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2016 Treasury Schools Challenge Task

Page updated 9 Mar 2016

Regional Development


The New Zealand Treasury’s vision is to be a world class Treasury working for higher living standards for all New Zealanders. Each region of New Zealand has many different specialities, strengths and opportunities all of which contribute to increasing the living standards for New Zealanders within your region.

Strengths/specialities/opportunities are central to regional development, performance and living standards. They also provide a focus for regional strategy and policy which is why Treasury and the Minister of Finance would like to hear your perspective about your region.

The question

In the 2016 Treasury Schools Challenge we would like you to write a 2000 word essay (maximum) that takes on the role of a Treasury analyst in developing a briefing to the Minister of Finance. In your briefing you are required to:

  • identify three specialties, strengths or opportunities of your region that contribute to higher living standards or with further development have the potential to do so
  • make policy recommendations on how to develop these specialities, strengths and opportunities to better utilise them. When giving your advice consider what roles and responsibilities Central and Local Government, and others such as community groups, families/whanau and iwi, should have in improving the living standards for all in your region.

To assist in developing your recommendations you should apply the Treasury’s “Living Standards Framework” and consider the costs associated with your recommendations. We are not looking for specific costs, just the nature of the costs, i.e. who bears the cost and over what time frame.

As in previous years, there are no ‘right’ answers to this challenge. We are looking for new insights into your region and policy advice, not the ‘right’ answers. We encourage bold, creative and diverse thinking and don't be afraid to consider the longer term. You do not need to study economics or finance to participate in this challenge. You just need to be able to demonstrate that you understand the New Zealand and regional context, and that your policies are a good fit for the improvement of living standards for those within your region

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