Papers and speeches


New Zealand’s longer-term economic performance

“The long-term level ‘misalignment’ of the exchange rate: Some perspectives on causes and consequences” (speaking notes version here) ,    Paper presented at the Reserve Bank and Treasury Exchange Rate Forum, 26 March 2013

Why New Zealand languishes  Notes that extend the analytical framework used in the March 2013 paper into a (brief) speculative treatment of a longer run of New Zealand economic history.  May 2013

“Thinking Big: And drifting slowly ever further behind”  Address to the New Zealand Initiative Members’ Retreat, Auckland, March 2016  Drifting slowly ever further behind NZI retreat presentation 17 March 2016

Think Big: Auckland, immigration, and the absence of income growth , AUT Policy Brief, May 2016

People, land, and (lots of) sea: New Zealand’s persistent economic underperformance Address to the Fabian Society, Wellington, 20 May 2016

Distance still matters hugely: an economist’s case for much-reduced non-citizen immigration to New Zealand, Address to LEANZ seminar, Wellington, 26 June 2017

An economist’s scepticism about large-scale immigration to New Zealand, Address to Rotary Club of Port Nicholson, 5 July 2017

Large-scale non-citizen immigration to New Zealand has been making us poorer , Address to Mana 3A, Plimmerton, 18 September 2017

An underperforming economy: the insufficiently recognised implications of extreme remoteness, Fuller (May 2019) text of a chapter in E Berman and G Karacaoglu (eds), Public Policy and Governance Frontiers in New Zealand, Emerald Publishing, Bingley, 2020

Rethinking immigration policy for a post-Covid New Zealand June 2021 Address to the Wellington North Rotary Club, 17 June 2021

Towards an economics approach to evaluating New Zealand immigration policy, Talk to Masters class at Victoria University of Wellington, 9 August 2021


“Economic effects of immigration and the New Zealand economic histories” (note summarizing the perspectives of post-war New Zealand economic historians in published work),  29 June 2013   Economic effects of immigration and the New Zealand economic historians

The Sharing Game,  Speaking notes for the Goethe Institute/New Zealand Initiative panel on immigration and diversity, Wellington,  November 2015

The New Zealand Initiative released a major report on New Zealand immigration policy. Over February and March 2017 I ran a series of 10 posts commenting on various aspect of the report, which are collated here in a single document.


PSN lecture series Lifting productivity, for our kids’ sake May 2018  Address as part of Presbyterian Support Northern’s series of talks on aspect of improving wellbeing for children.   Auckland and Wellington, May 2018.

Housing and housing finance

“Housing: more than a symptom and less than a cause”  Comments on a presentation by Peter Jarrett at the Treasury/Reserve Bank/VUW conference on macroeconomic imbalances, June 2011  (this was the first public version of my thoughts on the macroeconomic impact of modern New Zealand immigration policy)

“High house prices: a blunder of our governments”,   Basis for an address to a Portfolio Construction symposium, Auckland, May 2015 High house prices a blunder of our governments

Housing, financial stresses, and the regulatory role of the Reserve Bank LEANZ seminar 25 June 2015  Address to LEANZ,  Wellington, June 2015

Submission to RBNZ investor finance restrictions July 2015  Submission on the proposal to impose restrictions on access to bank finance for those purchasing rental properties

High house prices A blunder of our governments (for AUT Briefing Papers)  Published in AUT’s online Briefing Papers series August 2015

“Housing: some perspectives on how governments have messed things up”,  Speech to Nelson Property Investors’ Association,  October 2015      Housing speech for Nelson 27 Oct 2015

“Intervening without understanding: The Reserve Bank and the housing market” , Address to Nelson Property Investors’ Association, 1 August 2017

Submission to the Reserve Bank consultation on possible debt-to-income restrictions , August 2017

An article on the causes and possible solutions to the house/land price situation, 19 March 2021

“Free up the land: Unravelling the unnatural housing disaster”, published in Capital magazine April/May 2021

Treasury OIA release on RB MPC Remit change re housing 2021 February 2021

Submission on the Reserve Bank’s consultation on tightening LVR controls, September 2021

Lots of action, but none that will fix the housing market, published in Capital magazine November 2021



“Towards a Nordic tax system for New Zealand” ,  Notes for use in the VUW/GEN public finance debates, Wellington, September 2012

Monetary policy and inflation targeting

“Origins and early development of inflation targeting” Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Vol 62 No 3, September 1999

“Fiscal policy, monetary policy, and monetary conditions: 1990 and 1991”   Internal RBNZ paper written in 2010 (and released with redactions) about the interactions between fiscal and monetary policy in the early days of inflation targeting. Memo to MPC – Fiscal policy, monetary policy and monetary conditions part 1 , Memo to MPC – Fiscal policy, monetary policy and monetary conditions part 2

“Discussion of ‘Inflation Targeting and Economic Reforms in New Zealand’ “ International Journal of Central Banking, September 2015 pp 199-211  (in particular, a discussion of nominal GDP targeting as a possible alternative)

Banking regulation and supervision

Submission to RBNZ regulatory stocktake Sept 2015

Submission to the Reserve Bank’s consultation on minimum bank capital ratios, May 2019

Governance and structure of the Reserve Bank

time for Parliament to reform the governance of the Reserve Bank online version,           May 2015

Grant Robertson, Labour’s finance spokesperson, in an address at Victoria University on 10 April 2017 outlined Labour’s policy on reforming the decision-making process for monetary policy, and adding full employment to the statutory monetary policy objective.  I was a discussant, and the background notes I used are here.

My September 2018 submission to Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee on the amendment bill overhauling the monetary policy provisions of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act is here

My February 2021 submission to FEC on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand bill, overhauling the entire governance model.    Submission to FEC Reserve Bank of NZ bill Feb 2021

Other submissions

My submission on the reform of the Overseas Investment Act, May 2019

A submission to the Ministry of Education’s consultation on a proposed curriculum for teaching New Zealand history, May 2021

My submission on the Reserve Bank’s consultation on central bank digital currencies, December 2021 (

Economic and central banking history

The New Zealand Debt Conversion Act 1933: a case study in coercive domestic public debt restructuring, Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, March 2012 pp 38-45

Discussant comments on John Singleton’s ‘The Winds of Change for Central Banks’ Presented at the RBNZ/VUW Professorial Fellowship Workshop, The Current Financial Crisis: Historical Perspectives and Implications for Central Banks.  June 2009


One Christian’s Thoughts on Economics and Money Baptist Assembly 2002, Address to the New Zealand Baptist Assembly, Christchurch, November 2002

Submission on the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, September 2021

Covid 19

A short piece for The Spinoff on options for responding to the economic effects of coronavirus, including a possible temporary reduction in GST, March 2020

A (30 March 2020) letter to Simon Bridges and David Seymour re the absolute ban on funerals, committals etc under the March 2020 “lockdown”. Letter to Bridges and Seymour re funeral ban

Rebuilding New Zealand’s Shattered Economy in a Post-Covid World, Policy Brief for the SSANSE series on a post-Covid future, April/May 2020

My opening remarks for an appearance at Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee, 13 May 2020 (and Parliament’s Facebook recording of that morning’s hearings).

Notes for a talk to the Victoria University student branch of the Institute for International Affairs Notes for VUW IIA talk 19 May 2020

Appearing to be active, but accomplishing little: New Zealand monetary policy in 2020, Notes for a guest lecture to Victoria University’s Master of Applied Finance class, 12 December 2020

Should have done better: monetary policy in Covid times, Address to Institute of Directors, Wellington, 5 August 2021

What’s gone wrong at the Reserve Bank?, Stuff op-ed published 19 February 2022