Work gets underway to develop better measures of New Zealand’s success

The Minister of Statistics today launched the development of a new comprehensive set of environmental, social and economic indicators to better measure New Zealand’s overall wellbeing and success.

“This Government is expanding beyond traditional narrow measures of economic success to reflect the wellbeing of New Zealanders, including the environmental wellbeing that sustains us,” James Shaw said.

“As part of the Green Party’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with Labour, we are beginning the process of compiling a list of around 100 indicators which will make up a set of measures known as Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand or Ngā Tūtohu Aotearoa.

“What gets measured gets managed, and this work is part of the Government’s wider programme to make policy and measure success in ways that ensure meaningful improvements in our lives and our country.

“In next year’s Budget, Finance Minister Grant Robertson will ensure New Zealand’s success is not just measured by how much the economy has grown but by whether our people and our environment are better off too.

“While Stats NZ is developing the indicators that will be used to track progress, Treasury is working on a “Living Standards Framework” for policy. These two pieces of work will come together in the Budget.

“The indicators of well-being will form a set of measures which the Government of the day can choose to use to track the country’s success.

“The indicators will also be available for the public and organisations to use for their research and decision making.

“I am personally proud of today’s announcement. As far back as 30 years ago, the Green Party’s former co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, called for more than just economic activity to be used as the measure of our success and wellbeing as a country.

“In 2016 the Green Party tried to make it a legislative reality with our Public Finance (Sustainable Development Indicators) Amendment Bill. Now, with Green Ministers supporting the coalition government, we can actually achieve it.

“So this is an important day for an important piece of work.

“But we all have different views about what wellbeing looks like.

“So we’re asking New Zealanders to tell Stats NZ what indicators they’d like tracked as part of Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand,” Mr Shaw said.

Stats NZ will run a public consultation process until the end of September.

 People can make a submission by visiting the Stats NZ website or emailing indicators@stats.govt.nz.