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Chart of the month

School bench with stationery in classroom

School attendance rates have come under the spotlight recently as the coalition government has set itself lofty targets to raise New Zealand’s very poor school attendance record. Read

Kiyomizudera Koyasunoto Pagoda and Cherry Blossom - Kyoto - April 2024

New Zealanders are out exploring the world again, in large numbers. Those travels are easy to see, with scores of young Kiwis documenting their overseas trips across social media. Principal Economist, Brad Olsen, asks the question – how many Kiwis are travelling, and where’s the most popular spot? Read

Suburb seen rom Mount Eden Summit in Auckland

Renters across New Zealand are feeling the squeeze as annual new rentals inflation reaches 5.1%pa. Excluding the mid-2022 peak, annual average rental inflation over the year to February 2024 is at its fastest rate since this series began in 2008. Read


Migration has become a hot topic over the last year, with a record high net migration gain. This large inflow of people into New Zealand has seen the population increase by 145,000 people once births and deaths are accounted for – slightly more than adding an additional Dunedin over the last year. Read

aerial photo of Wellington

The public sector is a significant employer in New Zealand, and it’s well known that these jobs are concentrated in Wellington. But how significant is the public sector as an employer around the country, and what components of the public sector drive this? Read

Pavlova 2021

Christmas Day is just around the corner, and with it, the culinary delight that is a Christmas Day meal. Often an extravagant smorgasbord of too much food (or enough for lots of leftovers, at least), high food price inflation has made Christmas lunch or dinner an economic curiosity as well as a fami... Read

Wellington Fuel Station - August 2023

Global diesel prices have surged significantly over the last few months. Driven largely by supply constraints, our Chart of the Month shows how this surge has led to a significant import cost premium over petrol. Elevated diesel prices will have ripple effects throughout both the global and local economies, and risk inflation remaining higher for longer. Read

Electric glass kettle with water

Drinking water quality remains a critical metric from which we can measure wellbeing in New Zealand. Access to safe drinking water is taken as given across almost all of New Zealand – for good reason. But as our Chart of the Month shows, although drinking water across most of New Zealand meets required standards, a lack of funding and measurement against some standards increases drinking water risks more than most would expect. Read

Dairy cow at a farm

Fonterra recently announced a sharp cut to its forecast dairy payout, at the same time as dairy farmers face high costs. Our chart of the month highlights that the dairy payout is forecast to fall beneath operating expenses for the average farm, and also takes a broader view highlighting the volatility of the dairy payout and how we are evolving past peak cow. Read

Petrol station

The full fuel excise duty returned on 1 July 2023, which provisionally added 28.5c/L to the domestic price of regular petrol. However, the price of regular petrol was still 53c/L lower than this time last year, as the substantial decline in fuel prices since July 2022 means prices are sharply down even though the fuel tax is no longer discounted. Read