The Treasury has been at the forefront of making living standards analysis part of what governments do and our understanding has changed as we've learned more.
The Treasury has been iteratively developing the LSF since 2011, building on related work going back to at least 1999. A short history is provided below, with links to various documents that have been published over time. Note that some of our thinking has changed over time and many of the documents are discussion papers rather than Treasury papers, so not all of the documents below are entirely consistent with the current version of the framework.
Some documents are available in PDF format only. Contact [email protected] to request HTML versions.
Public engagement on the 2018 version of the Living Standards Framework identified several limitations. The Treasury committed to addressing these limitations in a 2021 refresh of the framework, with a particular focus on the topics of culture, children’s wellbeing, te ao Māori, and Pacific Peoples. These topics were explored in a series of discussion papers ahead of the 2021 version of the LSF being adopted. During this time, we also worked to apply the Living Standards Framework alongside He Ara Waiora to analyse the wellbeing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and published a discussion paper on social capital and justice.
Towards a Living Standards Framework for all Aotearoa: Culture, children and wellbeing
October 2021 PDF, 2.24MB
Justice, Wellbeing and Social Capital
February 2020 PDF, 1.77MB
Culture, Wellbeing and the Living Standards Framework: A Perspective
June 2019 PDF, 1.05MB
An Indigenous Approach to the Living Standards Framework
February 2019 PDF, 567.6KB
He Ara Waiora: A Pathway Towards Wellbeing
September 2018 PDF, 672.4KB
An Asian Perspective and the New Zealand Treasury Living Standards Framework
September 2018 PDF, 823.9KB
A Pacific Perspective on the Living Standards Framework and Wellbeing
August 2018, PSF 2.8MB
A second version of the LSF was issued alongside a flurry of papers in 2018. This version explored each of the four capitals that were introduced in the initial 2011 version in more depth. This version also defined for the first time the 12 domains of wellbeing, following consideration of a range of international measurement frameworks and advice from an independent expert.
Living Standards Framework: Background and Future Work
December 2018 PDF, 782,3KB
Our People – Multidimensional wellbeing in New Zealand
Working with others across the public sector to develop measures of New Zealand's performance over the last 150 years: New Zealand's Living Standards over the last 150 years
August 2018 PDF, 655KB
Resilience and Future Wellbeing
July 2018, PDF 1.2MB
The Start of a Conversation on the Value of New Zealand’s Financial/Physical Capital
July 2018 PDF, 668.4KB
Treasury Living Standards Dashboard: Monitoring Intergenerational Wellbeing
June 2018 PDF, 1.4MB
Wellbeing Frameworks for the Treasury
February 2018 PDF, 472KB
The Start of a Conversation on the Value of New Zealand’s Human Capital
February 2018 PDF, 947.6KB
The Start of a Conversation on the Value of New Zealand’s Natural Capital
February 2018 PDF, 2.6MB
The Start of a Conversation on the Value of New Zealand’s Social Capital
February 2018 PDF, 893.4KB
Between 2012 and 2017, efforts focused on how to apply the Living Standards Framework to policy advice. Much of this work used a simpler representation of the key concepts in a pentagon that supported analysts to consider key high-level trade-offs. This simpler framework was first developed as part of the 2012 Tax Working Group process, to help them apply the Living Standards Framework to their analysis.
The New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Framework – Exploring a Stylised Model
September 2015 PDF, 710.66KB
An introduction to using the Living Standards Framework
July 2015 PDF, 978KB
Living Standards Background Note: 'Increasing Equity'
December 2015 PDF, 1.78MB
Living Standards: The Heart of Our Policy Advice
October 2014 PDF, 319KB
Living Standards Framework: links between corners and capitals
August 2014 PDF, 578KB
Living Standards Background Note: 'Social Infrastructure'
July 2013 PDF, 904KB
Living Standards: A Short Guide to 'Managing Risks'
January 2013 PDF, 221KB
Living Standards: A Short Guide to 'Economic Growth'
January 2013 PDF, 193KB
Living Standards: Suggested Further Resources for 'Economic Growth'
January 2013 PDF, 176KB
Living Standards: A Short Guide to 'Sustainability for the Future'
January 2013 PDF, 592KB
Living Standards: A Short Guide to 'Increasing Equity'
January 2013 PDF, 222KB
Living Standards: A Short Guide to 'Social Infrastructure'
January 2013 PDF, 368KB
Improving the Living Standards of New Zealanders: Moving from a Framework to Implementation - Speech by Dr Girol Karacaoglu
13 June 2012, link to speech notes and slides.
The first version of the Living Standards Framework was published in 2011. This introduced the distinction between capitals and domains that is still in use today, though there has been much refinement and deeper exploration of the concepts over time.
Working Towards Higher Living Standards for New Zealanders
May 2011 PDF, 377.87KB
Between 1999 and 2001, a series of papers were published on the topic of an inclusive economy. These papers addressed many of the substantive themes that were subsequently brought together in the first version of the Living Standards Framework.
Institutions, Social Norms and Well-being
June 2002 PDF, 393KB
Towards an Inclusive Economy
December 2001 PDF, 339KB
Geography and the Inclusive Economy: A Regional Perspective
December 2001 PDF, 298KB
Human Capital and the Inclusive Economy
December 2001 PDF, 311KB
Reducing Māori and Pacific Inequalities
December 2001 PDF, 354KB
One of the very first uses of the phrase ‘higher living standards’ was in the 1999 Briefing to the Incoming Government. This briefing contained the following diagram, which can be considered our proto-LSF:
Towards Higher Living Standards: Briefing to the Incoming Government 1999
December 1999 PDF (part 1 of 4), 744.14KB