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House Price Paper Wins Treasury University Challenge

House Price Paper Takes Top Honours in Treasury University Challenge

The issue of inflated house prices has made at least one young New Zealander happy after an essay on this topic took top spot in the Treasury’s University Challenge for 2017. This year’s challenge winner is Sam Wynands, who is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Canterbury.

The Treasury runs the University Challenge each year, offering students a chance to win cash grants to aid them with their studies. The competition supports the Treasury’s broader objectives of 'bringing the outside in' and seeking a diverse range of perspectives on the public policy questions it works on. The University Challenge also contributes to developing young talent and giving them a positive introduction to the Treasury.

Entrants were asked to submit either an essay, A3 or a video submission on one of eight questions that covered a range of topics. The Treasury received a number of high quality submissions from a diverse range of students. After a rigorous judging process in which the candidates’ entries were anonymised (the names and details withheld from judges) to mitigate against any unconscious bias, five worthy finalists were decided on and invited to present at the Treasury.

Sam Wynands edged out the competition based on how clearly, succinctly and convincingly he addressed several impacts on living standards that can be caused by housing market issues. The runner-up for this year’s University Challenge was Daniel Lee from the University of Auckland, third place went to University of Canterbury student William Doherty, and Marco Grix (University of Auckland) and Michelle Too (University of Canterbury) rounded out a great group of finalists.

The top five submissions can be viewed on the Treasury’s website at:


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