24 Jul 2009
The new taskforce chiefs examining New Zealand’s productivity issues need to keep “open-minded”, says a research institute head.
Director of the NZ Work & Labour Market Institute (NZWALMI) at AUT University, Professor Ray Markey applauds the establishment of the 2025 Taskforce but advises that any review needs to translate into genuine changes in public policy with the aim to lift productivity.
“The establishment of a taskforce to examine reasons for New Zealand’s decline in productivity performance over recent years is a critically important government initiative,” he says. “And we sincerely hope it will lead to research-informed public policy development.”
“To be successful it is important the taskforce be balanced in composition and adopts an open-minded approach to defining productivity. It also needs to examine how benefits of improved productivity can be distributed in the community equitably.”
Professor Markey advises that to ensure widest possible community buy-in, it is critical that the taskforce team maintain a tripartite approach to policy development.
NZWALMI has been involved in similar research in Denmark and Norway and Professor Markey says the new taskforce could learn a lot from these countries.
“New Zealand’s productivity growth has been stagnant for 20 years despite changing government policy settings designed to address the issue,” says Professor Markey.
“The Minister, Rodney Hide, recognises that this issue underlies the comparatively low wages in our country, and Dr Don Brash acknowledges low productivity partially explains the long working hours culture of New Zealand. But a critical determinant of productivity is organisational and workplace practices,” he says.
“The taskforce needs to be genuinely innovative in investigating workplace practices that deliver high productivity such as in Scandinavia and Western Europe, which have high wages, low working hours and high productivity.
Professor Markey adds that NZWALMI is keen to contribute to the 2025 Taskforce providing research findings or undertaking additional research.
Notes for Editors:
The New Zealand Work and Labour Market Institute (NZWALMI) has the largest concentration of expertise in labour economics, labour relations and Human Resource Management in New Zealand, and the second largest concentration in the Asia Pacific.
NZWALMI seeks to provide national and international leadership in multi-disciplinary research focusing on the analysis of work over the life course.
It understands that work is a central concern in the life of individuals, for the profitability and competitive advantage of enterprises and in the social and economic governance of communities. NZWALMI has adopted a unique holistic approach to the development of research-informed public policy development, recognising the importance of paid and non-paid work to sustainable firms, organisations and communities, as well as the interaction between work and different stages of the individual’s life course.
For more information about the NZWALMI, please go to: www.aut.ac.nz/research/research-institutes/nzwalmi
For more information about NZWALMI Director, Professor Ray Markey, please go to: www.aut.ac.nz/study-at-aut/study-areas/business/about-us/our-staff/ray-markey
For more information about the AUT Business School and its programmes, please visit: www.aut.ac.nz/study-at-aut/study-areas/business
Or please contact:
Belinda Nash | Communications Manager | AUT University | +64 9 921 9911 | +64 21 303 480 | email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.aut.ac.nz | www.aut.ac.nz/news/media-contacts