Sir Henry Kelliher was appointed to the Board of the Bank of New Zealand in 1938 and was a strong advocate for a balanced money supply. Economics, and a wider understanding of money and banking, motivated Sir Henry to establish the Kelliher Economics Foundation in 1964 originally, in the form of an essay competition.

The competition’s aims were “to encourage young New Zealanders to study the working and effects of the monetary and economic system under which they live and in particular to understand the Reserve Bank’s role in achieving and maintaining a stable level of prices”.

Foundation Alumni have achieved outstanding success in a wide range of organisations and careers. For example, 1979 alumnus Charles Elworthy, Economist and Social Scientist, who is currently the visiting Business Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, whilst also being the Head of Research at the Map of Agriculture 1983 alumna. Suzi Kerr, Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 1983 alumna. Mark Wilson is currently Group CEO at Aviva, the largest general insurer in the UK.

Today, scholarships are awarded to secondary school students who have a highly developed aptitude for Economics and intend studying economics at a New Zealand university. This scholarship is for full fees for the first three years of an under-graduate degree (providing economics is being studied in the semester).

In addition to the undergraduate scholarships, an endowment fund has been established with the University of Auckland Business School, whereby the Kelliher Economics Foundation and the University of Auckland Business School support post graduate scholarships for students wishing to study at this level of economics. (Contact the University of Auckland Business School, Economics Department, for more information).

In December 2016 the Trustees decided to expand the scholarships to include further economic scholarships to be awarded to current Kelliher under-graduate scholars, who wish to undertake post-graduate economic degrees. These scholarships can be used at any New Zealand university.

A further two scholarships are to be offered to students intending to study an economics under-graduate degree at a New Zealand university and have applied for the scholarship under the “First Foundation” scheme.

The Kelliher Charitable Trust and Kelliher Economics Foundation have a particular interest in agriculture and, accordingly have provided financial support to Motu Economic and Public Policy Research organisation. The resulting research project: “How do Commodity Prices, Climate Change Policy and Water Quality Policy Affect Rural Community Outcomes?”is on public record.