The Treasury

Global Navigation

Personal tools

3 Introduction

This briefing provides you with a short overview of the key challenges and opportunities facing the Government for raising New Zealand's trend economic growth and increasing resilience. The briefing is deliberately not exhaustive in its coverage and the issues raised are not dealt with in depth. We are able to provide detailed briefings for you on individual issues as directed.

Figure 1: OECD Better Life Index for New Zealand
Figure 1: OECD Better Life Index for New Zealand.
Source: OECD

The Treasury's vision is to be “a world class Treasury working for higher living standards for New Zealanders”. Our concept of living standards encompasses economic, human, social and environmental dimensions. As your advisor on economic, financial and regulatory policy, one of our core priorities is improving New Zealand's economic performance, as measured by income per capita. Although income is only one dimension of wellbeing, OECD analysis suggests that it is one of the key elements of living standards where New Zealand has the greatest room for improvement relative to other OECD countries (figure 1). Increasing income is also critically important, given it directly affects a country's ability to sustain improvements in other aspects of living standards.

Box 2: Inter-departmental approach to increasing economic performance

The Treasury, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Science & Innovation are committed to working more closely together with a view to lifting international competitiveness and economic growth. This commitment flows from a shared concern that past economic performance has not been sufficient to reduce the gap in relative per capita incomes with other developed economies. Since the mid-2000s, New Zealand's economic growth has weakened and the tradable sector has contracted. Agencies assess that only some of this deterioration in performance can be attributed to external factors.

Agencies are committed to offering policy options directed at making the economy more internationally competitive and lifting economic performance through several channels:

  1. improving macroeconomic stability
  2. improving the environment for firms exposed to international competition, and
  3. lifting domestic productivity.
Page top