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Update – Services sector, Symposium & Housing affordability

Productivity Commission Update – Services sector, Symposium & Housing affordability

This update covers:
Recap: Recent Productivity Symposium event
Reminder: Consultation on our Services Sector report closes this week
Publication: Research paper on Housing Affordability

Symposium event recap

Key take-outs from our recent Symposium event are attached. Videos and slides of presentations are available on the Productivity Commission’s website. The Symposium was an important step in shaping research and policy work aimed at lifting New Zealand’s productivity.

The Symposium was hosted by the Productivity Hub, a partnership of public sector agencies involved in productivity research.

The Hub is now turning its attention to drafting a Forward Looking Agenda of Research (FLARE) to describe the key research areas that the Hub Board sees as priorities. Once complete, FLARE will be publically available to encourage relevant research and collaboration on productivity issues. If you have any ideas for research and policy work that will most effectively contribute to improving New Zealand’s productivity performance please feel free to send them in reply to this email.

Services sector report – close of submissions this week

Learn about our current inquiry into the Services sector. We have released an interim report, out for consultation until 23 August, which addresses the nature and role of services in the New Zealand economy.

See these short videos outlining the main features of the interim report:
Murray Sherwin (Chair) – overview
Geoff Lewis (Inquiry Director) – proposed topics for further investigation

The Commission is seeking feedback on its analysis to date, including what two topics should be our focus during the next phase of the inquiry. Potential topics are occupational licensing, stimulating services competition and addressing ICT barriers.

Housing Affordability

Housing affordability has been a topic of much interest in New Zealand over recent years with the median house price increasing by over 50% between 2004 and 2008. This is the topic of a recently published working paper:

Housing Affordability in New Zealand: Evidence from Household Surveys, by David Law (NZ Treasury) and Lisa Meehan (NZ Productivity Commission). This paper is published jointly as New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 13/14.

The aim of this paper is to inform debate by drawing out evidence from two surveys: the Household Economic Survey (HES); and the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE). In particular, the paper examines how patterns of house prices, expenditures, and home ownership have changed over time and across groups.



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