John Ballingall, M.ApplEcon CMInstD

I was first introduced to economics by a high school teacher in Essex who had enormous shoulder pads and was a devoted acolyte of Thatcherism. Ever since then I’ve been intrigued by the power of markets and how policymakers react when they don’t work properly (and been very wary of shoulder pads).

I’ve been lucky enough to work on many of the big policy and business issues in New Zealand over the past two decades, through my time as an economist and Deputy Chief Executive at NZIER and as Deputy Director of MFAT’s Economic Division.

My personal values of honesty, integrity and clear communication drive everything I do.

I have an unstinting focus on making life as easy as possible for my clients. That includes cutting through the morass of jargon and unnecessary complexities of economic language to present what really matters: trade-offs, costs, benefits and risks.

In 2016, I won the WriteMark NZ ‘Best Plain English Communication’ award for a report on investor state dispute settlement and sovereignty (no, really). The judges said the report:

…is a breath of fresh air to readers used to struggling through lengthy, jargon-filled advisory documents. The authors have done the work — as expert advisors should always do — of crafting a complex topic into simple but sophisticated written advice.

If this style of advisory writing was the norm rather than the exception, decision makers across New Zealand would not only be better informed, they would have more time and energy available to think about what to do with the advice they receive.

I strive to live up to this standard for all of my clients, on topics such as trade policy, economywide modelling, energy and climate change policy, biosecurity economic impact analysis and the provision of expert witness services in the Environment Court.

At weekends, you can find me running around the rugby fields of Wellington with a whistle. I’ve been refereeing for 15 years and love the challenge, camaraderie and banter of it.

I’m developing my governance career, having chaired several not-for-profit organisations in the past, and am on the boards of New Zealand Wine and the Wellington Rugby Referees Association.

I’m always available for a coffee to discuss economics, politics or the intricacies of the tackle law.



021 606 477