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Well-being is back!

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

If there’s one key theme that’s emerging with this government it’s well-being. And it applies to central and local government.

Let’s look at local government first.

We’re following the Local Government (Community Well-Being) Amendment Bill that’s now in Select Committee. It restores social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being as the key purpose of local government. Some of us remember Chris Carter, former Labour Minister, introducing these as part of the 2002 Local Government Act. Then National removed them in 2012. Looks like they’re making a comeback!

And at a national level, Grant Robertson, Finance Minister, is promoting well-being and living standards, based on Treasury’s Living Standards Framework (LSF). The LSF measures four well-beings:

financial and physical


social, and


We can expect measures around all four soon. Grant Robertson:

“The Living Standards Framework and measuring the health of the four capitals puts sustainable, intergenerational wellbeing at the core of the public sector system… I want us to go further than broad, high-level wellbeing priorities, to having a Budget process and a public sector that are structured around measuring and improving wellbeing outcomes”.

Watch out for May 2019 and the first well-being budget.

It’s interesting how old ideas make a comeback. What is it they say? An oldie but a goodie!

If you want to get up to speed with Treasury’s well–being thinking, here’s an easy and useful video to watch:


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