Entries open for the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Challenge

Monday 9 March 2009, 3:36PM
By Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Entries have opened for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand 2009 Monetary
Policy Challenge.

The Challenge is open to all New Zealand senior secondary school
economics students. It is designed to expand students' understanding of
monetary policy and links to NCEA achievement standards.

The Challenge involves students becoming, in effect, central bankers.
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).

Teams present the reasons for their decision in a written submission
and, if selected as a regional finalist, give an oral presentation.
Regional finals will be held in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington,
Hamilton and Auckland during August.

The winning team from each region will be invited to the Reserve Bank to
compete in the national final, to be held on 27 August 2009. The winner
of the national final will receive a cash prize and its team will be
invited to attend the Monetary Policy Statement release in Wellington on
10 September 2009.

Past winners of the competition have included Scots College, Wellington
(2008), New Plymouth Girls' High School (2007) and St Kentigern College,
Auckland (2006).

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard commented: "This competition brings
to life for students the dilemmas that central bankers face. Rather than
just expecting students to learn established facts, this competition
confronts students with the challenge, ambiguity and uncertainty of
actual decision-making."

To help with their assessment of the economy and the outlook for
inflation, participants will have access to up-to-date economic data via
the Reserve Bank's website at

Entries close on 3 April 2009 and an information pack has been sent to
each secondary school. The Challenge is run annually and began in 2002.

For further information contact:
Anthea Black
04 4713767, 021 2225225,