NBR panel interview: How NZ responds to shocks

I recently participated in a panel interview with NBR on how New Zealand responds to shocks. My fellow panelists were former Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Alan Bollard and academic Ilan Noy.

I infused a strong regional dimension into the discussion, drawing on ongoing lessons from the aftermath of the Christchurch rebuild and my recent unfortunate experiences of being trapped in Karekare following Cyclone Gabrielle.

Selected quotations from me include:

Independent economist Benje Patterson said shocks would always be unexpected, so, flexibility was essential to adapt in the aftermath of a disaster.

“When we look at Covid … when that initially happened, there was a really severe and sharp downturn in economic activity during the early stages of the first lockdown.

“But then with each subsequent lockdown … we became accustomed to how we could behave and how we could operate under adversity.”

He said humans could evolve to changing circumstances quite quickly, and the best ways to prepare included having resilient infrastructure, including multiple telecommunications lines.

“But there are just aspects of it that you can’t [plan for], so it’s just about supporting people through those early stages, so they don’t have to shut up shop.”

An article about the interview is available here.