The sharp Kiwi economist who’s done some of the best analytics in the New Zealand/China economic relationship is contemplating a switch to running a business.
NZ INC. hopes Shamubeel Eaqub stays engaged in the China space.
There’s plenty of contentious issues on the table right now that could do with indepth analysis.
Businessdesk earlier reported:
Outspoken economist Shamubeel Eaqub is leaving the non-profit New Zealand Institute of Economic Research after six years to pursue other opportunities, saying it was “time for a change.”
Expressing “great regret” at his departure, NZIER said in a statement that Eaqub’s presentations of the Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion and the Quarterly Predictions had become fixtures in the media calendar during his tenure, though they were taken over in February by senior economist Christina Leung.
With a penchant for colourful turns of phrase, Eaqub is responsible for the insertion of phrases such as “zombie towns”, in reference to regional economic decline, into the national lexicon.
NZIER chief executive Laurence Kubiak said Eaqub had played a large part in getting regional development back on the public agenda after a period of neglect and his expertise on New Zealand housing is universally recognised.
The economist launched a book, Generation Rent, last month, which said New Zealand was being divided into a house-have and have-not society. It said housing apartheid looms unless there are changes to the NZ housing market and that conditions need to be improved for renters.
Kubiak said it was an amicable parting and Eaqub wanted some time off to plan what he would do next.
“He’s been here for six years and he’s a young guy who’s just had his first child. In those circumstances it’s a natural thing to think about what the next stage holds. But Shamubeel is not gone as I’m sure whatever he does next will generate a lot of interest,” he said.
Eaqub told BusinessDesk he was, for the moment, “gainfully unemployed” and would prefer in future to have a portfolio of activities, including working again with his wife, Selena, with whom he researched and wrote Generation Rent.
“I want to keep working on economic issues, but I don’t know what that looks like,” he said. Greater economic analysis of social issues was something New Zealand would benefit from.
The profile of NZIER, an incorporated society with a mission of providing better outcomes for all New Zealanders, had been raised with consumers by its much-quoted economist, Kubiak said.
“It wasn’t with our clients, as we’ve been going since 1958, but he did raise our profile with the general public. He became the go-to guy on housing,” Kubiak said.