The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice.

The RBNZ was the "stand-out central bank" of 2014 "after successfully using its macro-prudential powers to cool New Zealand's housing market, while becoming the first advanced economy central bank to raise interest rates in the current cycle," CBP chair Christopher Jeffrey said in a statement issued overnight in London.

He praised the RBNZ's "joined-up approach to monetary and macro-prudential policy, excellence in communication and governance, updated risk management, improved supervision and upgrades to security."

RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler described the award as "humbling" and said 2015 would be a year of major challenges for central banks.

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"We are likely to see more quantitative easing than at any time since 2011, with associated exchange rate pressures," said Wheeler. "Markets will closely watch how central banks respond to falling oil prices, developments in the euro-zone, Russia and Greece, and the implications flowing from policy signals by the Federal Open Market Committee."

CBP named the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, as central bank governor of the year for his stewardship of Indian monetary policy during the transition to power by the reforming government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.