RBNZ appoints Conor English, Tony Caughey as external monetary policy advisers

New Zealand’s Reserve Bank, the independent body which sets the benchmark interest rate, has appointed Conor English, the younger brother of Finance Minister Bill English, as one of its part-time external monetary policy advisers.

Conor English, chairman of Agribusiness New Zealand and the former chief executive of Federated Farmers, will take up the role starting from the bank’s June monetary policy statement, the Wellington-based bank said in a statement. English has a farming background and has also worked in the insurance, oil, property and finance sectors, and at parliament.

Tony Caughey, chairman of Auckland department store Smith and Caughey, has also been appointed as an adviser, the bank said. Caughey’s experience as a chairman, director and senior manager covers firms involved in retail, property, construction, primary industries, export manufacturing, tourism and legal services.

Caughey and English will provide advice to the central bank’s governing committee leading up to the setting of the official cash rate eight times a year. They replace Luke Moriarty and Richard Townsend who are stepping down after three years in the advisory role.

“The Reserve Bank employs these advisers to bring valuable additional outside perspectives into our processes and to help ensure the bank is well informed about developments in the New Zealand economy,” governor Graeme Wheeler said in the statement. “These appointments add significant value to the bank by bringing in fresh viewpoints.”

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate on hold at 3.5 percent at its next review on April 30.

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