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Media Statement
Finance Minister to host Schools Challenge prize winners

4 Sep 2012

The winners of the Treasury-Victoria University Long-Term Fiscal Schools Challenge will visit Wellington on Thursday for a prize-giving ceremony attended by the Minister of Finance.

The Challenge was launched in March when Year 12 and 13 students were offered the opportunity to propose policy options that address New Zealand's long-term fiscal challenges and in doing so, put themselves in the shoes of the Treasury in analysing and advising on one of the major issues facing governments across the world.

A team from Invercargill's James Hargest College took first place, with second place going to Otago Boys’ High School and third place to Christchurch Girls’ High School.

The James Hargest College team surveyed the Invercargill public’s awareness of fiscal issues, and their attitudes to New Zealand Superannuation and health insurance. Their entry included proposals for graduated entitlements to NZS and incentives for private health insurance.

"We were so impressed by the quality of the ideas presented by the three winning teams that we have invited them to deliver their presentations to an audience including the Minister and Treasury staff,” said Treasury Chief Executive Gabriel Makhlouf.

“The issues that the students grappled with in preparing their presentations are the same issues that current and future governments face. Today’s students are the decision-makers of the future.”

Professor Bob Buckle of Victoria University will award the prizes following the students’ presentations, with an address by the Hon Bill English thereafter. Each member of the first-placed team receives a scholarship to Victoria University along with an $800 electronic goods voucher. Second and third-placed team members receive an $800 electronic goods voucher.

See Schools Challenge for further information.

Media are welcome to attend the presentation and prize-giving ceremony, which runs from 2pm-3pm. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the Minister and the students from 3pm. Please register your interest by contacting Serene Ambler.

Media contact:

Serene Ambler | Senior Communications Advisor
Tel: 04 917 6163
Email: serene.ambler@treasury.govt.nz
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