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A Greener way to measure success

Green Party Co-Leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw have welcomed today’s announcement by Statistics New Zealand that a broad set of indicators will be developed to measure the nation’s success.

“Aotearoa New Zealand will become the first country in the world to produce a comprehensive set of indicators to measure things such as our natural environment, our social wellbeing and our human and social capital,” James Shaw said.

“Our new wellbeing measures will change our thinking and our decision-making. What gets measured, gets managed.”

“The measures, together with a new Living Standards Framework being developed by Treasury, will ensure next year’s Budget is built on more than just how much the economy will grow.”

The Green Party has long advocated against GDP as the sole measure of economic success. Developing a broader set of indicators is a cornerstone of Green economic policy.

The Green Party won a commitment in its Confidence and Supply Agreement with Labour to develop a broader set of wellbeing measures and, today, StatsNZ announced it is beginning public consultation to find out what New Zealanders think should be part of that new set of wellbeing measures.

“Our main measure of success, Gross Domestic Product, doesn’t tell the full story,” Marama Davidson said.

“We’ve had a decade of GDP growth but have seen people living in cars. At the same time, the quality of water in our rivers and lakes has deteriorated drastically.”

“The development of these new indicators means governments won’t be able to trumpet success based on narrow economic measures. This represents a paradigm shift away from short-termism towards a more holistic way of thinking about the health of our economy,” she said.

People can make a submission on the new indicators by visiting the Stats NZ website or emailing