Based on the idea that gauging the long-term impact of policies on the quality of people’s lives is better than focusing on short-term output measures, the initiative has five priorities for 2019: aiding the transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy, supporting a thriving nation in the digital age, lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities, reducing child poverty, and supporting mental health for all New Zealanders.
“We’re embedding that notion of making decisions that aren’t just about growth for growth’s sake, but how are our people faring?” Ardern said. “How is their overall well-being and their mental health? How is our environment doing? These are the measures that will give us a true measure of our success.”
Ideas about measuring and promoting well-being aren’t new. Frameworks are already in existence, while some nations, including Bhutan and the United Arab Emirates, have already incorporated them into government policy. Politicians, economists and lobby groups in other countries, like the UK, are calling for governments to do more.
Improving well-being should “serve as a central goal for our society and the overriding aim of government policy,” the report says. It advises that a spending review focused on well-being would enable the UK government to focus spending on areas that have the most impact on people’s lives.
“This is not woolly, it’s critical,” Ardern told delegates at the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos. “This is how we bring meaning and results for the people who vote for us. It’s not ideological either. It’s about finally saying this how we meet expectations, and try and build trust back in to our institutions again, no matter where we are in the world.”
This content was originally published here.