New chief economist starts at BNZ

Bank of New Zealand has announced Paul Conway as its new chief economist, stepping into the role formerly held by Tony Alexander.

BNZ chief financial officer Peter MacGillivray said Conway "breaks the mould of the traditional bank economist who typically focus on house prices, interest rates, and the state of the business cycle".

“While these issues are important, Paul’s focus as BNZ’s chief economist will be on the potential to improve productivity and wellbeing in New Zealand through digital transformation.

“Having spent seven years at the Productivity Commission, and with his recent work at BNZ on our half-yearly Wellbeing Report and our digital transformation report Connected New Zealand, Paul is uniquely placed to analyse these important shifts and their potential to lift New Zealand’s economic performance,” MacGillivray added.

Conway said he would take the role "in a new direction".

“Covid-19 presents us with a unique opportunity to build a more productive economy that delivers better outcomes for all New Zealanders, and it’s the right time to change the direction of this role and embrace these new opportunities and challenges.

“A strong focus on how we can embed and maximise the benefits of digital technology will help us build stronger, more resilient businesses that deliver high-value products and services, create better jobs and enhance wellbeing,” Conway added.

Conway started his new role on February 1.

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