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The Treasury - New Zealand Government
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New Zealand Treasury Discussion Paper 19/01
The move by the Treasury to explore ways to view national wellbeing as representing more than the traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP)-based measures is a welcome shift. However, to understand the collective impact of policies on the intergenerational wellbeing of all New Zealanders, the Living Standards Framework (LSF) cannot be blind to the things that drive us as a society: it must reflect who we are, what we value and how we can grow a shared sense of prosperity. A new way of thinking about wellbeing has potential to benefit all New Zealanders. This paper argues that wellbeing considered from an indigenous perspective moves the public policy discourse beyond Western constructs of wellbeing and enables an improved lived experience of wellbeing for everyone. While this paper has a focus on wellbeing for M¯aori specifically, it articulates a way of looking at wellbeing that can be applied to the full range of populations within Aotearoa New Zealand, and to indigenous populations universally. It offers a way of accounting for various values and beliefs that drive people's experiences of wellbeing and of responding to the needs, aspirations and interests of collectives and the individuals within them. The approach supports a holistic view of wellbeing in which people can identify for themselves the outcomes they want to have balanced or prioritised. This approach positions the public sector to advance wellbeing in a different way and look to respond to the various needs, interests and aspirations of New Zealanders.
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