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Tell us what you think as we seek feedback on our Of Interest Podcast

Public Policy / news
Tell us what you think as we seek feedback on our Of Interest Podcast
Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash.

Back in June 2022 we launched the Of Interest Podcast.

The idea was to delve into issues of economic and financial significance with an expert guest via an in-depth discussion.

Kicking off with a probe into the Reserve Bank's work on a central bank digital currency with Ian Woolford, the Reserve Bank's Director of Money and Cash, we've now chalked up more than 70 episodes. From our perspective, it's time consuming, but enjoyable and rewarding.

Topics have included inflation, housing, decarbonising the economy, China, immigration, productivity, dirty money, New Zealand government debt, NZ's current account deficit, artificial intelligence, interest rates, cryptocurrencies, political donations, quantitative easing, profit-led inflation, electricity, supply chains, Sam Bankman-Fried, infrastructure, coalition negotiations, trade, insurance and more.

NZ-based guests have included the then-Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly, BNZ Head of Research Stephen Toplis, NZ Debt Management Director Kim Martin and Kiwibank CEO Steve Jurkovich.

Overseas guests have included UBS Chief Economist Paul Donovan, Limits to Growth expert Gaya Herrington, ex-Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, US debt ceiling expert Rohan Grey and Beijing-based New Zealander David Mahon.

The point of this article is to seek feedback as we plan future episodes. What would you like to hear about? Who would you like to hear from? What are your thoughts on the format?

Feedback's welcome either in the comment thread below or via email to

You can find all audio Of Interest episodes to date here.

And text stories accompanying each Of Interest episode are here.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


One topic I am interested in more depth on, is the re-acceleration of services inflation in the US.

I perceive an issue there, and so far interest. Co editors are following the main msm financial media on " inflation is reducing, or in line to reduce to target levels"

I don't think that much optimism is warranted just yet. Is there any commentator or Academic available for a fact based contrarian viewpoint?



I listen to most of your podcasts Gareth. You have had some great guests (better than any other econ focused podcast in NZ) and you give them the time to talk, which I much prefer. Your questioning is also well judged - posing challenges without confrontation. I wonder how many people in NZ know the pod exists though? 


I second that - in some ways a more useful style than Kim Hills - if a little less entertaining. 

If I have any input at all, it's to point out that some folk's claims can be factually rebutted, and interview research should ideally result in holding deserving feet to the fire. 

But given the punch-drunk appearance of formal media, and the welter of social media alt-rabbit-holes displacing it, you folk do one of the better jobs of filling the gap. Keep going...


He'd be a good interviewee, methinks. But a thought; if that post contains 'the truth', how do we describe the vast majority of mainstream economic posits? Logic tells us it's something other than the truth - and there is where we need to be having the discussion. 


Perhaps have a look at:

The need for changing metrics in measuring inflation (things like the new "basket" for the CPI) and maybe enquiring in to how much of our inflation the government can control: how much is imported and beyond their reach?

The impact of AI, quantum computing and other new technologies on, say, financial system security, trading processes and the professions (example: will AI make accounting implode to a few big firms with niche AI systems? Or law - they are both just rule governed systems).

Look at alternatives to advertising revenue models for the web and the way it might fix things like our news media's slow demise. An example might be Jaron Lanier's ideas around bi-directional link-based micropayments for those who provide content - it disintermediates the need to have financial clearing houses like Google.

Explainers - I think is good at divorcing opinion from fact, so actual explainers about things that influence finance, monetary policy and economics that don't promulgate particular ideologies. If you find someone knowledgeable and articulate in industry in each topic, it's likely to be simple to get a good interview as specialists like to talk about their speciality. Like:

  • find a proper data scientist who isn't in thrall to any particular paradigm to explain the differences between data, information, knowledge and wisdom. Also; why they have a vital part in decision making and the consequences of not using them.
  • freight transport - why not get someone practical from (say) Mainfreight to explain multi-modal transport and the profound effect different aspects of that can have
  • the building industry - how things like incentive schemes influence material choices, the role regulatory costs actually play, the real financial performance of building once you factor in the waste...
  • behavioural economics - how superficially irrational human choices can influence pretty much everything financial and economic, and how that seems to frequently be overlooked by theory.

A series of short episodes on the basics of finance and economics for noobies to investment, specific to the rather odd New Zealand environment. Made them funky and you could end up on TikTok.

An examination of our supply chain systems' relationship to why things cost so much here. After years of doing supply chain, I have my own opinions on the current "operational" organisation of NZ that tend to leave me head-in-hands. An external commentary might be enlightening.

A discussion of underperforming oligopolies. Rapaciousness or incompetence?

Interviews with people from outside NZ for new perspectives on ingrained or topical financial issues. The local wisdom tends to be drearily uniform and often unimaginative. Some new ideas might be both fun and useful.