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He Tirohanga Mokopuna: 2016 Statement on New Zealand's Long-term Fiscal Position

Annex One – External engagement

To inform He Tirohanga Mokopuna, the Treasury undertook an external engagement programme and reflected the findings in the supporting document, "Conversations about things that matter". That document provides some insights into what people value and the long-term challenges and opportunities we face as New Zealanders.

Our engagement process began with a national survey of representative New Zealanders. The survey asked over 1000 New Zealanders to make trade-offs between a range of things that matter (e.g. OECD Better Life Index dimensions, such as health, environment, education, and incomes, and the dimensions of the Treasury's Living Standards Framework such as risk and equity).

The survey revealed that people strongly value their physical and mental health, and feeling able to recover or withstand a sudden loss of income, job, or home. These findings reinforce the need to understand some of the pressing issues facing New Zealanders every day while we look to address the long-term challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand.

The Treasury also facilitated a series of small workshops and discussions with over 300 New Zealanders from various cultures, occupations, ages, and regions. We discussed what changes could bring about the greatest improvement in living standards, from the perspective of a broad sample of people. This engagement helped us to improve how we work, and strengthen our approach to community involvement and policy development.

At each session we asked the open question "what do you see as the key challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand?". While there were some regional differences, there were also some consistent messages. People wanted greater attention to be paid to the natural environment, a more inclusive and supportive society, a greater link between education and employment, more collaboration between businesses nationally and internationally, and national discussions to be had about what being a Kiwi means. These discussions have illuminated the challenges and opportunities covered in this Statement.

The regional workshops also included "deep dive" discussions where participants elaborated on the key challenges and opportunities and what should be done to address these. The discussions highlighted some key opportunities, particularly around: the importance of cultural authenticity for Māori economic development; a perceived gap between job requirements and the skillsets of employees; and working in collaboration with the community sector to improve social outcomes.

By continuing to engage people from all walks of life in conversations on the things that matter, the Treasury will be better able to ensure that central government policies take into account broad perspectives on how to enhance the lives of New Zealanders.

"Conversations about things that matter" is available at http://www.treasury.govt.nz/ government/longterm/fiscalposition/2016

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