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Improving Economic Resilience

The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the resilience of the New Zealand economy to supply chain disruptions (see Terms of Reference).

Resilience main image

The Government wants to identify the policies and interventions that can enhance the resilience of New Zealand’s economy and living standards to persistent medium-term supply chain disruptions. 

Global supply chains improve productivity and enhance the wellbeing of businesses and communities in Aotearoa as trade and logistics networks enable specialisation, production and distribution; connecting New Zealanders to new technologies and ideas. However, the environment that global supply chains relied on for the past three decades is being increasingly challenged by emerging geopolitical, environmental, societal, economic, infrastructural and health risks. 

A table of Economic and socio-political factors affecting supply chains

The outlook for supply chains is not a simple return to pre-pandemic operations. Global trends indicate that disruptions are likely to be more frequent. In response, governments of most advanced economies, including New Zealand, have started to explore policy options for enhancing economic resilience – the capacity of industries and communities to anticipate, prepare, absorb, recover and learn from supply chain disruptions.

Read the Improving Economic Resilience: Issues Paper

Community engagement

Webinar in partnership with Venture Taranaki on 11 May 2023

The Taranaki business community and industries were invited to give the inquiry team feedback and insights from their perspective and experience. The webinar started off with an opening remark from Dr Ganesh Nana, chair of the Productivity Commission, followed by a short presentation by the inquiry team, then it opened the floor for a conversation.

NZPC presentation slides 

Launch of the Issues Paper on 28 February 2023

David Skilling talked through the wider international context of the inquiry and what this means for New Zealand businesses and communities. Commissioner Diane Ruwhiu provided an overview of the issues paper and outline the questions that the Commission is seeking feedback on from stakeholders and the public. Catherine Beard from BusinessNZ opened the wider public conversation on the inquiry topic.

Watch a recording of the full webinar

Workshop with Brian Easton, David Skilling and expert panellists, November 2022

The Productivity Commission hosted an event to introduce the inquiry, outline some initial thinking, explore the history of previous supply chain disruptions, and test some possible scenarios for research.

Following presentations by Brian Easton and Dr David Skilling, Dr Ganesh Nana chaired a panel discussion with Catherine de Fontenay (Australian Productivity Commission), Bryan Chapple (NZ Commerce Commission), Craig Renney (Council of Trade Unions) and the Productivity Commission’s Director of Research Dr Philip Stevens.

All panellists spoke in their personal capacities, rather than as representatives of their organisations.

Some takeaways from the discussion:

  • Geopolitical, climate and other risks will continue to disrupt New Zealand supply chains.
  • Disruptions will be such that calls for public intervention will increase, not decrease – and existing responsibilities for adaptation and transition might need reform.
  • Trade and supply chain disruptions are increasingly political, and Aotearoa will struggle to influence events.
  • Geography could matter more over time, not less. The world was never ‘flat’, and New Zealand needs to think about how it connects to the world, particularly through shipping. 
  • Communities should not be left behind in structural change. Asking them to ‘be more resilient’ is not fair and is not going to work.

Watch a recording of the full workshop

See workshop slides from the Productivity Commission 
See presentation by Dr David Skilling, Director of Landfall Strategy Ltd
See presentation slides from Brian Easton, Economic Historian
See presentation notes from Brian Easton, Economic Historian
See presentation by Catherine de Fontenay, Australia Productivity Commissioner.

Key documents and links

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