8 Nov 2022

Adrian Orr reappointed for second term as RBNZ governor

9:58 am on 8 November 2022
Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr.

Adrian Orr. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The government has reappointed Adrian Orr for a second five-year term as governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the RBNZ board unanimously recommended his reappointment.

He said the central bank had been going through considerable change during Orr's first term and his reappointment would make sure the changes were bedded in.

"In light of global conditions, this is also a time when stability and continuity are paramount for the Bank."

"Adrian has demonstrated the skills, knowledge and experience to help steer the financial system through the 1-in-100 year economic shock of the pandemic.

"I am happy to endorse the recommendation of the Board. I have full confidence that he will continue to display the same integrity and leadership in performing his duties as Governor in what is still a challenging environment," Robertson said in a statement.

Orr was appointed in 2018 to succeed Graeme Wheeler, and his term was set to expire in 2023.

He is a former head of the NZ Super Fund, chief economist at the Reserve Bank, Westpac and National banks, and has also worked at the OECD and Treasury.

Orr has overseen the RBNZ expanding its scope, with monetary policy widened to include employment as well as inflation targets, taking climate change into consideration of policy, making banks hold more capital, tougher regulation of banks and insurance companies, and a broader engagement with te ao Māori.

His sometimes abrasive style has been blamed for the loss of senior, experienced staff.

However, greatest scrutiny has come from some political, academic, and financial figures who have criticised the RBNZ's handling on monetary policy at the start of the pandemic with bond buying, and cheap finance for banks for fuelling the hot housing market and current spike in inflation, and the subsequent response of ratcheting up interest rates.

Orr has responded that the RBNZ has taken a "least regrets" approach opting to do run the risk of doing too much rather than too little to support the economy and household.

A report on the RBNZ's handling of monetary policy over the past five years is due out shortly, and the central bank is also consulting on the remits it operates under.

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