Mehrnaz is an economist with expertise in applied economics including the economic evaluation and data analysis. Her expertise crosses a range of industries including land use, land transport, transport and land use integration, natural resources and waste. Mehrnaz’s particular interest is in the monetisation of intangible outcomes using non-market valuation techniques.
She has local and central governments background with extensive experience in cost-benefit analysis. Prior to joining Sapere, Mehrnaz held a principal role leading the update of the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Monetised Benefits and Costs Manual.
As a member of NZTA’s Investment Assurance team, Mehrnaz provided technical leadership in relation to economic analysis and other guidance on rules and procedures relating to the effectiveness and efficiency of transport programmes and projects. Mehrnaz innovated and led multiple products of the agency’s recent review of its Investment Decision Making Framework (IDMF) including:
- development of a new benefits framework for Waka Kotahi which has been used as the foundation of other IDMF review’s products.
- initiated the research on the database of values for non-monetised benefits included in NZTA’s benefits framework. Mehrnaz was also an active member of this research’s steering group.
- an external commission to establish a potential interim social cost of carbon based on international literature, as there is not yet a New Zealand based methodology to estimate the social cost of carbon. This work was used as the basis of the whole of government agreed shadow price of carbon that is included in the Treasury’s CBAx tool and the MBCM.
In her local government experience, as part of the research and evaluation unit within the Auckland Council for over seven years, Mehrnaz contributed to providing robust evidence for Auckland Council’s decision-makers through research and evaluation. She has developed, implemented and overseen primary and secondary research and evaluation on a range of economic issues. She has also used her experience and insight in resource economics, applied behavioural economics and a range of economic and social evaluation methods and tools (e.g. Cost-Benefit Analysis, Social Return on Investment and Hedonic price method).
- Regulatory and cost benefit analysis
- Strategy and business cases
- Arts, culture and recreation
- Climate and environment
- Economic development
- Infrastructure and transport
- Primary industry and biosecurity
- Property and housing
- Public sector policy and finance
- State, regional and local government
Qualifications & accolades
- Master’s in Economic Science (Econometric, Economic Engineering), Alzahra University of Tehran, 2003
- Bachelor of Economics (Hons Mathematics and Economic Engineering), Azad University of Tehran, 2000
Recent work highlights include:
- Developing a rapid Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the Ministry for Environment on planning for climate change adaptation
- Contributing to the assessment of New Zealand’s consenting system to deliver on climate-critical infrastructure needs for Infrastructure Commission
- Developing a rapid cost-benefit analysis for the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment on Energy Performance rating renewals under the proposed Building for Climate Change Amendments to the Building Act
- Advising New Zealand Transport Agency, Waka Kotahi, on the climate change and investment decision-making programme of work including revision of the Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) guidance and template, the Early Assessment Sifting Tool (EAST) guidance and template and Monetised Benefits and Costs Manual (MBCM).
- Advising Waka Kotahi on the parameter values updates for inclusion in the MBCM and updating the simplified procedure (SP) worksheets accordingly.
- Developing an impact analysis for Auckland Council on the Transport Emissions Pathway (TERP).
Infrastructure Consenting for Climate Targets
In this report, we show that under the current RMA we are on track to miss between 11-15% of emission reductions required from the energy and transport sector by 2050 due to consenting delays, and that to correct this, from 2028, consent processing times would need to be 50 percent quicker than they are projected to be under the RMA.
The goal of this project was to improve the evidence base on which to assess the fairness of the tax system. The project did this by improving our information on effective tax rates to inform future tax policy advice.
The updated manual includes the estimated cost of injuries and travel time values as well as updated simplified procedure workbooks.