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Reserve Bank's 2006 Monetary Policy Challenge

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Press Release

03 April 2006

Reserve Bank's 2006 Monetary Policy Challenge

Spanning the length of the country from Springbank School in Kerikeri to Invercargill's Southland Girls' High School, 72 schools have entered this year's Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Challenge. The Challenge is designed to expand Year 11-13 economics students' understanding of monetary policy. Like economists working in the Reserve Bank, teams of students analyse the economy and inflation forecasts, and on the basis of that analysis, offer a mock-setting of the Reserve Bank's key interest rate, the Official Cash Rate (OCR).

The Challenge encourages the use of inquiry learning techniques and is designed to be an extension of the secondary school level economics curriculum. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard commented, "The Challenge confronts students with the difficulties and considerations involved in a decision making process. It gets students thinking about how New Zealand's economy works, what influences it and the impacts of economic policy."

The Challenge begins on 8 May 2006 and runs throughout the second and third school terms. Heats will be Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin in late July to early August.

Teams that reach the Challenge final on 24 August 2006 will travel to the Reserve Bank in Wellington and receive a $50 book voucher and certificate. This year's winning school will be awarded $2,500. The winning team will be invited back to the Reserve Bank to attend the September 2006 Monetary Policy Statement release and they will witness an OCR announcement, first hand.

The Challenge is now in its fifth year and each year its popularity grows. Past winners of the competition include Nelson College (2005), Hillcrest High School from Hamilton (2004), Tawa College from Wellington (2003) and Logan Park High School from Dunedin (2002).

Information for participating schools is available on the Monetary Policy Challenge section of the Reserve Bank's website: www.rbnz.govt.nz/challenge.

ENDS

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