Meri Kirihimete from our Chair

14 December 2021

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora koutou katoa.

The Christmas season is upon us and so it is also time to farewell 2021.

2021 saw us welcoming new lives into our hearts and minds, alongside mourning the passing of close friends, legends, and role models. We were also thankful for the Olympian efforts of the many health, border, and essential workers who put in shifts above and beyond the call of duty.

The word of the year was delta. Some may remember delta from high-school mathematics as the symbol for change, but most didn’t welcome a reintroduction to the Greek alphabet. For myself, 2021 was indeed one of considerable change as I settled into my new position at the Productivity Commission. During the year the Commission welcomed new staff into the fold, while farewelling others to take on new pastures. We established and strengthened relationships with stakeholders. Our Frontier firms work, Immigration inquiry, and A fair chance for all mahi were all challenging for me, as I found my feet in a different environment.

Looking towards 2022 and beyond, I see the theme of change continuing. The threats from the forces of poverty, inequality, climate change, and xenophobic nationalism continue to accumulate around the globe. My prayers ask for the strength and wisdom for communities to welcome changes to happen before it is too late. Yes, the case against business-as-usual grows stronger; but inherent inertia and entrenched vested interests appear no weaker.

While I am not a Christian, I am sure that no one faith has a monopoly on the values that underpin the Christmas message. That Christmas message sees my thoughts turn to those less fortunate. To those where the promise of hope and change cannot be realised quickly enough. And, equally, to those who will be least able to adjust to the inevitable changes that lie ahead. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, many will lie in both groups.

Alongside embracing compassion, wellbeing, and hope, it is important to recognise, value, and celebrate the many organisations, enterprises, businesses, and people that together make up the community that is Aotearoa. We are humbled to part of, and to serve, that community.

On behalf of the ProdCom team, a warm mihi to all our stakeholders, friends, family, colleagues, and associates. We wish you well; and hope you get to enjoy a break – with the opportunity for some thoughtful reflection and inspiring kōrero, surrounded by loving whānau and family, trusted friends, hearty kai, and refreshing drink.

Take care in these uncertain times, look after each other, and hold close all that is dear to you.

Meri Kirihimete,


Ganesh Nana
Chair, New Zealand Productivity Commission