Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Reserve Bank governor dominates the show in first appearance

4:22 pm on 11 May 2018
Patrick O'Meara, Economics Correspondent

Analysis - The new governor of the Reserve Bank, Adrian Orr, looked slightly disheveled at the podium.

In his first appearance to discuss interest rate levels, the new governor of the Reserve Bank Adrian Orr dominated the show, equally informing and entertaining his audience. Photo: RNZ / Patrick Omeara

"The only text I've got from anyone I know is 'you still can't do that shirt up'," Mr Orr joked.

But Mr Orr didn't let his air of untidiness fool anyone. In his first appearance to discuss interest rate levels on Thursday morning, Mr Orr dominated the show, equally informing and entertaining his audience.

He followed his recent predecessors by leaving the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 percent, and reiterated it would stay there for some time yet.

Audio: - Patrick O'Meara discusses Reserve Bank's new governor
duration 8:59
from Morning Report

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format.

As Led Zeppelin put it, the song remains the same.

But there was clearly a new lead vocalist and new arrangement of the tune.

Firstly, his delivery was more clear and direct.

"The direction of our next move is equally balanced, up or down. Only time and events will tell," Mr Orr said.

That caused a minor flap among some long time market watchers, prompting the dollar to fall sharply initially.

But for Bank of New Zealand head of market research Stephen Toplis the new style was welcomed.

"Instead of having to flounder through screeds of mumblings to find out what the bank really thinks, the message is up front," Mr Toplis said.

It helped that Mr Orr was articulate with a sense of humour.

When asked whether his approach might be misinterpreted by those in financial markets, he drew on a classroom anecdote: "Sorry, my essay was so long Sir, I didn't have time to write a short one."

That humour also came to the fore as he neatly sidestepped a question about whether he was relieved by the fall in the dollar following his announcement.

"Relieved would be an emotion and I don't have emotions about currency," he said. "There was probably more sellers than buyers at the previous price."

But Mr Orr was also keen to play to a wider audience.

"Our challenge is to speak in plain english as opposed to a hi-tech scientific language around which only a half a dozen people understand and even less are interested in," Mr Orr said.

"The vast majority of the public had no idea who we are. That's a good thing on Saturday at the football ground, but not necessarily a good thing if we're trying to raise financial literacy and make people think harder about all the things that are important to us. Soundness and efficiency of the financial system."

Mr Orr has got off to to good start, receiving mostly favourable reviews from the critics.

A harder challenge will be convincing the public he is worth listening to.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Be Anxious About Artificial Intelligence

Frankly, the prospect of possibly losing half the existing forms of paid employment to AI does make me feel extremely anxious, given the indifference shown by central government to the downstream social damage caused by the reform process last time around... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Tom Wolfe The Parajournalist

As New Journalism’s primary advocate, Tom Wolfe headed the field with such experimental forces as Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson, all dedicated to enriching supposedly factual accounts with excessive flourishes that hurried out the beige in favour of the kaleidoscopic. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Racism And The Windsors

For all the talk about the modernizing effect that Meghan Markle could have on the Royal Family, the suspicion all along has been that the House of Windsor is resistant to change at any level beyond the purely decorative. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Prospects Of US Talks With North Korea

On June 12, the leaders of North Korea and the United States will meet across a table in Singapore, and Kim Jong Un must already be feeling giddy at the thought that this meeting is already being described with the word “summit” formerly reserved for meetings between superpowers of equal stature... Image: Steve Bolton NZ's contribution to the IAEA’s work on North Korea

  • United Nations - UN chief ‘optimistic’ over peace efforts
  • David Swanson - Enough is Enough. The Time Has Come to BDS the US - Peace Comes to Korea: Let’s Understand Why
  • CTBTO - CTBTO on North Korea
  • NZ Govt - NZ welcomes talks between North and South Korea
  • Massey University - Nukes to cyber war – NZ security in focus
  • Jim Miles - The Doomsday Machine - Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
  • UNHCHR - North Korea detente: UN expert urges human rights opening
  • Binoy Kampmark - Trump, North Korea and Post-Olympic Angst
  • Gordon Campbell: On National’s Latest Attempts At Relevance

    Having ignored the existence of massive problems in health and education for nine years in government, it is no longer politically viable for National to maintain the pretence that such problems really don’t exist, or are somehow unworthy of serious concern by rational men of commerce.... More>>