New Zealand to start measuring its success by people’s wellbeing

New Zealand announced that it will develop the world’s first ‘wellbeing’ budget which will focus on poverty and mental health.

© Helena Lopes/Pexels

New Zealand’s finance minister, Grant Robertson, will make child poverty, domestic violence and mental health the priorities in the country’s new “wellbeing budget”.

Speaking to The Guardian, Robertson said that despite New Zealand’s “rockstar” economy many New Zealanders are being left behind, with major issues in the country such as low home ownership, an increasing suicide rate and a rise in homelessness and food aid grants.

“Sure, we had – and have – GDP growth rates that many other countries around the world envied, but for many New Zealanders, this GDP growth had not translated into higher living standards or better opportunities. How could we be a rockstar, they asked, with homelessness, child poverty and inequality on the rise?”

New Zealand will be the first western country to design its entire budget around wellbeing priorities and intends to invest billions more into health and education.

“For me, wellbeing means people living lives of purpose, balance and meaning to them, and having the capabilities to do so,” said Robertson.

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