31 Jul 2018

Government seeks public input on well-being indicators

2:08 pm on 31 July 2018

The government wants public input on a set of well-being indicators it intends to incorporate into all future Budgets.

James Shaw.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw launched the consultation process today. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The government is developing a list of 100 environmental, social and economic indicators to measure the well-being and success of New Zealanders, alongside traditional economic indicators like GDP.

The consultation process was launched this morning by Statistics Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw, who said this was a long-standing central tenet of Greens' economic policy.

He said in the Greens' confidence and supply agreement with Labour, the two parties agreed to change the way the government measured the country's success.

"Our nation's well-being is not a number on a GDP chart, and our government, this government, recognises that," Mr Shaw said. "The economy is obviously important but GDP is not the be all, end all."

Mr Shaw said this was about understanding the real picture of success and well-being that went beyond just productivity and turnover and throughput.

"Most people will tell you that the security of their job, the health of their kids and their ability to pay the power bill is more important to them.

"Many people might say that clean air to breathe and that doesn't make them sick is the most important thing of all."

Government statistician Liz MacPherson said New Zealanders now had their chance to determine exactly what was measured.

"You might want to see things about the state of our health, our environment, our infrastructure or our social ties," she said.

Public consultation on the government's well-being indicators runs through until September.