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Media Statement: Treasury to Test its Long-term Fiscal Analysis with External Panel

19 Mar 2012

The Treasury will test its analysis of the Crown's long-term financial challenges with an independent external panel of experts.

"The Treasury is required by law to provide Parliament a Statement on the Long-term Fiscal Position at least once every four years and the next report is due by October 2013," says Gabriel Makhlouf, Secretary to the Treasury.

"These Statements, which provide 40-year projections on the Crown's fiscal position, identify challenges that will face future governments, such as those arising out society's ageing population, and provide Members of Parliament with evidence-based options on how to meet those challenges." Mr Makhlouf said.

"In order to further strengthen the quality of analysis contained in the Treasury's 2006 and 2009 Statements, we have now established an external panel of independent experts and commentators against which we will test our assumptions and analysis in the countdown to the publication of the third Statement which we plan to publish by 1 April 2013," Mr Makhlouf said.

"The external panel will be chaired by Professor Bob Buckle from Victoria University and its role will be to help ensure that the next Statement is robust and provides a range of viable options for managing the Crown's financial position in a way which protects the interests of New Zealanders now and in the future," Mr Makhlouf said.

The Treasury's long-term fiscal Statements are designed to be an analytical tool to assist Parliamentarians make evidence-based trade-offs to manage emerging financial challenges. The Statements do not make policy recommendations.

Most members of the external panel will provide their own views and observations of key issues, options and potential trade-offs through the presentation of papers at a conference, which will be jointly hosted by Victoria University and the Treasury in December.

The panel will meet monthly from August to November 2012. All research papers and the minutes of panel meetings will be published on-line after each meeting.

Membership of the External Panel advising the Treasury on the next Statement on the Long-term Fiscal Position

  • Chair: Professor Bob Buckle, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington
  • Geoff Bascand, Government Statistician and the Chief Executive of Statistics New Zealand
  • Professor John Creedy, Professor of Economics, Victoria University of Wellington/Treasury
  • Hon Dr Michael Cullen, Chair of New Zealand Post Ltd; Minister of Finance, Labour-led governments (1999-2008)
  • Diana Crossan, Retirement Commissioner
  • Professor Chris Cunningham, Director, Research Centre for Maori Health & Development, Massey University
  • Dr Brian Easton, economist and writer
  • Professor Norman Gemmell, Chair in Public Finance at Victoria University of Wellington
  • Mary Holm, financial columnist and lecturer
  • Colin James, journalist and analyst (whose contributions will be strictly analytical, not advisory)
  • Alison O’Connell, Senior Associate, Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dr Susan St John, Co-Director, Retirement Policy and Research Centre, University of Auckland
  • Professor Neil Quigley, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Victoria University of Wellington
  • Professor Nicholas Mays,  Professor of Health Policy and Director, Policy Research Unit in Policy Innovation Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Rt Hon Simon Upton, Director, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Minister of the Crown, National-led governments (1990-1999)
  • Dr Patrick Nolan, Chief Economist, Reform think tank, London

Two other members are to be confirmed shortly.

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