Alan Bollard is going to have to learn to take a compliment. Because he will be getting a lot of them over the next couple of weeks. Sincere ones, and merited.

He faced the gravest global financial crisis since the war, coinciding with an election and change of government. Scary times, but he saw us through them.

Bollard was appointed 10 years ago with a mandate to give growth a go, subject to the over-riding statutory objective of price stability.

He has used all of the flexibility that policy-targets agreement gave him. Inflation has on average been closer to the top than the middle of his target band. This is no heedless inflation hawk. And as the banks' regulator his record on the financial stability front looks good by comparison with some of his global counterparts.

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Bollard leaves his successor an economy with moderate growth, a benign inflation outlook, and a policy interest rate with room to cut should the economy be sideswiped by another major shock. If the latest forecasts are borne out, the next governor will have time on his side before he needs to alter course. Not a bad legacy.