Future economists to debate asset sales

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Solid Energy methane extraction site near Huntly. Photo / Supplied
Solid Energy methane extraction site near Huntly. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand's next generation of economists will have their say this week on the controversial issue of state asset sales.

A group of top secondary school students will speak to officials from key Government departments on Friday at the annual ANZ Massey Economics Challenge.

Students will give five-minute presentations on 'New Zealand's mounting debt: Are asset sales the answer?' at simultaneous events on Massey University's Albany and Manawatu campuses.

Competition organiser and Massey University economics lecturer Dr Otto Reich said he was hoping to hear some fresh perspectives on the issue of state asset sales.

"As a German expatriate, I have been somewhat surprised by the amount of emotion this issue has created."

Reich, who has been a judge for four years, said he has always been impressed with the quality of the presentations and the innovative thinking behind them.

"The students can be very imaginative, and even if some of their ideas might be a bit difficult to put into practice, thinking outside the box is very helpful and valuable," he said.

"I'm particularly looking forward to hearing some convincing arguments about why it would be bad to sell these state assets."

Students in each winning team will receive a Massey scholarship of $2000 towards full-time study in the College of Business, with runner-up teams receiving a $1000 scholarship.

Judging panels will include government officials from Treasury, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Ministry of Economic Development.

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