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Reserve Bank Embraces Kaitiaki Role In Outlining Its Priorities

Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua’s Statement of Intent (SOI) for 2020-2023, released today, highlights the Bank’s focus and commitment as the kaitiaki (guardians) of New Zealand’s financial system.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said the Bank is committed to meeting the challenges and risks that are ever present in the financial system, and making the most of opportunities for the New Zealand economy.

The SOI outlines how the Reserve Bank is evolving and transforming to achieve its vision of being a ‘Great Team, Best Central Bank’ and delivering on its core mandate while continuing to deepen its understanding of the changing world.

Mr Orr said, “We intend to epitomise a modern Central Bank. The Reserve Bank will operate transparently; be open to learning and adapting as necessary; work collectively and collaboratively; and be an active, relevant, cornerstone of New Zealand’s economy and society.”

Alongside the SOI, the Reserve Bank released its funding proposal – which explains the risks and opportunities facing the Bank, and why it needs to invest in its technology, capability and capacity to ensure it is cost-effective and fit-for-purpose for years to come.

“It is critical that we are adequately resourced to undertake this full range of activities to support financial stability and the wider financial system. Our new five-year Funding Agreement, tabled in Parliament last week, will provide much of this support,” said Mr Orr.

Aside from supporting New Zealand’s recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19, the Reserve Bank is also focused on a wide range of initiatives, framed in the SOI around the four elements of the Tāne Mahuta narrative. Some of the Bank’s key priorities and activities detailed in the SOI include:

  • Investing in supervision and enforcement expertise which will include a significant presence in Auckland;
  • Collaborating closely with industry, Government, and our co-regulators in the best interest of all New Zealanders;
  • Ensuring a higher degree of cultural awareness and building a more diverse and inclusive team through our Te Ao Māori strategy;
  • Assisting the transition of New Zealand’s economy to a low carbon future through our climate change work;
  • Preparing for changes to our governing legislation;
  • Making the most of opportunities associated with FinTech (financial technology); and
  • Working with international stakeholders, especially with Australia and the South Pacific.

“We will hold ourselves accountable to achieving the stated goals, and expect you all to hold us accountable also. We are New Zealand’s central bank for the people of New Zealand – current and future,” Mr Orr said.

The Reserve Bank has also released results of a survey about how it is delivering on commitments set out in its Relationship Charter, which was created in 2018 to develop the best “regulator-regulated” relationships possible. Results showed banks were generally positive about their relationship with Reserve Bank staff, the Bank’s communications and willingness to ask for feedback. The Bank will be working in the year ahead to respond to the lessons from the survey.


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