ProdComm News: July 2018

Productivity Commission

Productivity Commission News July 2018

The Commission is delighted to be finalising our current inquiries and will report to Ministers in August on how to improve state sector productivity and how to transition to a low-emissions economy.

The Government has announced two new inquiry topics for the Commission: Technological change, disruption and the future of work and Local government funding and financing. Both topics are significant for the future of New Zealand. We are working with relevant agencies to develop the Terms of Reference and are excited to be recruiting for talented Policy Advisors to join our team. 

How can we measure and improve state sector productivity?

We are finalising our advice on measuring and improving state sector productivity for the beginning of August. 

The Commission will report to Ministers about changes in system settings that would encourage and incentivise improvements in state sector productivity.

We are preparing guidance for officials about how to measure the productivity of public services for our website. Productivity aficionados and potential users of the guidance have been invited to an informal workshop on 25 July for us to get feedback on the presentation and user friendliness of the guidance material. Find out more about the state sector inquiry here.

Productivity takeover - Policy Quarterly August

Make sure you get your hands on the August issue of Policy Quarterly. With eight productivity-related papers, it's the issue not-to-be missed. Including contributions from the New Zealand Productivity Commission, Australian Productivity Commission, OECD, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Victoria University of Wellington, it will cover topics such as:

  • Moving on from New Zealand’s productivity paradox
  • The contribution digital transformation can make to lifting productivity
  • Productivity measurement in the digital age
  • Measuring health sector productivity
  • Quality adjusting data on education sector productivity
  • Transitioning to a low-emissions economy.

How can we transition to a low-emissions economy?

Consultation on our low-emissions economy draft report has now closed. We received an unprecedented number of submissions view all 270 submissions here. Thanks for all your feedback!

We're now busy considering submissions and conducting further modelling work to finalise our report which will be published at the end of AugustFind out more about the low-emissions economy inquiry here.

Firms, workers and disruptive technologies

What are the economic challenges raised by robots and digital technologies? How can we boost digital diffusion rates? These were hot topics at the OECD Global Forum on Productivity last week in Ottawa and very pertinent for our next inquiry on Technological change, disruption and the future of work.

The Commission's Chair, Murray Sherwin, and Director Paul Conway picked up numerous insights on the potential role of public policy in ensuring New Zealand makes the most of new technology. This includes massive challenges for the education and skills system, the management capability of firms and the financing of intangible asserts. See here for presentations from the Forum.

Can the kiwi fly? Achieving productivity lift-off in New Zealand

Why has it been so difficult to lift New Zealand's productivity performance? Why are we just keeping up rather than catching up to other high-income OECD countries?

Our Director of Economics & Research, Paul Conway, reveals key insights into the economic challenges and policy opportunities to improving our poor long-run productivity in his latest paper Can the kiwi fly? Read here...

Why do so many NZ businesses have low productivity?

"Lifting productivity is the key to a successful business community and a more prosperous New Zealand. But moving from an economy based on low-cost labour and long working hours to one driven by productivity improvements is difficult and may entail some short-term pain for long-term gain", writes Paul Conway in the latest Management Magazine issue.

Lifting productivity is key to business success - read full article here...

We're hiring! Senior and Principal Policy Advisors

Can you turn high-quality analysis into influential policy advice? We're recruiting for talented Senior and Principal Policy Advisors for our inquiry teams. 

If you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity to influence and raise the quality of public debate and policyabout the things that matter to New Zealanders, then get in touch. Find out more and view the job description here - applications close 30 July. 

Firm-level productivity insights

The Productivity Hub has just released a paper which provides an accessible summary of recent firm-level research. They hope this document will encourage conversations about how this research could inform policy and, in turn, what the next steps for Longitudinal Business Database researchshould be. Read here - Getting under the hood: Insights from Recent Firm-level Productivity Research in New Zealand.

Economists convene in Auckland

At last week's New Zealand Association of Economists Conference, Commission researchers and co-authors delivered six presentations, covering topics such as New Zealand’s recent productivity performance, the changing pattern of employment in regional economies, and measuring state sector productivity. You can find out more on the NZAE Conference website here.

Upcoming events

15-17 July - LGNZ Conference, Christchurch
24-25 July ProteinTECH 2018, Auckland
29-30 July Red Meat Sector Conference, Napier - Commission's Chair, Murray Sherwin, will be presenting
1-2 August - EDS Green Light Conference, Auckland - Commission's Chair, Murray Sherwin, will be a panellist
9-11 August EVWorldNZ, Auckland
19 September - Water New Zealand Conference, Hamilton