The Wellbeing Budget

New Zealand's wellbeing

New Zealand's wellbeing outlook

This section provides an overview of New Zealand's wellbeing. We want New Zealand's overall wellbeing to drive the decisions we make about Government policies and Budget priorities. This means measuring our progress on a broader range of indicators of success, and not just on traditional measures like GDP.

We have drawn on evidence from the Treasury's LSF Dashboard, together with evidence from Stats NZ Official Statistics, the OECD and specialist advice from agencies and experts, like the Government Science Advisors. This evidence has been organised around the four capitals presented in the Treasury's LSF. These are: our built and financial assets (financial and physical capital), our people and skills (human capital), our environment (natural capital) and our connections (social capital).

New Zealand's wellbeing at a glance2

The evidence suggests that New Zealanders overall currently have high levels of wellbeing. We are relatively:

  • healthy
  • well educated
  • socially connected, and have
  • high material standards of living.

However, there are also significant challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the benefits of continued economic growth are shared by all New Zealanders. These challenges include:

  • poor mental health outcomes
  • significant numbers of children living in poverty
  • high levels of greenhouse gas emissions
  • significant disparities across indicators of wellbeing between different ethnic groups.

Threats to our waterways and our unique biodiversity, as well as future challenges arising from the changing nature of work, also need attention to ensure intergenerational wellbeing.

Evidence in this section has informed the Budget 2019 priorities, which represent a first step towards addressing some of the challenges we face in improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders.


2. The main evidence sources for this section are: The Treasury's LSF Dashboard, Stats NZ Official Statistics, the OECD Better Life Index and the latest Treasury forecasts.

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