Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has announced that economist Ganesh Nana will be the next chair of the Productivity Commission.
Cabinet has approved the appointment of Nana who is currently the Research Director of Wellington economic consultancy BERL. He will take up the new job on January 31, 2021.
Berl is effectively the Labour Party’s economic consultancy. This is not the appointment of someone who will independently crique government policies to ensure they are increasing productivity.
Nana, an economist, is widely considered to be close to the Labour Party. His firm, BERL, costed Labour’s economic policies in the 2017 election, but not for the most recent campaign. He is the second recent appointment with close ties to the Labour movement after former New Zealand Council of Trade Unions’ policy director and economist Bill Rosenberg became a commissioner in September of this year.
Dr Nana is well outside the mainstream. Here’s his take on capitalism:
Such a pity as the Productivity Commission has produced excellent work in the past on how to solve the housing crisis etc.