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Exciting News from New Zealand: Plans to Use Well-being Measures!

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

We were so excited to read about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s February 1st speech, in which she announced ground-breaking plans for her country to measure its success holistically, using a tool and framework her Finance Minister Grant Robertson is calling, “the well-being budget.”

In “Stuff,” reporter Laura Walters quotes Ardern as saying, “”We want New Zealand to be the first place in the world where our budget is not presented simply under the umbrella of pure economic measures, and often inadequate ones at that, but one that demonstrates the overall well-being of our country and its people.”

Walters also quotes the Finance Minister’s observation, “It will no longer be good enough to say a policy is successful because it increases GDP if, at the same time, it also degrades the physical environment, or drives down wages or fractures a community.”

We at GNHUSA are thrilled to see New Zealand joining Bhutan in recognizing the need for a gross national happiness, or well-being, approach to policy making. This is precisely the kind of thinking we would love to see employed here in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels. Though both Vermont and Maryland have adopted Genuine Progress Indicator systems, we have a long way to go before this country makes the shift. Building the movement for that shift is what we’re all about, and you can help, too by signing our Charter for Happiness right now.

In the meantime, while we build our movement, and find policy makers who understand the flaws in a GDP-only system and are ready to switch to a better, more inclusive set of measures, we are pleased to have others in the world community lead the way, for the well-being of us all!

Thus, a tip of the GNHUSA hat to New Zealand!

Read Walters’ full article here.

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