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The task

Prepare us a submission on one of the following eight topics. You may submit your entry as either a 2,000 word essay (excluding headers and footers), A3 presentation, or video presentation.

  1. The Government owns (assets) or owes (liabilities) things to achieve objectives greater than purely financial returns. Describe how the assets and liabilities of the Government contribute to overall wellbeing.
  2. Explain why the Government should or should not own something, rather than achieving the desired outcome through another intervention such as regulation.
  3. Pick a government sector (For example: justice, education, natural resources etc.). Based on Annual Reports and similar public information, describe the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and threats relevant to its assets and liabilities for achieving sector objectives.
  4. The Treasury uses a Living Standards framework to guide its policy advice. Use a current policy issue to describe the advantages and disadvantages of multi-dimension approaches (such as the OECD’s Better Life Index) compared to single-dimension approaches (like an increase in GDP) that use narrower economic indicators.
  5. Natural capital is critical to New Zealanders living standards. Describe the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relevant to managing New Zealand’s natural capital, and how the government can measure and track progress against this. Consider the range of stakeholders that will be impacted by these.
  6. Resiliency is important to New Zealanders. Describe what factors the Government needs to considerer to ensure both public and private finances are resilient and how this relates to all New Zealanders.
  7. The New Zealand economy is reliant on businesses being able to hire workers with the right skills. How should the government think about the relationship between training the existing workforce and attracting migrant workers, ie, ‘making’ or ‘buying’ skills?
  8. Should the government be concerned about house prices?  If so, why?


One of the tools that we use at the Treasury to help us give policy advice is the Living Standards Framework, which includes a broad range of factors that affect the well-being of both the individual and society. This framework may help you to identify the range of effects that a policy may have.

To find out more about the Treasury's Living Standards Framework refer below.

Submissions will be judged on the basis of:

  • depth and breadth of analysis of the policy issues
  • appropriate use of evidence to justify any recommendations, and
  • assessment from a broad range of perspectives/impact of the policy across different dimensions of the Treasury's Living Standards Framework.

All entries are due on 1 October 2017 at 12 noon.

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 2 August 2017