A team of four students from Invercargill's James Hargest College have each won scholarships to study at Victoria University by winning the inaugural Long-term Fiscal Schools Challenge competition run by the Treasury and Victoria University of Wellington.
Teams from 18 secondary schools throughout New Zealand entered the competition and 13 finalist teams came to Wellington on 31 May to present their ideas about how to address New Zealand's long-term fiscal issues. The winners were:
- James Hargest College, Invercargill
- Otago Boys' High School, Dunedin
- Christchurch Girls' High School
"We were so impressed by the quality of the ideas presented by the three winning teams that we intend to bring each team back to Wellington later this year to deliver their presentations to a wider audience of Treasury staff," Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf said.
The James Hargest College team surveyed Invercargill people's level of education about fiscal issues and their attitudes to New Zealand Superannuation and health insurance. The team then used the survey results in their presentation, which included proposals for graduated entitlements to New Zealand Superannuation and incentives for private health insurance.
In addition to scholarships, each member of the three top teams won an $800 Apple iPad donated by Victoria University. The best speaker of the competition, Michael Moore-Jones of Scots College, Wellington, also won an iPad.
The panel of judges from Victoria University and the Treasury assessed each team on their understanding of the issues, the originality and practicality of their analysis, and their presentation skills.