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Demonstration of the MONIAC - A Water-based Computer

Demonstration of the MONIAC - A Water-based Computer

Sorry this event has been and gone


  • Wed 7 Feb ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 7 Mar ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 4 Apr ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 2 May ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 6 Jun ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 4 Jul ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 1 Aug ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 5 Sep ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 3 Oct ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Sat 3 Nov ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Mon 3 Dec ’18, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • Wed 13 Feb ’19, 12:15pm – 12:45pm
  • View all sessions


Reserve Bank Museum, 2 The Terrace, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


Reserve Bank

On the first Wednesday of each month, except January, an economist will demonstrate how the MONIAC, a pioneering econometric computer, works.

Invented in the late 1940s by talented New Zealand - born economist Bill Phillips (1914-1975),
the MONIAC was a way of demonstrating the macro economy to his students at the London School of Economics.

He built the prototype for around £400, including parts scavenged from a Lancaster bomber. The computer uses water quantities and flows to simulate the flow of money through the economy.

The acronym MONIAC – 'Monetary National Income Analogue Computer' – was apparently invented to echo the ENIAC digital computer then being developed in the United States.

By contrast with those machines the MONIAC operated wholly on analogue principles, using water to simulate flows of money. Around 14 were built.

The MONIAC was capable of making complex calculations that could not be performed by any other computer at the time. The linkages were based on Keynesian and classical economic principles, with various tanks representing households, businesses, governments, and exporting and importing sectors of the economy.

Water pumped around the system could be measured as income, spending and GDP. The system was programmable, and experiments with fiscal policy, monetary policy and exchange rates could be carried out.

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