Date posted: 21/08/2017 4 min read

How can New Zealand keep living standards rising for all?

The Quest for Prosperity report urges action on inequality, education, housing affordability and economic competitiveness in New Zealand

In Brief

  • New Zealand has a strong record of growing prosperity and tops the global Legatum Prosperity Index
  • But a new report by the Legatum Institute says action is needed to keep growing prosperity for all
  • Inequality, education, housing affordability and economic competitiveness are the key concerns
“Bold action is needed now for better education, housing and health for all New Zealanders.”
Peter Vial New Zealand Country Head of Chartered Accountants ANZ

New Zealand has a strong record of raising living standards over the past decade and currently ranks number 1 on the annual Legatum Prosperity Index by international think tank the Legatum Institute.

To find out what steps New Zealand needs to take to continue this trend, Chartered Accountants ANZ commissioned the Legatum Institute to write a new data-led report, “The Quest for Prosperity: How can New Zealand keep living standards rising for all?” It identified three key challenges threatening future prosperity:

Inequality

Low-skilled, Māori and Pasifika communities are disproportionately missing out on prosperity gains. Advances in technology, such as automation, could worsen the problem by reducing low-skilled jobs. The report argues strongly that improvements in education are crucial to reducing inequality.

Housing

A shortage of housing and declining affordability are threatening to erode New Zealand’s social capital. Dame Diane Robertson, chair of the Data Futures Partnership Working Group, notes that it’s one of the country’s biggest issues and that more data is needed. “We don’t really know how many people are homeless,” she said in recent podcast discussing the report along with other topics such as the need for data governance standards.

Listen to Dame Diane Robertson discuss prosperity, homelessness and the role of data

Globalisation

For New Zealand to continue to grow in prosperity, it must continually work to improve its competitiveness, according to the report. It called for the protection and strengthening of New Zealand’s green credentials, as they are critical to its brand overseas, along with the development of future export markets.

Read the full report

The Quest for Prosperity: How can New Zealand keep living standards rising for all?

Download now

Next steps

“The paper shows New Zealand is, by world standards, in a good position to deal with inequality – the fundamental economic, business and governance settings are all strong, as is the country’s social capital,” said Peter Vial, New Zealand Country Head of Chartered Accountants ANZ.

However, he cautioned, “Bold action is needed now for these strengths to translate into better education, housing and health for all New Zealanders, areas in which the paper shows we are less globally competitive.”

Watch on YouTube: The Quest for Prosperity launch

View our launch event video

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