Bloomberg News

RBNZ Creates Governors’ Committee to Debate Major Policy Issues

March 06, 2013

New Zealand’s central bank is forming a committee of its governors to debate policy ahead of decisions on regulation, the currency and interest rates, Governor Graeme Wheeler announced.

“The Governing Committee will maximize the knowledge and experience of the Governors individually and, as a collective, rigorously test ideas and build consensus around major policy decisions,” Wheeler said in a speech in Auckland today. “The Governor remains solely accountable for those decisions under the Reserve Bank Act.”

New Zealand’s central bank operates independently of the government, and the governor makes the decision on interest rates after taking advice from a committee of officials who don’t vote and whose minutes aren’t published. Today’s change is of management rather than governance, Wheeler said.

The Reserve Bank will also expand its communications program to include more on-the-record speeches, and use a wider range of speakers and communication channels, to help broaden understanding of its policy choices, he said.

New Zealand’s central bank may increase home buyers’ minimum deposits and enforce tighter conditions on bank balance sheets, it said in a March 4 consultation document.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net


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