Monday April 29, 2019
In one month the Government will present its first ‘Wellbeing Budget’, which will use a wellbeing framework to identify
Budget priorities. This means looking beyond traditional measures, such as GDP, to define New Zealand’s success.
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Massey University has also been tackling this issue. They have developed an
index that calculates wellbeing and social progress through measuring how well, or poorly, different segments of society
have benefited from New Zealand's growing economy.
Project leader, Professor Christoph Schumacher from the School of Economics and Finance, will share initial insights
from his team’s Shared Prosperity Index at the first ‘Big Issues in Business’ event for 2019.
The Shared Prosperity Index uses eight dimensions in its calculations: income and wealth; employment; housing; health;
deprivation; education; safety and security; and general inequality. The research team is currently building an online
dashboard that will show how the country is performing across each of the eight dimensions, as well as an aggregate
index for measuring New Zealand's overall shared prosperity over time.
“The index fundamentally measures the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’,” Professor Schumacher says. “It
incorporates data from the early 1980s and our initial calculations show that sharing peaked in 1986, before diving
during a period of sweeping reform and economic recession.
“Sharing then improved, along with economic prosperity, from the late nineties until 2006. But, after that, it gradually
decreased again and the steady economic growth since New Zealand recovered from the Global Financial Crisis has had
little impact on the level of sharing.”
Professor Schumacher believes the index offers important insights into New Zealand’s collective wellbeing.
“In an economy that fairly shares its prosperity, people believe there is some possibility of social mobility, and that
they have the opportunity to realise their potential,” he says. “If they don't believe this, and where they are
surrounded by extreme inequalities, they are more likely to feel discontented and resentful.”
Professor Schumacher will speak at three events in Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North. He will be joined by
Tamati Shepherd, leader of PWC’s National Health and Wellbeing Practice.
The events are part of the Massey Business School’s ‘Big Issues in Business’ series, which brings research and
practitioner insights together to address the big issues faced by businesses.
Auckland – May 1, 2019, 5.30-7pm: Massey Business School Building, Massey University Auckland campus. Gate 1, Dairy Flat Highway (SH17), Albany.
Wellington ¬– May 2, 2019, 5.30-7pm: ANZ Centre, Level 18, 171 Featherston St, Wellington
Palmerston North – May 3, 2019, 4-5.30pm: The Factory, 21 Dairy Farm Road, Palmerston North
For more information, or to register: http://www.massey.ac.nz/bibs