Budget 2020

Budget Policy Statement

The Wellbeing Approach

What is wellbeing?

Wellbeing means giving people the capabilities to live lives of purpose, balance and meaning to them. A wellbeing approach aims to improve New Zealanders' living standards. This includes tackling our long-term challenges and ensuring that what matters to New Zealanders drives our decision-making. The Coalition Government is committed to continuing that focus.

The wellbeing approach was used to develop the first Wellbeing Budget. It made greater use of Ministerial subgroups than in previous budgets with Ministers working closely together to develop packages. This included packages tackling domestic violence and making land use more sustainable.

We are taking working collaboratively a step further in Budget 2020. A coordinating Minister has been appointed for each of the five Budget priorities. They are working with relevant Ministers to develop initiatives targeting their priority's wellbeing outcomes.

The Government used the Treasury's Living Standards Framework (LSF) to support its wellbeing approach, including in the delivery of the first Wellbeing Budget in 2019. The LSF is a framework using wellbeing data and evidence to inform the Government's policy decisions. It recognises the need for broader framing around what it means to progress as a country and to understand the impacts of current or potential policies.

The LSF Dashboard, released by the Treasury in December 2018, provides a range of wellbeing indicators and analyses. No single set of indicators can capture all that matters for New Zealanders but the Dashboard provides a perspective on how to measure a country's wellbeing.

The LSF and the Dashboard are a work in progress. The Treasury will refresh the LSF and the Dashboard in mid-2021 to better reflect priority areas, such as Te Ao Māori, Pacific Peoples' world views, child wellbeing and culture.

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