Search the site by keyword

Terms of Reference

How well prepared is Aotearoa-New Zealand to adapt to major and persistent supply chain disruptions? What needs to change, to improve productivity and make our economy more resilient to supply chain shocks – wherever they come from? 

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

The Government wants to identify what policies and interventions can enhance the resilience of New Zealand’s economy and living standards to persistent disruptions.  

Read Terms of Reference and letter from Ministry of Finance.

Community engagement

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.