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Higher Living Standards

Page updated 3 Nov 2014

Our vision is to be a world-class Treasury working for higher living standards for New Zealanders.

By living standards we mean much more than just income or GDP:

Higher Living Standards Framework - Assess the Impact of Policy Advice Across Key Living Standards Dimensions

It includes a broad range of material and non-material factors which impact on well-being (such as trust, education, health and environmental quality). 

This diagram summarises what we think are the important factors that we need to consider for achieving our goal of higher living standards.

The latest developments in our Living Standards Work

On November 26th Statistics New Zealand will host a one day workshop on 'Working Together' to mark another year of collaboration on the Living Standards Framework.. The workshop will showcase new and emerging research and seek a range of perspectives across different sectors as we work together to navigate towards higher living standards for all New Zealanders.

Download the programme here (106KB). To register please go online at and complete your details. There is no cost. Morning, afternoon tea and lunch will be provided. For further information contact Henriette Rawlings on 04 9314465 or email

Our latest newsletter covers our latest thinking about "Managing Risks" and "Sustainability for the Future" looking at How Resilient is New Zealand? and also our progress in working together on indicators for social infrastructure and Increasing Equity: hls-newsletter-oct14.pdf (71 KB).

Find out more about:

  1. What Treasury thinks is important for living standards from our working paper Working Towards Higher Living Standards for New Zealanders.
  2. The reason why Treasury chose these five aspects:
  1. Support for people applying the Treasury framework through draft policy analyst guides and background notes.  We would like to encourage feedback on these. Contact us at
Documents are available in PDF format only. Contact to request HTML versions. Using PDF Files
  1. A living standards hub that anyone can join at where we are encouraging researchers to contribute to an evidence base that is available to everyone working in this area.
  2. Raising living standards is core Treasury business, an article by Dr Girol Karacaoglu published in the National Business Review on Friday 15 November

Our next steps are ...

  • working collaboratively with others across the public sector to develop measures for each of the five key aspects. New Zealand's performance over the last 150 years: hls-performance-150years.pdf (651 KB)
  • using the Living Standards aid in our work, and assess whether it improves our policy advice
  • building on the Living Standards Hub to work with others to develop our framework further.
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