Media Statements on Long-Term Fiscal External Panel 2013
Media Statement

28 Mar 2013

External Panel Gives Feedback on Draft Long-Term Fiscal Statement

22 Feb 2013

Additional Long-Term Fiscal External Panel Meetings Scheduled

24 Jan 2013

Fourth Long-Term External Panels Meeting Notes Online

News Stories on Affording Our Future Conference, Dec 10-11, 2012

In his focus on the Affording Our Future Conference, Radio New Zealand Economics Editor Nigel Stirling focused on the Secretary to the Treasury’s speech Treasury head warns of risks of putting off tough decisions MP3

Options to reduce future Crown retirement transfer costs were covered in articles by Brian Fallow (Economics Editor at New Zealand Herald), Vernon Small  (Dominion Post) and Alex Tarrant options to reduce Crown retirement income costs (which includes a video of Sir Michael Cullen’s presentation).

Fairfax Deputy Political Editor Vernon Small weekly Thursday column summarised the main themes and issues raised at the conference as did New Zealand Herald Senior Parliamentary writer John Armstrong in his Saturday Dec15 weekly round-up of the week entitled Let's not grow old waiting for action. In his Herald-on-Sunday column of Dec 16, Bernard Hickey focused on how the Affording Our Future conference reinforced the immense power of ageing.

A good summary of Simon Upton’s presentation (with a video of much of his speech) was also posted by Interest.Co.NZ Parliamentary Editor Alex Tarrant Alex also did reports on Diana Crossan’s comments on housing affordability as a long term challenge housing affordability is a long-term challenge to many and Sir Michael Cullen’s suggestion that higher compulsory Kiwi Saver deductions might take a bit off pressure off monetary policy setting.

And the retirement income debate of 'pay more, work longer, get less' needs a fourth point: 'sell your home,' according to an expat Chief Economist at London think-tank REFORM. Patrick Nolan told the Treasury-Victoria University conference on the government's long-term fiscal projections that the topic of decumulation, particularly via housing equity release, needed to be brought to the front of the retirement income conversation in New Zealand.

Kiwi Blog recommended its readers read the Treasury Chief Economist’s speech to conference on how the Treasury puts its long-term fiscal projections together and here is a link to a statement issued by NZ Students’ Association people’s alternative Affording our Future Conference noting the conference has the potential to open up a national debate on innovative public policy options to help ensure young New Zealanders “aren’t crushed under the fiscal weight of the baby boomers” – with information on the innovative Affording Our Future Workshops devoted to this purpose at

Media Statements on Long-Term Fiscal External Panel & Affording Our Future Conference
Media Statement
25 Sep 2012
Agenda for 2nd Meeting of the Long-Term External Panel Now On-Line
18 Sep 2012
Strong Line-up of Speakers Confirmed for Affording Our Future Conference 
1 Aug 2012
Registrations Open for Affording Our Future Conference
19 Mar 2012
Treasury to Test its Long-term Fiscal Analysis with External Panel

News Stories on Long-Term Fiscal External Panel

Rob Hosking

Rob Hosking from the National Business Review examines the summary of discussion at the third meeting of the independent External Panel and focuses on Treasury’s initial projections for net taxes paid, by age group, and net value of government services and entitlements received, by age group, in 2060.

Alex Tarrant

Alex Tarrant from looks at the summary of discussion at the third meeting of the independent External Panel established earlier this year to test the Treasury’s long-term modelling assumptions. The session considered the potential costs and benefits of a wide range of tax and spending policy options that might help address long-term fiscal pressures and concluded that an enduring response to managing the long-term fiscal pressures would likely involve a package of subtle policy changes implemented gradually.

Alex Tarrant

Alex Tarrant from interviews Professor Buckle, chair of the External Panel, to discuss the panel’s progress-to-date in putting the Treasury’s initial long-term fiscal modelling assumptions and analysis under the spotlight. He found that Treasury is being tested and challenged – such as on its use of Official Statistics’ projections for future labour force participation rates for women, on net migration flow assumptions, around future investment income levels from investments as New Zealand's population ages.

Kathryn Ryan

Nine to Noon's presenter, Kathryn Ryan of Radio NZ, interviews Professor Bob Buckle on the important question "Will the country need major reforms on tax and social spending to balance the books in the future?". Professor Buckle outlines the work the NZ Treasury is currently engaging in, from inviting an independent External Panel to test and challenge its analysis, to the Affording the Future Conference, in the lead up to delivering a robust Long-Term Fiscal Statement in 2013.

Brian Fallow

An external panel of the great and the good will debate the underlying assumptions of the next LTFS and make public the papers put before them, ahead of a conference in December. Where the previous two statements, written in-house, projected forward existing policies and arrived at scary numbers for debt levels by mid-century, the approach this time seems to be to arrive at some sort of desirable level of debt by then and focus on the kinds of policy changes that would be needed to bend the curve down to that level. That is a more useful approach” best-of-business-analysis/Brian Fallow NZ Herald 6 Sept 2012

Alex Tarrant

10 August interview with Professor Buckle on Treasury asking external panel to test its long-term cost projections - and the challenge to governments arising from demographic change


News Stories on NZ's Long-Term Fiscal Challenge

Kirk Hope

Another critical issue in respect of NZ Super is its universality. Is it necessary? Is it affordable? Most importantly, is it sustainable? The Australian equivalent of NZ Super is both means and asset tested, acting as a safety net for those without sufficient savings income. Treasury acknowledges in its 2010 paper, Saving in New Zealand - Issues and Options, that if we were to move to compulsory private provision of superannuation then also retaining a universal government funded pension scheme would make us unique Kirk Hope 5 September Privatisation squabble holds back pension debate

Diana Crossan

A decade since she was appointed the country's first ever Retirement Commissioner - a job which to this day gets confused with "looking after old people" Out going retirement commissioner Diana Crossan - Amanda Morrall 28 August 2012

Amanda Morall

How much are New Zealanders really saving? Amanda Morrall talks to Felix Delbruck about the accounting system & whether our reputation as a nation of spendthrifts is deserved” Amanda Morrall 27 August 2012 how-much-are-new-zealanders-really-saving

Brian Gaynor

In New Zealand, youth unemployment is relatively high, partly because of the large number of baby boomers remaining in the workforce Babyboomers clogging job market - Brian Gaynor 18 August 2012

Peter Clare

It was sobering to see that a large percentage of New Zealanders are not enjoying life in retirement because they are feeling a financial pinch Retirement maths adds up to huge shortfall - Peter Clare 21 August 2012

News Item (Fairfax) on Retirees with Insufficient Savings:

Ageing baby-boomers, dubbed "grey nomads", are retiring to caravans and motorhomes in Nelson and Tasman, rather than conventional houses or retirement homes August 2012

Nearly half of New Zealand's retirees feel they are not in a strong enough financial position to meet their retirement needs, according to a new report Retirement daunting.nzherald.Ben Chapman-Smith 16 August 2012

Their retirement years may not be that golden for many Kiwis, with takeout food and restaurant meals a rarity, and overseas trips off the cards for 20 per cent of all retirees inaugural Retirement Expenditure Survey paints bleak picture of retirement.JasonKrupp 16 August 2012

Southern Cross Healthcare Group CEO Ian McPherson said the New Zealand Retirement Expenditure Guidelines, released today by Westpac/Massey University, paint a vastly unrealistic picture of the true cost of Kiwi’s healthcare in retirement New retirement survey seriously underestimates health 16 August 2012

Rob Hosking

The country is, by the end of next decade, likely to be facing much greater pressures than today on government spending, the tax base, against the backdrop of a world in which it is much less easy to borrow than it has been in recent years. The key questions are, what options do we have? How serious is the problem? And also, how urgent is the problem, if there is one, and does it have to be dealt with yet?” Rob Hosking (Week-end Review, National Business Review Aug 3 2012) interviews Professor Buckle

Treasury earlier this year, along with Victoria University, invited the country’s year 12 and 13 students to study the long-term fiscal issues facing the country and come up with solutions. The three top entries gave their presentations to Treasury this week .. and raising the age of entitlement for superannuation to at least 67 featured in all three and seemed to be something of a given, so far as these kids were concerned Rob Hosking (National Business Review On fiscal policy, the kids are all Right 8 September

News Item on Superannuation Funding as a National Debate in the Future:

Two Treasury reports planned for next year will thrust the NZ Super debate into the political mainstream, despite Prime Minister John Key not wanting to discuss it (Treasury 80 ) Reports to highlight NZ Super - 29-Jul-2012 - SUNDAY STAR TIMES

Patrick Smellie

Plans are advancing rapidly for a high-level, two-day conference in December in which a panel of experts and commentators will test Treasury's assumptions about what New Zealand will need to earn to afford its future wishes and desires

Peter Whitmore

Given the enormity of the challenges we face in funding our National Superannuation system, the question of raising the starting age from 65 to 67 is almost like a side issue Government must wake from Super dream 27-07-2012 NZ Herald Peter Whitmore

Fran O’Sullivan

Mood of the boardroom - New Zealand has one of the world's largest diaspora with nearly 20 per cent of people born here now living offshore Mood of the Boardroom 2012: Will we be able to fill the baby-boom generation gap?

The inter-generational issues are now becoming urgent. The urgency requires focus and an emphasis on stewardship from the Government Dear John: Generational equity a must – Fran O’Sullivan 18 Jul 2012 – NZ Herald

Editorial New Zealand Herald

The country's leading chief executives believe it's time to set about generational fairness. Nearly 90 per cent of CEO respondents to the Herald survey say the age of eligibility for National Superannuation must be moved to 67 years from its current 65. The right time to raise the superannuation age - 26-Jul-2012 - New Zealand Herald

Bernard Hickey

It's time the New Zealand family had that difficult discussion about intergenerational wealth and debt because the present situation cannot be sustained beyond the next 20 years or so Dear Mum and Dad: It's serious chat time - Bernard Hickey 15-Jul-2012 - Herald on Sunday

NZIER – Social and Economic Implications of Demographic Change

The ageing population is not just a long term fiscal challenge. New Zealand, like many developed countries, has a rapidly ageing population. Over the past year the over 65 population has grown by 4% while the under 40 population has shrunk slightly NZIER economists’ analysis: ageing population can’t be ignored 18 Jul 2012//