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Economics Forum To Push Boundaries On NZ’s Big Issues

The New Zealand Economics Forum 2024 provides a critical opportunity to discuss some of New Zealand’s most pressing socio-economic challenges and opportunities, amidst a significant shift in our country’s political landscape.

Proudly hosted by the University of Waikato on 15-16 February 2024, the annual Forum will bring together some of New Zealand’s top thinkers and leaders to discuss and debate the economic challenges and opportunities ahead for the country.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Waikato Management School, Matt Bolger, says: “The global economy remains hugely volatile. While inflation shows signs of slowing, countries around the world continue to face enormous cost-of-living challenges. There are also political and economic impacts from the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and a demanding regulatory landscape as countries grapple to achieve net-zero goals.

“The Forum is a chance for policy makers and business leaders, academics and community advocates to come together. The debate and insight support informed decisions that will help to build a strong and thriving economy and society.”

Setting the scene for the days ahead, the Forum will be opened with a keynote from Finance Minister Nicola Willis. As the Government nears the end of its first 100-days, she will explore the steps ahead and how the new Government plans to support a strong economy for all New Zealanders and their families.

The discussion will continue with a ‘health check’ of New Zealand’s own health system, and a look at how our growing and ageing population will shape our country in the years ahead. Panel sessions include a discussion on the disruptors that face our agriculture sector, as well as a session on global trade in a divided world and an in-depth look at New Zealand’s monetary policy.

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Day two will open with a keynote by Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua. This will be followed by an update from Treasury on the state of the country’s books, with a talk from Caralee McLiesh, Chief Executive and Secretary, New Zealand Treasury.

Other topics include infrastructure and how we unclog the arteries for growth; whether a social investment approach may change policy and outcomes; and what will happen to our climate and weather – and how we’ll have to adapt – if emissions aren’t curbed.

“We are glad to once again bring together an exceptional range of speakers and experts. The Forum will be two days of debate, discussion and insight. It serves not just as a briefing to the incoming government, but to anyone interested with the key issues facing our country,” says Matt Bolger.

A full list of speakers and sessions can be found online at:

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