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Discussion paper

He Kāhui Waiora: Living Standards Framework and He Ara Waiora COVID-19: Impacts on Wellbeing (DP 20/02)

Issue date: 
Thursday, 9 July 2020
Corporate author: 
Document Date: 
Thursday, 9 Jul 2020
Publication category: 

The COVID‑19 pandemic is having major impacts on our lives in ways that go far beyond health, extending across all dimensions of wellbeing and all population groups.

This paper presents the results of a 'rapid evidence review' of the potential impacts of COVID‑19, and the associated economic recession, on the wellbeing of New Zealanders. The analysis identifies potential wellbeing impacts based on experiences of previous pandemics and recessions, as well as emerging data on and insights into the COVID‑19 impacts.


This paper is part of a series of discussion papers on wellbeing in the Treasury's Living Standards Framework. The discussion papers are not the Treasury's position on measuring intergenerational wellbeing and its sustainability in New Zealand. 

Our intention is to encourage discussion on these topics. There are marked differences in perspective between the papers that reflect differences in the subject matter as well as differences in the state of knowledge. The Treasury very much welcomes comments on these papers to help inform our ongoing development of the Living Standards Framework.

Note: This paper includes data available up to 30 June 2020.


The Treasury gratefully acknowledges the mahi of Ngā Pūkenga who led the development of He Ara Waiora and continue to guide and support the Treasury as we begin to use the framework. Ngā Pūkenga are:

Associate Professor Mānuka Henare
Dame Naida Glavish
Dr Charlotte Severne
Mavis Mullins
Paula McKenzie 
Professor Piri Sciascia
Professor Rawinia Higgins
Rangimarie Hunia
Rikirangi Gage
Rukumoana Schaafhausen
Temuera Hall

We are also grateful for the work of Sacha McMeeking, Komene Kururangi and Hamuera Kahi of Aotahi, University of Canterbury, and James Hudson, in supporting the mahi.

The Treasury would also like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the following people, agencies and groups to the evidence and analysis in this paper:

Accident Compensation Corporation
Chris Sibley, University of Auckland
Department of Conservation
Education Review Office
Forum of Chief Science Advisors / He Rauhinga Tohu Putaiao
Health Promotion Agency
John Gibson, University of Waikato
Ministry of Education
Ministry for the Environment
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Social Development
NZ Transport Agency
Office for Disability Issues
Oranga Tamariki
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Sport New Zealand
Stats New Zealand
Te Puni Kōkiri

Last updated: 
Thursday, 9 July 2020