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Annual Report of the Treasury for the Year Ended 30 June 2012

Chief Executive's Introduction

I was appointed Chief Executive of the Treasury at the beginning of the 2011/12 year. It was yet another time of change in the development of our nation and the international outlook. The impact of the global financial crisis on Europe, a general election in New Zealand and the ongoing effects of the Canterbury earthquakes on the economy have all challenged the Treasury. As a new leader, I have tried to bring a fresh perspective to these and all the rich and diverse issues that the Treasury advises on.

Like many government departments, the Treasury is looking hard at the way we do things. We are recruiting a more diverse range of people, and we are reaching out to benefit from other public and private sector expertise. I'm proud of how the Treasury has responded to challenges. It is a privilege working with such committed and talented people.

New Zealand's overall growth performance has been weak for some time. An income gap of around 30% to 40% separates us from many advanced countries. We have lost competitiveness relative to our trading partners, and we have imbalances in our economy. The global economy is being re-shaped around us and it is vital in the next decade that we make good decisions, take the right actions and make the most of opportunities presented to us.

Our vision is to be a world-class Treasury working towards higher living standards for New Zealanders. We have a unique position of responsibility and influence in the New Zealand public sector. Under my leadership we will not be shy about entering public debate. We will use our credible analysis and well-researched evidence to present a more complete picture of complex issues. Achieving our vision requires us to provide sound advice that policy-makers and the public can be confident about.

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