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Guest lecture

New Zealand's Fiscal Management: An International Perspective

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Twenty years ago, New Zealand stood centre-stage internationally on the design and introduction of many reforms in fiscal policy and public expenditure management. Since then, much has changed not only within New Zealand’s fiscal management regime but in the way other countries have implemented and adapted these measures. Many have pursued alternative approaches. International perceptions of the validity and usefulness of the “New Zealand model” have shifted accordingly.

This presentation will discuss key aspects of recent developments in fiscal management – both in practice and perception. How well regarded internationally are New Zealand’s fiscal policies and public financial management systems now? What are our strengths, and where are we trailing? (Reference will also be made on some of these questions to the recently published report “External Review of Treasury’s Fiscal Advice” by a former director of the International Monetary Fund.) What attributes are needed by a NZ policy or public financial management adviser to be effective in the international arena?

About David Webber

David is a graduate of Victoria University and began his career in economics and public finance in the NZ public service before moving to the NZ Planning Council in 1985. Since 1988, he has worked as a consultant to the Treasury, SSC and many other government departments and private sector firms. He was appointed to the IMF’s Panel of Fiscal Experts in 1991 and has undertaken over 200 missions for the IMF, World Bank and other international agencies in more than 50 countries since that time. He is also Managing Director of the Wellington-based Economics & Strategy Group Ltd (

Much of David’s international fiscal advisory work has been undertaken under challenging conditions associated with economic transition in the East European and former Soviet countries and in conflict-related situations in the Middle East and Asia. His areas of expertise have included many aspects of economics and public sector management, but with a particular focus internationally on fiscal policies and financial management reform.

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Last updated: 
Friday, 5 December 2014