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New Zealand Deprioritizes Growth to Improve Health and Wellbeing

Posted On: May 12, 2020   |   Posted By: Steady State

New Zealand Deprioritizes Growth to Improve Health and Wellbeing

By James Magnus-Johnston
Last May, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released a budget to improve the “wellbeing” of citizens rather than focusing on productivity and GDP growth. And, not so coincidentally, New Zealand has one of the best coronavirus outcomes of any democracy in the world. Perhaps this provides a global model to make economic health cohere with health for all life .
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has deprioritized GDP growth in favor of improving wellbeing, and her personal approval rating is 65 percent. (Image: CC BY 4.0 , Credit: Ministry of Justice of New Zealand )
To improve wellbeing, Ardern emphasized goals that focus on care for people and the planet. Goals included community and cultural connection as well as intergenerational equity. Under the policy, new spending had to focus on one of five priorities: improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing inequalities of indigenous peoples, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a low-emission...

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