Paul Conway appointed BNZ Chief Economist

Paul Conway, BNZ’s new Chief Economist

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has announced Paul Conway as its new Chief Economist.

BNZ Chief Financial Officer, Peter MacGillivray, says, “Paul breaks the mould of the traditional bank economist who typically focus on house prices, interest rates, and the state of the business cycle.

“While these issues are important, Paul’s focus as BNZ’s Chief Economist will be on the potential to improve productivity and wellbeing in New Zealand through digital transformation. 

“Having spent seven years at the Productivity Commission, and with his recent work at BNZ on our half-yearly Wellbeing Report and our digital transformation report Connected New Zealand, Paul is uniquely placed to analyse these important shifts and their potential to lift New Zealand’s economic performance,” says MacGillivray.

Paul Conway says, “I am absolutely thrilled to be BNZ’s new Chief Economist and I’m excited by the potential of taking this role in a new direction that adds to BNZ’s already impressive economics capability.

“COVID-19 presents us with a unique opportunity to build a more productive economy that delivers better outcomes for all New Zealanders, and it’s the right time to change the direction of this role and embrace these new opportunities and challenges.

“A strong focus on how we can embed and maximise the benefits of digital technology will help us build stronger, more resilient businesses that deliver high-value products and services, create better jobs and enhance wellbeing,” he says.

He starts his role officially on 1 February 2021.

About Paul Conway:

Paul Conway previously spent seven years as the Director of Economics & Research at the New Zealand Productivity Commission. Much of Paul’s work at the Commission was focused on firm-level productivity and understanding the obstacles New Zealand businesses face in using technology to improve performance. Paul has extensive international experience and has previously worked at the OECD and with the World Bank. He has also worked at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

A guide to BNZ’s economic commentators:

BNZ boasts a diverse range of expertise and commentators who can help you with your story.

Paul Conway, BNZ Chief Economist, can provide comment and analysis on digital transformation, business productivity, and overall rates of wellbeing in New Zealand, and can be contacted on 021 149 9452 or

In addition to Paul, BNZ’s Research team, which is based in the Institutional Banking Division, provides expert commentary on economics, foreign exchange, fixed interest and credit.

You can view their reports here.

The team is comprised of:

Stephen Toplis, Head of Research, heads up the Research team. He is located in BNZ’s Wellington Markets Division where he is charged with providing an economic and political overview for the Bank’s wholesale operation.

Craig Ebert, Senior Economist, provides analysis and views on domestic and international trends important for financial markets, businesses and the wider public.

Doug Steel, Senior Economist, has a focus on agriculture and writes BNZ’s agriculture commentaries including the Rural Wrap.

Jason Wong, Senior Markets Strategist, specialises in producing analysis that informs the NZD view, and is part of NAB Group’s Global FX Strategy team, which covers currency markets more broadly, with a focus on the G10 currencies.

Nick Smyth, Interest Rate Strategist, specialises in analysing domestic interest rates spanning government bonds, corporate bonds, supra-national bonds, and derivatives.

See more about the team here.

To contact the BNZ Research team, direct enquiries to Stephen Toplis, Head of Research 04 474 6905,

For all other media enquiries please contact the BNZ Media Team – up to date details can be found here.