Budget 2022: The Wellbeing Outlook and Approach
The Wellbeing Outlook
Budget 2022 is our fourth Wellbeing Budget, in which New Zealanders' overall wellbeing drives the decisions we make, and we measure progress on a broader range of measures than the more traditional fiscal and economic considerations. This section provides an overview of Aotearoa New Zealand's current state of wellbeing.
This Wellbeing Outlook provides a short update on the relevant sections of the Wellbeing Outlook published in December's 2021 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) using the updated 2021 version of the Living Standards Framework. It focuses on significant changes that have occurred since then, including the impacts of widespread Omicron transmission, rising costs of living, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The data for this chapter has been drawn from a range of sources, including background papers for the upcoming report Te Tai Waiora, Wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand 2022.
New Zealand's wellbeing at a glance
The evidence in this section indicates that New Zealand's overall wellbeing has so far held up well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mortality rate remains lower than those of our international peers, and life satisfaction remains high across all ethnicities. The economy has proven to be resilient, with gross domestic product (GDP) well above pre-pandemic levels, unemployment at record lows, rising household incomes and wealth, and business balance sheets strengthening across almost every sector.
However, the impacts of COVID-19 remain with us. Experiences of the pandemic differ greatly among New Zealanders and its long-term effects have yet to be seen. Also, long-standing challenges around climate change, child poverty, and housing quality and affordability have not lost their urgency. We are also facing new economic headwinds, including high inflation driving higher costs of living, rising interest rates, tightening supply constraints, and the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our broad success in managing COVID-19 highlights the importance of resilience in preserving New Zealand's current and future wellbeing, and the growing need to improve further our resilience to other shocks.