Productivity in a Changing World

Jul 6, 2023

This was a special joint session of The Treasury's Productivity in a Changing World seminar series.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s economic context is very different to most other advanced economies, which are mainly situated in Europe, North America, and East Asia. Aotearoa is particularly small and distant from these centres of global economic activity. However, we have abundant agricultural and natural resources, high levels of skills in our workforce, and generally well-regarded policy and regulatory systems and practices.


The Productivity Commission’s Philip Stevens and The Treasury's Matthew Galt provided an overview of trends in productivity and incomes in Aotearoa over recent decades, and the challenges and opportunities these trends present for our country.

Here is the slide presentation.

Here is the recording of the seminar.

This seminar helped people:

  • Understand recent trends in productivity and income in Aotearoa, why the two have diverged and what this might mean for our future incomes.
  • Gain insights into how the interplay of productivity, employment, international trade, and income trends is shaping our economy.
  • Discover how the key factors driving productivity growth in Aotearoa have been changing, including skills, innovation and technological advancements, and regulatory and business environments.
  • Learn about the challenges hindering our productivity and opportunities to enhance productivity in Aotearoa.

This seminar was organised by Te Tai Ōhanga - The Treasury, Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa - Productivity Commission, and Motu Research.


Date and time: 9:30-11am, Thursday, 6 July 2023 
Location: The Treasury, level 3, 1 The Terrace, Wellington 1 and ON VIDEO CALL

About the presenters

Philip Stevens is Productivity Commission’s Director, Economics & Research. He was GM of Analysis, Research and Evaluation at the Ministry of Education and at MBIE. Before coming to New Zealand, he was a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social research in London. Philip has published in leading peer-reviewed international journals on subjects such as: productivity analysis; employment; competition; evaluation; the measurement of performance in the public sector; broadband; R&D and human capital. He has a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford.


Matthew Galt is a Senior Analyst in the Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policy team at the New Zealand Treasury. Matthew started his career at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, analysing the New Zealand and international economies and the banking sector. He has since worked on housing, monetary, and fiscal policy issues. He is the author of an upcoming Treasury Analytical Note: Examining New Zealand’s increased rate of income growth from the late 1990s to 2019.