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Economist takes the helm of NZIER

Economist takes the helm of NZIER

The newly appointed Director of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Dr Brent Layton says rigorous economic analysis can assist in solving New Zealand’s infrastructure problems.

“Two of the key sectors which have the potential to undermine New Zealand’s growth in the future are energy and transport.

“Economic and investment growth will be at risk unless the long term supply and cost of electricity in New Zealand is responsibly managed, while transport problems also have the potential to severely impact our growth.

“Both these areas need ongoing economic scrutiny if the benefits to the country are to be maximised.

“They are symptomatic of the work that many others of New Zealand’s network and infrastructure industries need.

“I intend taking a close interest in this area during my time at NZIER,” he says.

Dr Layton, an independent economist is one of New Zealand’s most experienced company directors.

He has significant commercial and management experience in the areas of finance and banking, transport, science and technology, electricity, health and agriculture.

His former roles include the Chairs of the New Zealand Electricity Market Rules Committee, Lyttelton Port Company, AgResearch and its commercial arm Celentis, Canterbury Health Ltd and Trust Bank Canterbury.

Dr Layton will head the country’s largest team of economists outside of government. Established in 1958, NZIER is one of the country’s foremost centres of applied economic research.

Chairman, Michael Walls says he is delighted at the appointment.

“Dr Layton brings to the position of Director an enormous amount of ability and experience in applied economics.

“He has been on both sides of the economic agenda, as an advisor, and as an implementer with considerable commercial expertise.


“He is a proven leader of teams which achieve excellent economic results.

“This is an unusual breadth of experience for an economist. We are delighted at the range of skills Brent will bring to the job of leading the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research,” says Mr Walls.

Dr Layton takes up his position in mid-September.

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