New series explores how to foster wellbeing for Kiwis

A State of the State New Zealand 2018 collaboration between Deloitte and the School of Government explores how we can nurture greater wellbeing in New Zealand.

The State of the State New Zealand 2018 report consists of a series of eight articles looking at wellbeing frameworks, the relationship between social investment and wellbeing, reviewing alternative perspectives, and providing recommendations for a way forward. The series’ third article was recently released, with the remainder to be progressivly published over the coming months.

Wellbeing comprises the multiple aspects that define our quality of life, including things like housing, income, employment, community engagement, enjoyment of our natural environment, education, health and security.

Professor Girol Karacaoglu, Head of the School of Government and a co-author of the second article in this series, says it represents an important opportunity for Victoria University to collaborate with the private sector in contributing to the New Zealand government's aspiration to promote intergenerational wellbeing.

"This is one way of giving effect to being a capital city university, and using this as a platform to connect the government, business, and academic communities towards making a difference for New Zealand."

The New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Framework, based on four capitals – natural, social, human and financial/physical – is being developed to help government measure how well its choices contribute to increased intergenerational wellbeing in New Zealand.

But Deloitte partner David Lovatt says that beyond "wellbeing measurement" lies the path to fundamentally different decisions and actions for government, NGOs, communities and businesses.

"Attention is increasingly focused on wellbeing as a way to determine a country’s success – most obviously signalled by the Government’s January announcement that it will introduce a wellbeing Budget in 2019.

"As the 2019 Budget could mark a world first, it makes sense for those who work in and alongside the public sector come to grips with the potential impacts of wellbeing frameworks," says Mr Lovatt.

To date, New Zealand has focused on gross domestic product (GDP) because of the assumption it equates to more wellbeing, but given the trade-offs made to grow GDP, this approach is under scrutiny.

However, World Economic Forum studies show a rising disconnect between countries’ per capita GDP and their citizens’ wellbeing, as rapid growth can exacerbate health challenges and erode environmental conditions.

Article 1Wellbeing in abundance: Looking after our own backyard, by David Lovatt (Deloitte)
What is wellbeing, why should we care, and what does measuring it and trying to implement it mean for New Zealand?

Article 2Beyond GDP: Measuring New Zealand’s wellbeing progress, by Joey Au (Institute for Governance and Policy Studies) & Girol Karacaoglu (School of Government)
A discussion of wellbeing as a measure of progress and aim of public policy. We look at defining and measuring wellbeing, review the current state of wellbeing measurement in New Zealand, and conclude with a proposed wellbeing index.

Article 3Paving the way to wellbeing: The evolution of social investment, by Jane Fraser-Jones (Deloitte)
A look at how far New Zealand has come with social investment, since our first State of the State in 2016, to understand the challenges for progress and how far we've come, along with the perspectives of public sector leaders.

Article 4Building New Zealand’s social capital: a family-by-family approach, by Anne Molineux (Deloitte) & Adithi Pandit (Deloitte)
An examination of the role of social services in building social capital for New Zealand families, and exploration how we could make systemic enhancements for those in need of additional support.

Article 5Inclusive and resilient communities: Co-creating our human and social capital, by Deborah Lucas (Deloitte)
Human and social capital – what they are and why they are so integral to New Zealand’s wellbeing future? We give recommendations and examples on how to grow them for the benefit of all Kiwis.

Article 6Shifting the landscape: What a wellbeing focus could mean for business, by Alex Mitchell (Deloitte)
The Government’s focus on wellbeing has the potential to shift the traditional economic landscape – what could this mean for New Zealand business?

Article 7Trust: A cornerstone of wellbeing - the building blocks for a flourishing society, by David Lovatt (Deloitte)
An exploration of some of the issues around trust in New Zealand, understanding how the public’s perceptions of people and institutions can be built up to improve wellbeing for all.

Article 8The importance of place: A cities and regions view of wellbeing, by Linda Meade (Deloitte)
We examine the importance of taking a regional wellbeing view, the disparities in wellbeing across and within the regions themselves, and possible next steps to improving regional wellbeing.