top of page

Subscribe Form

Thanks for submitting!

Search

DR MIKE SCHMIDT: Reserve Bank of New Zealand moving beyond its remit into Identity Politics

Critics of "diversity, equity, and inclusion programs" (DEI) highlight that determining the realised value of DEI, of preferring staff according to their immutable characteristics e.g., race, sex, or gender, may be biased, complex, and context dependent. Rarely acknowledged and almost never reported is that DEI initiatives can be costly, problematic, or illegal. Critics point out that decisions tainted by ideological beliefs typically lead to additional overheads. Costs arise in a variety of areas e.g., the extra training for the less qualified individuals chosen to bring them up to required standards and may also encompass the consequences of a lower overall performance. Other negative aspects include a reduction in morale from the intentional categorization of systems into 'the oppressive' and 'victims,'. In summary, DEI as a recruitment policy can be a hit-or-miss affair but is only reported favourably, and often applied as a substitute for competitive corporate development, or as a virtue signal.


A recent, and patently ridiculous example of DEI trumping common sense has recently surfaced. The Canadian government has pledged a support package of $4M Canadian dollars for DEI regarding “demining operations” i.e., removing mines, with a call to make the effort more “gender inclusive”(1). Apparently, we need more diversity in the “demining business”. What could possibly go wrong? I suggest that merit is a more important determinant of a candidate’s job suitability unless we want explosively negative results. On deeper investigation we find that more money has been wasted, money that could have gone to directly removing landmines and helping victims. There are the costs associated with developing ideologically nuanced programs and then promoting them e.g., the Geneva 2023 conference regarding landmines involved 500+ delegates, plus hangers-on… A 77-page booklet was composed, designed, printed, and distributed(2, 3, 4). As if landmines and their consequences have not been a topic of consideration for a long time…


• Women will be pleased to hear that a greater ‘gender balance’ amongst mine removal specialists is needed. Feel free to develop your career in that direction. Start by trialling Diet Coke and Mentos in flask5.


New Zealand is not immune to the DEI pandemic. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) is developing its own “DEI Cost Centre”. As the New Zealand Government is the primary beneficiary of the RBNZ profits, which contribute to the overall well-being of New Zealand, any money wasted by this organization comes at our expense.


The functions of the RBNZ that generate those profits include(6):


• A margin gained from the cost of printing money (I don’t see the relevance of DEI here)

• The exercise of monetary policy e.g., managing the official cash rate (OCR), and the purchase of large-scale asset purchases (LSAP), term lending programs (to banks) and so on (still not seeing how DEI will contribute)

• The purchase of foreign assets (DEI could equally be a help, neutral or hazard here)

• Operating in financial markets (an environment where merit and competence certainly trumps selection based on race, gender, or sexuality…)

• Overseeing core payment systems e.g., credit card and interbank transactions (again I don’t see DEI contributing)


I could elaborate on additional services offered by the RBNZ, but it's worth noting that one might struggle to see how DEI positively contributes to any RBNZ activities. In 2021, the RBNZ contributed approximately $140 Million NZD to the NZ Government – without the help of a DEI focus(7).


A role has been recently advertised at the RBNZ, that of "Principal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Adviser" with a salary of approximately $200,000 NDZ (FT)(8). Considering the RBNZ already has an HR department and around (only) 640 employees, how contributory can this role be? Further, it is the nature of these roles that they expand (see a snippet from the advert below), already, “develop a centre of excellence”, increasing associated costs that may yield minimal benefits. The assumption that DEI is relevant to this organization is already surrounded by uncertainties: I have made comments (above) regarding the irrelevance of DEI to many services provided by the RBNZ.


The details and gobbledygook of the role are outlined below.



As an exemplar, is the “DEI and Te Ao Māori lens” a beneficial, benign, or burdensome perspective regarding monetary and financial management? I don’t think that the RBNZ knows. Probably ‘burdensome’ as DEI programs cost time and money and there is evidence that they undermine morale e.g., “box ticking” and “mandatory training sessions”.


My questions are:


• Aren’t they supposed to deliver services and a profit?

• Is developing a centre of DEI excellence their core business/mandate?

• Do they have time on their hands?


DEI is an ideological program, and we see from numerous examples, both local and international, that the results are mixed and, in most industries, inappropriate. Yet, DEI is being introduced in hundreds of departments and organisations all over New Zealand – the national waste and accumulated unproductive disadvantages are significant for our small economy. Competitor countries deliberately don’t get caught up in the double-speak of DEI.


Furthermore, DEI units echo the functions of McCarthyism or Stalinist political departments and should be avoided. HR staff effectively become commissars and counterproductive to the central role for which HR was traditionally established. Going against HR principles and the overall performance and well-being of any organization is the notion of compromising hiring primarily based on immutable attributes rather than merit and competence(9).


The solution to this wastage is:


• For CEO’s and other ‘leaders’ to more seriously scrutinise whether DEI policies are a benefit or a hazard to their particular organizations. To consider if, like the foolish ‘demining’ programs, are these “leaders” priming their organizations for substandard performance and additional costs?

• Further, consideration needs be given regarding whether DEI costs provide an adequate return on investment. The much vaunted “diversity dividend” is a unicorn frequently used to justify a cost structure that primarily benefits consultants, ideologues and virtue signallers but is rarely captured by the organization. RBNZ should investigate more before it invests in DEI under the supposition that there will be a worthwhile outcome.


I believe that the RBNZ is somewhat behind the times. To help RBNZ’s deliberations I suggest they consider the determinations of “Blackstone”.


Blackstone, like the RBNZ, operates in the finance environment, however, Blackstone is significantly larger, it has approximately $1 TRILLION USD under management. They have about 4,735 employees, seven to eight times more than the RBNZ (640), and could supposedly claim a great need for DEI, if it was appropriate and beneficial for the industry(10).


In 2023 Blackstone terminated its DEI staff and shifted its focus to hiring for socioeconomic diversity and changing job requirements, to find more diverse talent without specifically targeting a particular race, ethnicity or sexuality but rather focus on competency and merit(11). These re-worked HR functions more closely align with traditional HR activities and with the companies’ legal obligations. They are not alone in their shift from nihilist employment philosophies(12).


New Zealand has an edge by strategically lagging in adopting policies and behaviours from other countries or industries.


• Before we ape neighbouring ideologies and business fads, we should look at the outcomes.

• Before we waste more time and money on DEI, we should consider how we can be stronger in unity; something this country desperately needs. A worthy goal which should be supported by the RBNZ both internally and externally; stability is part of their remit. Maybe they could show “leadership” in this area.


Examples and experience show us that organizations, and cumulatively a nation, benefit more from competence and merit than by the questionable benefits that could arise from costly, contentious, and ideologically driven DEI programs.


References



Read more about Dr Michael John Schmidt here 


3,853 views108 comments

108 Comments


Peter Y
Peter Y
Mar 12

I can’t help but think many are overlooking, well at least failing to consider, the bigger picture. Taking a Te Ao Maori perspective isn’t that bad for a Bank, well maybe not our Reserve Bank, but having a ’lens’ that historically looks at, inter alia, opportunism; the taking of benefits from of others endeavours; the effective raping and pillaging of same; and, of course, the enslavement (at least for a very significant number of years) to the entity or tribe, reflects and fulfils all the basic ‘banking’ fundamentals.  But, of course, cannibalism is a no no - for that always ultimately ends in a zero-sum game.  So while having that Te Ao Maori lens is not a novel concept (as…

Like
Peter Y
Peter Y
Mar 13
Replying to

Precisely. I get so sick and tired of hearing of the Maori world view, but we know only too well it was not 'worldly' at all. It was self-centred, myopic and opportunistic at best. It was not a successful way of living, hence why after centuries of existence in NZ things were looking pretty dire by the time others arrived here. It's a nonsense to suggest it's something wondrous and that we should all aspire to embrace and mirror it. And of course, when others did arrive and new technology presented, who seized upon it and were only too eager to use it against their own kind and exact utu? If that's their 'world view' they can stick i…

Like

ron
ron
Mar 12

One other comment from me. The headline "Reserve Bank of New Zealand moving beyond its remit into Identity Politics", I have to say is slightly missing the point. Which is more that the RBNZ, certainly its governor, has decided that it is appropriate to conduct its business from the perspective of a neo Maori cult rather than from that of a white Anglo Western democratic institute. Wherein its remit doesn't actually state what cultural values the bank will adopt but only what are its goals and outputs with regards the nation's economy. How it gets there is down to the bank's leadership team. Something similar applies to government departments, where there are no rules that require them to internally ado…


Like
basilwnz
basilwnz
Mar 13
Replying to

Well said. I suppose that a private company/organisation can adopt pagan images, idols and a particular set of ethics related to the chosen cult if they so wish, as long as they follow the normal rules of business set by our Govt; but surely the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is operating in a different realm?

Like

This is a bit off topic, but I'm sure glad biddy biden wasn't president during the second world War...or his immediatereplacement. just a parody mind....https://youtu.be/v3A-ubUIX6s?si=LsdEJRiW3kRzwq2I

https://youtu.be/WW7I-j1Rb94?si=EpgK27kTuJ8X_CkN

Like
Replying to

First time I've ever felt sorry for him 🤣🤣🤣

Like

Macademia
Macademia
Mar 12

Talking about wokeism, Seen the latest from Otago University? They are looking for people to participate in this project: "Understanding Workplace Inclusion: Evaluations to DE&I Strategies and Organisational Practices in New Zealand " "What is the aim of the project?


The purpose of this research project is to explore inclusion in the workplace through the examination of the extent to which Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) activities, impact the anticipated workplace diversity outcomes of psychological safety, perceptions of inclusion, and belonging." https://otago.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8ozAYpUQB6R7D4G?fbclid=IwAR09qZXT92a4AGhCpv_6e8KT4AU1YhO0CkLKJs0HR6NfLKWmTdCGv9SlhlY So, what are they going to do with the results of this project? Go and "educate" the errant workplaces, maybe send them all to the Gulag? lol


Like
Replying to

Whatever happened to people just turning and doing the job they're paid to do?

Like

Great article that makes the important point that:


“…the national waste and accumulated unproductive disadvantages <of DEI policies> are significant for our small economy.”


At a time of ‘belt-tightening’, perhaps all Ministers can request their departments to remove DEI positions and policies as part of their finding savings drive.

Like
bottom of page