Our team

The quality of our people is critical to our success. Our work relies on our team’s research and analytical skills, their ability to undertake high-quality analysis and shape that into influential policy advice.

We currently employ about 20 people and are committed to being a ‘good employer'. The Commission is governed by a Board that is accountable to Parliament and reports to the Minister of Finance. The Chair and Commissioners are responsible for the effective governance of the

Commission and the overall health, wellbeing and sustainability of our organisation. They also oversee the delivery of our work programme and outputs. Meet our board and management team below...


The board

Dr. Ganesh Nana

Chair
Ganesh is a first-generation New Zealander, born, bred, and educated in Te Whanganui a Tara. His interest in economics originally emanated from his love of numbers, which in turn arose out of his passion for cricket.

Dr. Ganesh Nana

Chair

Ganesh is a first-generation New Zealander, born, bred, and educated in Te Whanganui a Tara. His interest in economics originally emanated from his love of numbers, which in turn arose out of his passion for cricket.

Ganesh took up the position of Chair of the Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa after 22 years at the consultancy Business and Economics Research Limited (BERL). His work at BERL covered a broad range of projects. His highlight was efforts in strengthening relationships with Māori entities and organisations and building an understanding of te ōhanga Māori.

In 2018 he was appointed a member of the Government established Welfare Expert Advisory Group, which reported back in 2019 with Whakamana Tangata – Restoring Dignity to Social Security in New Zealand.

Prior to BERL, Ganesh acted as primary caregiver to his pre-school children while also employed as part-time lecturer at Victoria University. Before children, Ganesh managed to explore some parts of the world – including working in England as a researcher at the House of Commons gaining experience with IMF and OECD economic models. On his way home to Aotearoa he spent several months visiting family and ancestral lands across India.

Ganesh believes economics is fundamentally about people and is best reflected in our collective role as kaitiaki o taonga.

Andrew Sweet

Commissioner
Andrew is Director of consulting firm Firecone NZ where he provides economic, public policy, regulatory and commercial advice. He also runs the secretariat of the Small Advanced Economics Initiative which brings together senior officials from different countries...

Andrew Sweet

Commissioner

Andrew is Director of consulting firm Firecone NZ where he provides economic, public policy, regulatory and commercial advice. He also runs the secretariat of the Small Advanced Economics Initiative which brings together senior officials from different countries to explore policy issues.

From 2010-2014, he was Policy Advisor at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he provided advice on primarily environmental issues such as the Resource Management Act and climate change. His other key areas of expertise are science and innovation policy, network utilities regulation and transport policy.

Andrew has deep knowledge in a variety of policy areas, extensive experience providing recommendations on complex policy issues, as well as experience working with government. His appointment as a Commissioner runs from 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2022.

Prof. Gail Pacheco

Commissioner
Gail is an experienced researcher with a focus on labour and health research themes. She is currently a Professor of Economics and the Director of the NZ Work Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology leading large-scale funded projects...

Prof. Gail Pacheco

Commissioner

Gail is an experienced researcher with a focus on labour and health research themes. She is currently a Professor of Economics and the Director of the NZ Work Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology leading large-scale funded projects, involving both academic and external collaborations.

In 2019, AUT bestowed its top award to Gail for her research, scholarship and application of integrated data to help inform social policy and wellbeing. 

Gail was awarded the NZIER Economics Award in 2018 for outstanding contributions to the advancement of economics and its applications to New Zealand.

She has a strong technical background and has extensive experience with complex research projects involving diverse stakeholder groups, including the government. Her appointment as a Commissioner runs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022.

Learn more about Gail.

Dr. Bill Rosenberg

Commissioner
Bill was the Policy Director & Economist at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) for over 10 years and currently holds a part-time role as CTU's Future of Work Director.

Dr. Bill Rosenberg

Commissioner

Bill was the Policy Director & Economist at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) for over 10 years and currently holds a part-time role as CTU's Future of Work Director. As Economist at the CTU, Bill was a regular commentator in the media, and before that held technical and management positions in computing and e-learning services at Lincoln and Canterbury Universities.

He has been a member of the of the Tertiary Education Commission Board between 2006 and 2011, a member of the Government’s Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety, a member of Statistics New Zealand’s Advisory Committee for independent review of the CPI, and a member of the current Government’s Tax Working Group.

Bill is currently a Senior Associate at Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and Research Associate at the University of Waikato, and his recent research interests have focused on labour, income distribution and health funding. He has also published on social welfare policy, overseas investment, international trade, and media ownership. He has active interests in the future of work, industry policy and active labour market policy.

Bill’s appointment as a Commissioner runs from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021.

Management team

Daiman Smith

General Manager
Daiman is an experienced public sector manager with a background in strategic policy, governance and assurance. As Group Manager, Corporate at the Independent Police Conduct Authority, he was responsible for strategy and corporate...

Daiman Smith

General Manager

Daiman is an experienced public sector manager with a background in strategic policy, governance and assurance. As Group Manager Corporate at the Independent Police Conduct Authority, he was responsible for strategy and corporate issues. He has held management roles at the Ministry of Justice, worked on advising and monitoring Crown-owned entities at The Treasury/Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit and held strategic analysis and policy roles with a focus on capability development and relationship management in the Ministry of Defence and the NZ Defence Force.

Daiman has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and Master of Arts in History from Massey University, and a Master of International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington. 

Judy Kavanagh

Inquiry Director
Judy is an economist with experience in both academia and the public sector. She has had roles in the Ministries of Health and Education and has taught at Canterbury University and Victoria University of Wellington. Her research areas include...

Judy Kavanagh

Inquiry Director

Judy is an economist with experience in both academia and the public sector. She has had roles in the Ministries of Health and Education and has taught at Canterbury University and Victoria University of Wellington. Her research areas include experimental economics, economic psychology and the organisation of health systems.

At the Commission she has worked on inquiries into Technology and the future of work (2020), State sector productivity (2018), New models of tertiary education (2016), Using land for housing (2015), Regulatory institutions and practices (2014), Towards better local regulation (2013), and Housing affordability (2012), as well as a research project into Growing the digital economy in Australia and New Zealand (2019).

Judy has a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Canterbury, a post graduate diploma in Health Economics from the University of Tromso (with distinction) and a College Diploma and Diploma in Teaching from the Christchurch Teachers College and the Department of Education (with distinction).

Dr. Philip Stevens

Director, Economics & Research
Philip is an economist with twenty-years’ experience of economic and social research in the university, independent and public sectors. He joined us from the Ministry of Education, where he was GM Analysis, Research & Evaluation | Po­­ārahi Wananga Matua.

Dr. Philip Stevens

Director, Economics & Research

Philip is an economist with twenty-years’ experience of economic and social research in the university, independent and public sectors. He joined us from the Ministry of Education, where he was GM Analysis, Research & Evaluation | Po­­ārahi Wananga Matua. Prior to that he held a similar role at MBIE, as well as Manager and Chief Advisor of Economic Strategy in MBIE and MED­. Before coming to New Zealand, Philip was a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social research in London.

Philip has published in leading peer-reviewed international journals on subjects such as: productivity analysis; employment; competition; evaluation; the measurement of performance in the public sector; broadband; R&D and human capital.

Philip has a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford, a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Leeds, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Public Policy from Leeds Metropolitan University (First Class).