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Statement of Intent 2014-2019

What We Want to Achieve

Vision: A world class Treasury working towards higher living standards for New Zealanders

The Treasury is working to raise New Zealanders' living standards. To help the Treasury focus on achieving this vision, it has developed a living standards framework[1] that identifies five key dimensions that are particularly important in the current environment (see figure below).

Higher Living Standards pentagon.

Economic growth is at the top of the diagram both because of its importance for wellbeing (higher incomes enable people to ensure better outcomes for themselves in many of the ways they value) and because, as the Government's lead economic and financial advisor, the Treasury has a particular focus on it. This is reflected in the Treasury's aspiration to achieve Improved Economic Performance.

For economic growth to be sustainable in the long term, without adverse side effects for society and the environment, New Zealand also needs to manage the wide range of risks it faces, such as natural hazards, climate change and resource shortages, and to consider the impact of today's choices on future living standards. The Treasury focuses in particular on risks to the stability and sustainability of the macroeconomic environment as reflected in its A Stable and Sustainable Macroeconomic Environment aspiration.

While the Treasury has a particular role to play in advising the Government on the economic dimensions of living standards, it is committed to ensuring it understands the implications on the other Living Standards dimensions in achieving its Improved Economic Performance and A Stable and Sustainable Macroeconomic Environment aspirations. The Treasury wishes to pursue policies thatpromote equitable and sustainable economic growth.

Finally, living standards are underpinned by social infrastructure. The level of trust in key institutions (such as the judicial system, legal framework, government agencies), the degree of connectedness between people (such as social support, sense of community) and the equity with which opportunities are spread across society, all have an impact on wellbeing. Many State sector agencies materially affect the social infrastructure and equity of our society, and the Treasury sees the performance of the State sector (its efficiency, effectiveness and affordability) and its impact on people as important for lifting living standards. This is reflected in A Higher Performing State Sector that New Zealanders Trust, Delivering Outstanding Results and Value for Money.

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