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CPI Advisory Committee 2013

An independent advisory committee has endorsed the practices used to compile the consumers price index (CPI) and has recommended ways the CPI can be further enhanced.

On 25 August 2014 we published Decision on 2013 CPI Advisory Committee recommendations, which provides details of the recommendations we're implementing.

On 10 July 2013 we published the Report of the Consumers Price Index Advisory Committee 2013 which includes the committee’s 16 recommendations.

Key recommendations made by the committee include:

  • endorsing the CPI’s main use (to inform monetary policy setting), and its purpose (to measure inflation experienced by the household sector)
  • reducing the number of regional pricing centres from 15 to between 10 and 12, in order to fund other CPI initiatives, such as providing indexes that measure price change faced by particular subgroups of the population
  • providing the CPI on a monthly basis, with additional costs funded by new spending.

We consulted on some of these recommendations in February 2014. See Public consultation on CPI Advisory Committee 2013 recommendations for details.

The 2013 committee is the latest in a longstanding series of committees appointed to independently review the methods and practices used to compile the CPI. 

“The committee is a great example of how Statistics NZ is engaging to help ensure that the statistics we produce continue to meet the needs of the user community,” Acting Government Statistician Dallas Welch said. “Statistics New Zealand’s vision is for New Zealand to become an increasingly informed society through the effective use official statistics. People need to have trust and confidence in these statistics, and this committee's work is a key way of ensuring this happens. I would like to thank the committee members for their recommendations, and the expertise and different perspectives they have brought to the committee process.”

The nine-member committee met for three days in May 2013 and was chaired by former Retirement Commissioner, Diana Crossan.

“The CPI is important to us all because it affects interest rates, it informs wage negotiations, and it is used to adjust New Zealand Superannuation rates and welfare benefits to ensure they maintain their purchasing power,” said Ms Crossan. “The committee’s recommendations will help ensure that the CPI remains relevant for these uses.”

The practice of regularly convening CPI advisory committees is in line with international best practice, as recommended by the International Labour Organization.

 “I will consider the committee’s recommendations relative to other potential initiatives in the Official Statistics System,” Mrs Welch said. “However, many of the committee’s recommendations will be implemented as part of the next three-yearly CPI review, which will be completed in October 2014.”

Committee’s report & recommendations

The committee made 16 recommendations, on the following topics:

  • Principal purpose
  • Scope and coverage
  • Consumer price change for population subgroups
  • Sampling framework
  • Frequency of weight updates
  • Retail transaction data
  • Publication frequency
  • Seasonality
  • Dissemination
  • Quality adjustment.


To read the paper, download the printable PDF
from ‘Available files’ above. If you have problems viewing the files, see Opening files and PDFs.

ISBN 978-0-478-40844-7 (online) Report of the Consumers Price Index Advisory Committee 2013

Published 10 July 2013

Public submissions

Statistics NZ asked for public submissions on the topics covered in the discussion and background papers, and other topics concerning the CPI. The 2013 CPI Advisory Committee considered these submissions as part of the committee meeting.

Submissions were received from:

  • Government Superannuitants Association
  • Grey Power
  • Jim Bennett
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  • Te Puni Kōkiri.


To read the submissions, download the printable PDF
from ‘Available files’ above. If you have problems viewing the files, see Opening files and PDFs.

Published 10 July 2013

Discussion paper

A discussion paper and background paper were prepared for the committee and CPI user community, prior to the committee’s meeting. These papers helped to inform the topics the committee considered, and were published in April 2013.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the advisory committee
  • Principal purpose of the CPI
  • Consumer price change for subpopulations
  • Sampling framework
  • Frequency of weight updates
  • Retail transaction data
  • Frequency of the CPI
  • Seasonality in the CPI
  • Dissemination of CPI and FPI information.

Background paper

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the advisory committee
  • Calculation and structure of the CPI
  • Expenditure weighting
  • Progress with the recommendations from the 2004 CPI Revision Advisory Committee.


To read the papers, download the printable PDFs
from ‘Available files’ above. If you have problems viewing the files, see Opening files and PDFs.

ISBN 978-0-478-40832-2 (online) CPI advisory committee 2013 discussion paper
ISBN 978-0-478-40822-5 (online) CPI advisory committee 2013 background paper

Published 2 April 2013

The committee

Statistics NZ called for committee member nominations in October 2012. We received 26 nominations from the CPI user community. Members were selected to bring professional expertise, different perspectives, and the confidence of the wide range of CPI users to the committee.

The Government Statistician appointed the following committee members:

  • Diana Crossan, former Retirement Commissioner (Chairperson)
  • Dr Carla Houkamau, University of Auckland Business School
  • Dr Kirdan Lees, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research
  • Dr John McDermott, Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  • Professor Jacques Poot, University of Waikato
  • Associate Professor Marco Reale, University of Canterbury
  • Dr Bill Rosenberg, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
  • Stephen Summers, Business New Zealand
  • Keith Woolford (international expert), formerly of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference for the 2013 CPI Advisory Committee were to:

  1. Investigate, review, and form recommendations concerning the general nature and objectives of the CPI, while taking account of the actual, potential, and appropriate uses of the index.
  2. Investigate and form recommendations concerning the general principles that should be considered in the construction of the CPI with specific reference to:
    • coverage of the CPI, including the range of goods and services represented in the index and the coverage of the household population
    • the practices used to compile the index
    • the methods used to calculate the index.

2004 CPI Revision Advisory Committee

The previous CPI revision advisory committee met in June 2004, with its recommendations informing the 2006 CPI review. For the papers prepared for the committee and the committee’s report (including 20 recommendations), see 2004 CPI Revision Advisory Committee.

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