Our team

The Board comprises three Commissioners, with scope to move to four members over time at the discretion of the Minister of Finance.

In addition to core governance responsibilities, the Commissioners lead our inquiries. The Commission has around 15 staff, with scope to grow to 20 depending on what we determine the best mix is of permanent roles, contractors, consultants and secondments. Nearly all of our staff are focused on core operational work, given many of our corporate services are provided under contract by Inland Revenue.

The Board

Murray Sherwin CNZM, Chair

Murray is an economist with over 35 years' experience across a wide range of public policy roles.

His previous roles include: Chief Executive and Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Chair, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Commission; member of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank in Washington DC; member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group; and a member of the Advisory Board of the New Zealand Debt Management Office. Murray is a Charter Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Other current roles include: Chair, Strategic Risk and Resilience Panel - advising the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on national risk issues; and Chair, Innovation Partnership – a group of private and public sector entities supporting smart use of internet technology.

Professor Sally Davenport

Sally is Professor of Management at Victoria Business School where she teaches innovation and entrepreneurship. She has an extensive research and evaluation background, focusing on commercialisation, innovation and productivity. Until 2012 Sally was leading a research project; ‘Building Our Productivity: Understanding Sustainable Collective Productivity in New Zealand Firms’, which was centred on understanding firm-level processes in the food and beverage sector and biotechnology sector. In early 2017, Sally became Director of the 'Science for technological Innovation' National Science Challenge.  She is also a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). Sally’s experience brings strong linkages between science, technology, innovation and the business sector.

Andrew Sweet

Andrew SweetAndrew is currently Director of consulting firm Firecone NZ where he provides economic, public policy, regulatory and commercial advice. He also runs the secretariat of the Small Advanced Economics Initiative which brings together senior officials from different countries to explore policy issues. From 2010-2014, he was Policy Advisor at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he provided advice on primarily environmental issues such as the Resource Management Act and climate change. His other key areas of expertise are science and innovation policy, network utilities regulation and transport policy. Andrew has deep knowledge in a variety of policy areas, extensive experience providing recommendations on complex policy issues, as well as experience working with government. He has been appointed as a Commissioner for a first term of three years, from 1 June 2019 up to 31 May 2022.

Management team

Daiman Smith, General Manager

Daiman is an experienced public sector manager with a background in strategic policy, governance and assurance. As Group Manager, Corporate at the Independent Police Conduct Authority, he was responsible for strategy and corporate issues. He has held management roles at the Ministry of Justice, worked on advising and monitoring Crown-owned entities at Treasury/CCMAU and held strategic analysis and policy roles with a focus on capability development  and relationship management in the Ministry of Defence and the NZ Defence Force.

He has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and Master of Arts in History from Massey, and a Master of International Relations from Victoria. 

Judy Kavanagh, Inquiry Director

Judy is an economist with experience in both academia and the public sector. She has had roles in the Ministries of Health and Education and has taught at Canterbury University and Victoria University of Wellington. Her research areas include experimental economics, economic psychology and the organisation of health systems.

At the Commission she has worked on a research project into Growing the digital economy in Australia and New Zealand (2019) and inquiries into State sector productivity (2018), New models of tertiary education (2016), Using land for housing (2015), Regulatory institutions and practices (2014), Towards better local regulation (2013), and Housing affordability (2012). She is currently leading the Commission’s inquiry into Technology and the future of work, due to report to the Government in March 2020.

Judy has a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Canterbury, a post graduate diploma in Health Economics from the University of Tromso (with distinction) and a College Diploma and Diploma in Teaching from the Christchurch Teachers College and the Department of Education (with distinction).

Steven Bailey, Inquiry Director

Steven is an economist with extensive public sector experience in New Zealand and abroad, including four years with the Australian Productivity Commission, where he was Inquiry Manager, and policy advice roles with both the Ministry of Economic Development and the New Zealand Treasury. Steven’s private sector experience includes roles with Telecom New Zealand and before joining the Commission he was Director Government Relations with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Steven's research and policy interests include regulatory design, institutions and practice.

Steven led the Commission’s inquiries into transitioning to a low-emissions economy (2018), better urban planning (2017), using land for housing (2015), regulatory institutions and practices (2014), toward better local regulation (2013), and housing affordability (2012). He is currently leading the Commission’s inquiry into local government funding and financing, due to report to the Government in November 2019.

Steven has a Master of Science (Regulation) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Economics from Lincoln University, and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from Otago University. He has also completed an Executive Education Programme at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Patrick NolanPatrick Nolan, Director Economics & Research

Patrick Nolan joined the Productivity Commission as a Principal Advisor in the Economics and Research team in February 2014. Before this he spent five years as the Chief Economist of Reform, a cross-party British think tank focused on public services and economic prosperity. He had earlier worked for the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, the New Zealand Treasury and as an economic advisor to a front-bench minister. He completed his PhD on the labour supply effects of family and work tax credits at Victoria University of Wellington.