About the NZ Economics Competition

The NZ Economics Competition has grown in size and reputation since its inception in 1997, becoming the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind for secondary students. Its fundamental aim is to promote the study of Economics.

In 2021, nearly 2,000 students from around 90 schools throughout New Zealand entered the competition. The 50-minute examination tested classroom theory and general knowledge of current economic issues. The examination was held online due to government and university restrictions around COVID-19.

The NZ Economics Competition is sponsored by the University of Auckland Business School, the Treasury and the Kelliher Economics Foundation. The Kelliher Economics Foundation was established in 1964 to encourage secondary school students to pursue tertiary studies in Economics.

The competition is open to all secondary school students, and we encourage you and your students to participate. There is no entry fee for participating in this event.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will secondary school students benefit from this national competition?
Participation in the competition looks excellent on a CV and can help students stand out to tertiary institutions and employers.

How does this streamline tertiary Economics education in NZ?
The NZ Economics Competition serves as an alternative form of benchmark testing where new entrant students can:

  • Determine their level of curriculum understanding in relation to their peers
  • Make links between their existing knowledge and how this compares to studying economics at University level

Why is online delivery recommended (both for teachers and students)?
Online delivery of the competition provides a safe, secure, and easy-to-use mode of delivery and assessment for teachers and students in line with the government's COVID-19 protocols. It also gives students a chance to familiarise themselves with Canvas/Inspera, commonly used university learning management systems.

How and why does the competition filter students based on merit?
As a form of standardised test, we can benchmark students against a particular university assessment standard. Because university-level assessment practices are not necessarily drawn from NCEA Level one, two and three assessment practices (they rarely are), the competition is a good way to gauge where students with merit and excellence performance at secondary school rank against a benchmark university assessment.

What are the career benefits of taking part?
The award event ceremony has typically brought together luminaries from the business community and academia. Networking with potential employers in an informal setting allows participants a unique opportunity to forge invaluable lifelong contacts for their future studies and career prospects.

What to expect from the 2022 competition?
The opportunity for students to test their mental acuity and economics acumen by pitting themselves against a set of challenging and engaging questions comprising theory, general knowledge and contemporary economic issues.

Comments from teachers about the competition

A selection of the feedback we have received from teachers involved in previous competitions.

  • "It's a great competition. It emphasises the practical importance and relevance of economics and lifts its profile among students. The special presentation evening for the HD winners is particularly thrilling for students and parents and reinforces the value and status of economics."
  • "Very broad range of questions ensuring that students have to keep up-to-date, as well as knowing theory content."
  • "This was my first association with the competition. I look forward to encouraging my classes to participate as an ongoing event. The certificates had a professional "finish" and are great adjuncts to a student's work portfolio."
  • "I appreciate the difficulty in compiling a test which suits students at different levels. This competition is a great learning experience for my students."
  • "Very professional. Will enter again next year."
  • "Great idea so students know how they compare to other students and we know how we compare to other schools. The school reports were excellent and very useful."
  • "I encourage the development of such competitions as they are useful for recognition as well as a tool for teaching."
  • "An excellent activity for students. It provides a great motivation for students as well as a method to display achievement."
  • "Tremendous encouragement for the students - acts as a real boost to their morale as they head towards their exams."
  • "Gives a good idea of how students are going compared with rest of the nation".
    "Looking forward to it next year."