Search the site by keyword

Productivity by the numbers: the New Zealand experience


Lisa Meehan

Paul Conway

Date published

20 September 2013


New Zealand's productivity

This Research Paper provides an assessment of New Zealand’s productivity performance for the whole economy, for individual industries and compared to other OECD countries.

The research shows that New Zealand has generally poor productivity performance – both at the economy-wide and industry levels. This underscores the need for our policy environment to be strongly supportive of productivity growth and for firms to have a clear focus on improving productivity.

Why does productivity matter?

Paul Conway, Director, Economics and Research, provides an overview of why productivity is important for New Zealand and how New Zealand is performing compared to other countries in the following videos:

  1. What is productivity?
  2. New Zealand's productivity performance
  3. New Zealand's productivity by industry

What next?

  • This paper provides important information on New Zealand’s productivity performance. It is relevant for upcoming research and inquiries carried out by the Commission and its Productivity Hub partners.
  • The Commission is currently undertaking industry-level productivity analysis on: the industry contributions to the 2000s productivity growth slowdown, the contribution of labour reallocation to aggregate productivity growth and the shares of income going to labour and capital.
  • In early 2014, the Commission will publish its initial productivity outcomes monitoring report, which will be updated periodically.
JEL codes  JEL: D24 – Production; Cost; Capital, Multifactor and Total Factor Productivity; Capacity; JEL: O47 – Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity



Understanding New Zealand’s productivity performance

Our research aims to understand New Zealand's productivity performance and the role of policy in lifting productivity. 

Explore our publications below, hear us present at an event or contact us with your productivity questions.

A photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive

Productivity growth

The goal of our research is to facilitate a move from an economy that grows by using more “inputs” (such as labour or natural resources), to one where productivity plays a greater role in driving economic growth – essentially, working smarter, with greater financial and knowledge capital employed per worker.

Our research explores a wide range of productivity issues: employment, firm dynamics, technology diffusion, innovation, regional development, spatial and public-sector productivity.

Working together

The commissioning of research and the practice of collaboration with others is important to us. It enables us to access subject/sector specialists and benefit from the cross-promotion of ideas and insights. You will find research from the Commission, as well as research we commissioned, below.

Strengthening learning

Our Economics & Research team is independently evaluated every two years to understand how to improve and enhance our impact. See the latest evaluation report and 2020 survey results here.


Filter publications by topic.

Load more publications