The 2021
New Zealand Economics Forum

3 & 4 March - The University of Waikato

Economics for Tumultuous Times: Finding the right policy mix in the post-Covid world

Twitter: @waikato nzec

The 2021 New Zealand Economics Forum on 3 & 4 March will address the major challenges facing our national economy for policymakers and officials; and look at the long-term economic impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Your hosts:

Waikato Management School has been at the forefront of economics research in New Zealand for more than a decade. We are ranked 1st in New Zealand for economics research quality (PBRF average quality score), with the most citations per academic.

The 2021 New Zealand Economics Forum has now concluded. Missed it? The good news is you can watch video replays of all the speakers here!

Watch video replays of speakers

Watch recording of Day 1 - Wednesday, 3rd March:

Watch recording of Day 2 - 4th March:

Want to join in the conversation and ask our speakers a question during the forum?

Submit your questions here via Slido

Event details

The University of Waikato is excited to be hosting this pioneering forum at such a pivotal time. The forum is an excellent opportunity to weigh up the long-term economic effects of New Zealand’s Covid-19 response; alongside other challenges such as climate change and housing affordability.

Over two days on 3 & 4 March, a high-profile lineup of New Zealand’s top economists, policymakers and industry leaders will share their views on our current state, and how we can build back a thriving economy for Aotearoa New Zealand.

The keynote speakers are Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson; Governor of the Reserve Bank Adrian Orr; and CEO of ASB Bank Vittoria Shortt.

The forum seeks to enhance the public conversation around economic policy in New Zealand, and debate priorities and pathways for the decade ahead, as we seek to create a stronger and more sustainable future.

You can download the event programme here.

Keynote speakers

Hon. Grant Robertson

Deputy Prime Minister

Grant’s belief in social justice and a desire to see every New Zealander achieve their potential led him to politics, and he has been the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central since November 2008.

Following the 2020 election, he became Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, as well as being appointed Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Racing.

After the 2017 election, Grant was appointed Minister of Finance, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. In 2019 he was appointed Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission,

Grant held a range of portfolios in opposition, including spokesperson for finance from 2014 to 2017.

Vittoria Short


Leading a team of 5,500 people, Vittoria Shortt has been the CEO and Managing Director of ASB Bank since February 2018, after holding several senior leadership roles with ASB’s parent company Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

She has 18 years’ experience in banking across corporate strategy, retail banking, mergers and acquisitions and operations.

Vittoria’s career began in New Zealand, working in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions with Deloitte and Carter Holt Harvey.

She holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato, is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, and a member of Global Women New Zealand.

Adrian Orr

Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Adrian Orr was appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in March 2018.

Previously, Adrian was Chief Executive Officer at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and prior to that he was Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability for the Reserve Bank.

Adrian has also held the positions of Chief Economist at Westpac Banking Corporation, Chief Manager of the Economics Department at the Reserve Bank and Chief Economist at The National Bank of New Zealand. He has also worked at the New Zealand Treasury; and the OECD, based in Paris.

Adrian graduated from the University of Waikato in 1983 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics and Geography. He also has a Master of Development Economics from the University of Leicester, England, graduating with distinction in 1985.

Rt Hon. Sir Bill English

Former Prime Minister

Sir Bill English, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, retired from politics in 2018.

Sir Bill is now chair of Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, sits on the board of Wesfarmers Ltd, and is a director and investor in several private companies.

He consults to NZ and Australian companies and governments, and mentors senior management.

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts

Venue location:


  • Free parking for guests is available on campus in the Gate 2B carpark, University of Waikato, Knighton Road. It is a five-minute walk from the carpark to the Gallagher Academy, around the lake.

Dates and times:

  • Wednesday, 3rd March: 1.00pm - 5.15pm
    (followed by drinks and dinner for attendees who have booked for this).
  • Thursday, 4th March: 8.45am to 3.30pm

If you have any questions regarding this event, please email

Event schedule

Note: Schedule may be subject to change, please check back for any updates.

Day One - Wednesday, 3rd March


Professor Neil Quigley - Vice-Chancellor, University of Waikato and Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua

Welcome and scene-setting


Dr Ganesh Nana - Chair, New Zealand Productivity Commission -Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa

Challenges to, and opportunities for, improving productivity in a post-Covid world

Professor John Gibson - Professor of Economics, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato

Economic policy, productivity and the global economy
3.00pm - 3.30pmAFTERNOON BREAK

Hon. Grant Robertson - Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand

Achievements so far, and the road ahead


Dr Eric Crampton - Chief Economist at The New Zealand Initiative

Cameron Bagrie - Managing Director and Economist, Bagrie Economics

Professor Paul Dalziel - Professor of Economics, Lincoln University


Getting the mix right: Monetary policy, fiscal policy and the wellbeing of the nation

Debate moderator: Dr Heather Connolly

5.15pm - 8.30pmDRINKS AND DINNER

Rt Hon. Sir Bill English - Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

A view on the challenges and opportunities ahead, from a public policy lens

Day Two - Thursday, 4th March


Vittoria Shortt - CEO, ASB Bank

Monetary policy, banking and the New Zealand economy


Adrian Orr - Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua

The future of monetary policy
10.00am - 10.30amMORNING BREAK

Dr Alan Bollard - Chair, New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga

NZ infrastructure in the years ahead: stimulus, inter-generational impacts, and longer-term prospects


Vicky Robertson - Chief Executive and Secretary, Ministry for the Environment

Matt Burgess - Senior Economist, The New Zealand Initiative

Dr Viktoria Kahui - Department of Economics, University of Otago


Economic policy and the environment – challenges and opportunities

Panel facilitator: Professor Anna Strutt

12.00pm - 1.00pmLUNCH BREAK

Professor Les Oxley - Professor of Economics, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato

Donna Purdue - Chief Economist, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Associate Professor Tom Roa - Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Waikato


Business innovation in a post-Covid world

Panel facilitator: Professor Anna Strutt

1.45pmDr John McDermott - Executive Director, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Business cycles in a pandemic:
The shock we’re going through, and what the future might hold

Dr Iris Claus - Senior Fellow in Economics, University of Waikato

Dr Leo Krippner - Managing Director,

Economic policy and a watching brief on inflation

Sharon Zollner - Chief Economist, ANZ Bank

The rubber meets the road:
How we continue to evolve policy and business for a better future
3.15pmMatt Bolger

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato

Covid-19 important update

This event is still going ahead at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts in Hamilton, but with Alert Level 2 restrictions for event facilities in place. The dinner on Wednesday, 3rd March will also proceed under the same restrictions.

This includes reducing the number of people inside the venue to no more than 100, and keeping 1-metre social distance where possible.

Contact tracing: All guests will be asked to scan into the venue using the NZ Covid Tracer app, or sign into the register and provide their contact details.

Please do not attend this event if you live in Auckland, if you feel unwell or have any symptoms, or have been asked to self-isolate by the Ministry of Health. We hope you will watch the livestream instead.

Media coverage:

Here is a selection of the media coverage:

There are no upcoming events in this series.