It has been two years since the launch of our 2013 TalentNZ Journal. To mark this anniversary, each day over the next month we will share an interview with one of the 30 kiwis and provide an update on where they are now.

Today we share Patrick Nolan’s full interview which you can read here.

Dr Patrick Nolan

Two years on, we checked in with Patrick Nolan and asked him four questions about what he has been doing since we published the journal. You can read Patrick’s responses below.

1. Two years on I am
Living in Wellington. Once my wife and I started to think about kids and schools we decided to make the move back. We were expecting the improvement in our lifestyle, but have been pleasantly surprised by the professional opportunities. I’m a principal advisor at the Productivity Commission and Doralba is a design engineer at Sylvester Clark.

2. Recent thoughts on how to build a talent-based economy recently is
That it is valuable for Kiwis to spend time working overseas but we need to attach a ‘big bit of elastic to them’ to ensure we can bring their experience back. We also need to recognise that when people return their circumstances are likely to have changed. Based on my and my wife’s experience the New Zealand immigration system could lift its game in recognising the partners of returning Kiwis.

3. Books, research and talks that have shaped my thinking include
Rather than a particular book or paper, I’d highlight the local community of blogging economists. Eric Crampton at Offsetting Behaviour and Matt Nolan and James Zuccollo at The Visible Hand in Economics are worth a follow.

4. Any additional thoughts for young people?
A major change taking place in my area of work is the increasing availability of data. And this is going to continue. Thus people who have the skills and talent to use data to help answer difficult social questions are going to be especially valuable.

Connect with TalentNZ
We want to build New Zealand’s talent-based economy. If you want to join us on this journey, please connect with TalentNZBy connecting you will receive our monthly TalentNZ newsletter, which outlines recent developments, research and resources related to creating a talent-based economy, and which keeps you informed about upcoming TalentNZ events. Please also share this link with anyone you think may be interested.

TalentNZ Journal: Grow talent edition
We are currently in the planning and research stages of our 2016 TalentNZ Journal: Grow talent edition. The journal will illustrate grassroots initiatives that New Zealanders are doing to grow talent. Our focus is on encouraging innovative ways to develop talent across New Zealand. The Grow talent edition will be the second edition in our TalentNZ Journal series.

About TalentNZ
The 2013 TalentNZ Journal is part of our TalentNZ project. TalentNZ is designed to facilitate a structured discussion on how to make New Zealand’s talent-based economy flourish. The Journal features interviews with 30 Kiwis, essays from contributing writers and data with a focus on cities and the economy. The 2013 Journal, and in particular the 30 interviews, showed us that by managing the four integrated work-streams – grow, attract, retain and connect – New Zealand is more likely to become a healthy, dynamic and interesting place to live in the long-term. TalentNZ builds on Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision of making New Zealand ‘a place where talent wants to live’. Sir Paul outlined the reasons why his vision is important in a 20-minute video at the Institute’s StrategyNZ workshop in 2011. To learn more about the TalentNZ project see

If you have any questions about the TalentNZ project, please contact us at