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Higher Living Standards

Page updated 22 Feb 2018

Our vision is focused on higher living standards for New Zealanders. Achieving this requires growing the country's human, social, natural, and financial/physical capitals which together represent New Zealand's economic capital.

New Treasury paper

The Treasury paper is an overview of the Treasury’s approach to understanding living standards.

New Living Standards Series Discussion Papers

The Living Standards Series Discussion Papers describe the different components and dimensions of intergenerational wellbeing in the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework.

A number of additional background papers that were commissioned by the Treasury will be released shortly.

A Four Capitals approach

Higher Living Standards - The Four Capitals - Natural, social, human and financial/physical


We are refreshing our Living Standards Framework (LSF) to strengthen the evidence base and make it more useful to officials and ministers. The links below explains more about this iteration of the LSF, our current development work and the OECD research on which the LSF will be based.  The  Treasury has been developing the LSF since 2011 and historic versions of the LSF can be found at History of the Living Standards Framework.

The Treasury Living Standards Framework

The framework is developing as the evidence improves and we learn more about what is needed. This presentation explains the current version of the framework:

Link to Living Standards Framework presentation - 13 December 2017 Living Standards Framework - Presentation
Presented by Tim Ng, Chief Economic Advisor, The Treasury

More detail about why the Treasury is undertaking this work can be found in this speech from the Secretary to the Treasury, Intergenerational Wellbeing: Weaving the Living Standards Framework into public policy, delivered on 13 December 2017. Further information is available in a set of discussion papers released in February 2018.

Earlier this year the Office of the Chief Economist held a symposium with experts in economics and policy from the academic community, think-tanks and government agencies. The Living Standards Framework is a central part of that work:

The approach of the Chief Economic Advisor’s Office to the Living Standards Framework is discussed here:

As part of the new role we have created a "Community for Policy Research", more details here:

Community of Policy research booklet Community for Policy Research booklet


OECD material

Overall report:

OECD (2017) How’s Life? 2017: Measuring Well-being,
OECD Publishing, Paris

Links to data and other materials:

For those interested in link between the OECD’s work and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the OECD has provided a helpful guide:

New Zealand analysis:

Link to the OECD document - Hows Life in New Zealand - November 2017

OECD (2017) How's Life in New Zealand - November 2017
OECD Publishing, Paris

Interactive guide for New Zealand:

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