Back to top anchor
Media statement

Have your say on living standards indicators for New Zealand

Issue date: 
Thursday, 7 June 2018
Corporate author: 
View point: 

The Treasury is encouraging people to have their say on ways to measure the living standards of current and future New Zealanders.

Today the Treasury released an independent report, Treasury Living Standards Dashboard: Monitoring Intergenerational Wellbeing, which it commissioned from wellbeing expert Conal Smith of Kōtātā Insight. The report includes a proposed ‘dashboard’ covering a range of elements and specific indicators of living standards and intergenerational wellbeing in New Zealand.

The Treasury’s Chief Economic Adviser Tim Ng says it is putting out the report for public consultation so people can consider the proposed Living Standards Dashboard and contribute their own views and knowledge.

“Conal Smith has prepared a world-class report that draws on international and local evidence and expertise. While this independent report does not represent Government policy or Treasury advice, the work provides a strong foundation for discussion and generating well-informed feedback,” Tim Ng says.

“Public consultation on the report and its proposed Living Standards Dashboard is very important to the Treasury. It will help ensure the Dashboard we are releasing at the end of 2018 is expert, evidence-based, and reflects the perspectives of a wide range of New Zealanders.

“We have an eight-week consultation period from 7 June to 31 July and we encourage people to get more information from the Treasury website at Living Standards Dashboard Proposal Survey. You can make a submission directly on our website or you can email it to us at”

Tim Ng says the consultation is happening in parallel with a broad programme of other Living Standards Framework work.

“We are consulting on the report as part of our work-in-progress. Some elements of the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework are not yet fully developed. The report acknowledges there are still gaps in knowledge and indicators, including te ao Māori perspectives, but there is wider work underway to address these gaps.

“As an example, Te Puni Kōkiri is working on Māori perspectives on living standards and wellbeing, and a discussion paper on this will be published in mid-2018.

“Other discussion papers coming out in July will cover topics such as risk and resilience, Pacific Peoples’ wellbeing, and physical and financial capital. The Treasury will also continue to discuss progress on its Living Standards Framework work at several forums including the International Conference on Wellbeing and Public Policy in Wellington in September.

“All of this broader work-in-progress and our consultation is feeding into the development of a Dashboard by the end of the year. The Living Standards Dashboard itself will evolve over time as our level of knowledge and the availability of data improves.

“Creating a Dashboard to capture every measure relevant to living standards is neither achievable nor desirable. Instead, the Treasury’s focus unapologetically pragmatic: our aim is to have a practical set of meaningful indicators to inform policy and contribute towards higher living standards for New Zealand.”

At the same time as the Treasury’s consultation on the Dashboard proposal, Stats NZ is undertaking engagement to populate ‘Indicators Aotearoa’. Indicators Aotearoa will be a comprehensive suite of economic, social, environmental and cultural indicators. It is intended to support a broad scope of New Zealand’s monitoring and reporting requirements both domestically and to meet our international obligations, and to serve a range of public and private sector stakeholders. It is expected that the Living Standards Dashboard will be mostly or entirely a subset of Indicators Aotearoa, with an explicit focus on supporting domestic policy prioritisation and development. Stats NZ and the Treasury are well linked-up with these closely-related pieces of work and are encouraging people to get involved in one or more of these engagement opportunities.


Bryan McDaniel | Principal Communications Advisor
Telephone: (04) 917 6268 or 021 817 207
Last updated: 
Thursday, 7 June 2018