This article was originally published on The Banker.
New Zealand’s deputy prime minister and finance minister outlines how the country put the health of its population first during the pandemic, which has helped support the country’s economy in the long term.
“…Looking beyond GDP as the measure of success of the economic recovery is an approach at the heart of this government’s strategy.
This Wellbeing Approach has been the foundation for my tenure as finance minister. The approach tracks our progress with broader measures of success than economic growth alone, including the health of our finances, natural resources, people and communities, known in the Living Standards Framework as financial and physical capital, natural capital, human capital and social capital.
Our first budget under this new approach was in 2019, and required agencies to work together on an agreed set of wellbeing priorities. That work set us up well for when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The government and our agencies worked together and at a rapid pace to respond to the unfolding crisis. That swift and coordinated response is why we are now looking to rebuild while much of the rest of the world is still grappling with the health crisis.
As well as supporting our workers financially through the pandemic, the government has also invested heavily in infrastructure to stimulate the economy and create jobs. We know how important the right mix and level of infrastructure investment will be to our recovery – in terms of jobs, productivity and mitigating long-term challenges in areas such as housing and climate change.
The role of infrastructure is not only critical to rebuilding our economy, but also delivers on our wellbeing agenda. In all areas of our Living Standards Framework, good-quality infrastructure is an essential factor: in addressing the productivity challenge that has inhibited our financial wellbeing over many decades; in the natural capital space ensuring that our investments enhance sustainability and contribute to meeting our climate change goals; and in supporting the development of our people (human capital) in areas such as the supply of affordable, warm, dry housing or in building social capital through connecting our communities, virtually and in real life…”
Read on at: The Banker.