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Westpac NZ chief economist moves to government

New Zealand’s Treasury has confirmed the appointment of its new chief economic adviser, nabbed from a big four bank.

Dominick Stephens has been appointed deputy secretary and chief economic adviser with New Zealand’s Treasury.

Mr Stephens had already been acting chief economic adviser since March last year, which placed his position as chief economist at Westpac New Zealand on hold.

The bank had expected him to return after a 10-month stint with Treasury.

Mr Stephens had held the top economist position at Westpac for a decade, after being an economist in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s forecasting team and modelling unit.


He has succeeded Tim Ng at Treasury, who held the chief economic adviser role for four years, until March 2021.

Caralee McLiesh, secretary to the Treasury, commented Mr Stephens had been a “highly valued and respected member” of the organisation’s executive leadership team.

“During 2021 Dominick oversaw the refresh of our Living Standards Framework, ensuring the Treasury’s policy advice on lifting living standards for all New Zealanders continues to be strengthened by solid economic theory and evidence,” she said.

“He has also played a central part in our business outreach and economic monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as advice on key policy areas including housing markets.”

The chief economic adviser is held responsible for supporting and strengthening economic analysis in Treasury and giving economic advice across the public sector.

“Dominick’s wealth of experience, expertise and leadership means this work is in good hands,” Ms McLiesh said.

Mr Ng meanwhile will continue to work with Treasury on a part-time basis while completing a PhD at Victoria University.

[Related: NZ calls for early review of lender behaviour]

Westpac NZ chief economist moves to government

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.

Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.

You can contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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