into their presentations,” Dr McDermott said. “It was also great to see the contributions that many teachers made to guide and inspire their students.”

The MPC is open to all New Zealand secondary school senior economics students and runs annually from May to July. It is the first time that Auckland Grammar has won the competition, and the third year in a row that Macleans College has placed in the top three.

MPC winners 2018

The team from Auckland Grammar with the RBNZ judges. From left: Amy Rice, Nick Mulligan (RBNZ) Callan Adams, Ziyan Zhu (David), Michael Derevianko, Lintao Wang, Luke Han, John McDermott (RBNZ) and teacher John Wilson.
Photo: Hannah Richardson.

More information
Read more about the Monetary Policy Challenge

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