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Kristin School wins Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Challenge

Kristin School has taken out the top honours in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s 2019 Monetary Policy Challenge. Auckland Grammar School came second and Lynfield College placed third.

Designed to expand students’ understanding and appreciation of monetary policy, the Monetary Policy Challenge has been a long-standing competition organised by the Reserve Bank since 2002.

This year, 32 schools from across New Zealand participated and presented their monetary policy and Official Cash Rate (OCR) decisions through video submissions. Teams took into consideration the changes to the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy mandate—which now requires maximum sustainable employment to be considered alongside price stability.

Evelyn Truong
Evelyn Truong

Six teams were selected as finalists and discussed their presentations with the judging panel, composed of Reserve Bank economists Evelyn Truong and Jamie Culling and Assistant Governor and General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets, and Banking Christian Hawkesby.

“Overall, we were impressed with how the six finalists demonstrated their knowledge of economic concepts. Kristin School particularly stood out as they characterised a sound understanding and in-depth research of various factors relevant to monetary policy. Their presentation had solid framework and structure. The students also worked exceptionally well together in answering some very tough questions,” Mr Hawkesby says.

This is the third time a team from Kristin School has won the Monetary Policy Challenge. The school also won in 2017 and 2010. Winning team members were students Joshua Heatley, Jonty Grant, Phoebe McKellar, Jaqlin Van Schalkwyk, and Finn McClellan. They were mentored by their economics teacher Mr. John Osborne.

As this year’s top placer, the team receives $2500 in prize money for their school and each team member receives prizes worth $500. The winners will also visit the Reserve Bank in Wellington to watch the Monetary Policy Statement media conference on 7 August. The students will have a full-day of learning how economic theory is put into practice as they meet with Governor Adrian Orr, members of the Monetary Policy Committee, and senior decision-makers.

Auckland Grammar School won $1500 and Lynfield College won $750 in prize money for their respective schools. The other national finalists were Christchurch Girls’ High School, King’s College (Auckland) and Wellington Girls’ College.

“These young economists from our top six teams show great potential,” Mr Hawkesby says. “They’ve been guided well by their teachers and all their preparation and research came through during their presentations.”

The Monetary Policy Challenge is open to all New Zealand secondary school senior economics students and runs annually from March to June.