What is the hardest thing to ask boys to do? Make sure you are on the bus at Sacred Heart by 5am! Boy did they respond, as we had them on the bus, all bleary eyed, by 5:05am.
We made it to the airport and arrived at our Wellington destination with one minute to spare. The visit to BNZ inspired them as they learnt that a bank does much more than look after your money and they could have great careers working there too. They got to play on old style typewriters and made seals from wax for themselves. After the BNZ visit we rushed to Statistics NZ where they gained an insight into how statistics are compiled for GDP, Indexes, Balance of Payments and Employment. The highlight of the day was of course their McDonald’s visit, although that was a big challenge for the teachers as we had to get 40 boys fed in 35 minutes – oh what a sight!
The Treasury visit was awesome as they got to spend $500 million of the Government’s money. Some groups chose to spend most on education to invest in our future, where another group chose to spend it all on the military to create a military state. This gave them a good idea of how hard it is for the government to apply Fiscal Policy. Our last stop was the Reserve Bank where they had a young inexperienced speaker who tried hard to keep them awake with lots of questions about the role of the Reserve Bank and Monetary Policy, with lollies as award.
At the end they had the rare opportunity to see the Moniac machine in full operation. The machine was developed by Prof Bill Phillips (a well known NZ economist). As quoted from the Reserve Bank museum: “THE PIONEERING ECONOMETRIC COMPUTER ON DISPLAY IN THE RESERVE BANK MUSEUM USES WATER QUANTITIES AND FLOWS TO SIMULATE THE FLOW OF MONEY THROUGH THE ECONOMY”. They also had the opportunity to play governor of the Reserve Bank for a few minutes and saw what a stack of real $1million notes and fake notes looked like.
The boys were elated to see the bus arrive to take them back to airport. Once on the flight almost all of them were sound asleep even before we took off for Auckland.