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Issues paper

Improving Economic Resilience

As a small, open, and geographically distant economy, functioning supply chains that underpin specialisation and trade are important for the prosperity and wellbeing of New Zealand.  Unfortunately, supply chain disruptions are here to stay, and the new normal is potentially both more volatile and uncertain.

In the aftermath of recent shocks, including the Covid-19 pandemic and impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle, examining the resilience of New Zealand’s economy has become increasingly important. In this inquiry, economic resilience is defined as the capacity of industries and associated communities to anticipate, prepare, absorb, recover and learn from supply chain disruptions – focusing on the interdependence of industries and communities in Aotearoa, the importance of proactively investing in resilience, and how the unique features of New Zealand’s economy shape those investments in resilience-enhancing policy.

The Productivity Commission has released an Issues Paper for public consultation. The Issues Paper outlines the Commission’s current thinking on supply chains and economic resilience in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas, and poses questions aimed at guiding stakeholder engagement.

Read the Issues Paper

See Online Glossary for a description of the terms

See Data pack for the underlying data used for the Figures and Tables.

Complementary analysis

The Commission has worked closely with economists Brian Easton and David Skilling in the development of the Issues Paper, and the findings of their research have been published in parallel.

All complementary analysis, key documents and useful links can be found on the inquiry top page.

A New Zealand history of shocks, Brian Easton (2023)

This paper examines how New Zealand governments and industries have responded to major persistent shocks and perceived risks and trends in the last century.

This provides the Commission with valuable insights into the economic resilience of New Zealand industries and communities, highlighting the difficulty of distinguishing temporary supply chain disruptions from persistent ones and underscoring the importance of macroeconomic stability, fiscal capacity and a diversified economy to New Zealand’s resilience to economic disruptions.

Read A New Zealand history of shocks

Supply chains to the last bus stop on the planet, David Skilling (2022)

This paper looks at the events and trends currently taking shape outside New Zealand, to identify the external shocks New Zealand politicians and industries may need to respond to in the future.

This research provides important context for the inquiry by outlining the global dynamics that present New Zealand industries, communities, and policymakers with challenges in the future, and highlighting areas for possible policy responses.

Read Supply chains to the last bus top on the planet 

Trade data analysis version 1.1

The Issues Paper includes findings from the Commission's preliminary analysis of publicly available trade data. The Commission has prepared a separate paper which summarises the analysis and findings in greater detail and provides links to the data and R code so the analysis can be reproduced. The exact numbers in version 1.1 differ slightly from those in the issues paper (which were based on version 1.0) as they reflect more developed analysis. Further versions of this paper will be available as the Inquiry progresses. 

Read Trade Data Analysis - version 1.1

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.