Columba students cash in

Five Columba College pupils proved they had the potential to control the country's official cash rate after they finished second in the New Zealand Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Challenge in Wellington.

Team leader Kari Schmidt, Emma Elsom, Surangna Chansrichavala, Laura Manson and Erin Wilson were put in the shoes of Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard and using the same information as Reserve Bank economists, the team assessed the economic conditions facing New Zealand to decide an appropriate setting for the official cash rate.

Their reasoning was given in a 10-minute presentation, followed by a 20-minute question and answer session with a judging panel of Reserve Bank economists.

Columba College principal Elizabeth Wilson said the girls coped well with the extreme pressure of the event.

"It was a very high level of competition - it was a significant step up from the level of questioning at regional level. The girls handled it extremely well."

Scots College (Wellington) won, with Westlake Boys High School (Auckland) third.


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