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Treasury paper

Living Standards Framework: Introducing the Dashboard

Issue date: 
Tuesday, 4 December 2018
Corporate author: 

Executive Summary

The New Zealand Treasury is the Government’s lead economic and financial advisor. To improve the quality of our policy advice, the Treasury has developed its Living Standards Framework (LSF) and an LSF Dashboard to help analyse and measure intergenerational wellbeing. 

The LSF builds on 30 years of New Zealand and international research on wellbeing, and has drawn on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) wellbeing approach to enable international comparability. The selection of the LSF Dashboard indicators has been informed by public feedback from surveys, submissions and consultation with experts in New Zealand and overseas.

The LSF Dashboard will measure and track changes in wellbeing outcomes. It is made up of three sections: Our people, Our country and Our future.

  • Our people – describes the distribution of wellbeing across nine current wellbeing domains for different population groups of New Zealanders, using characteristics such as sex, age, ethnicity, family type, region, hours worked and neighbourhood deprivation.
  • Our country – describes the current wellbeing of New Zealanders at a national level with comparisons within New Zealand population groups and other OECD countries, using 38 indicators that measure the 12 current wellbeing domains.
  • Our future – provides indicators for the resources that underpin the ability to sustain higher living standards in New Zealand now, and in the future. 

The LSF Dashboard aims to capture a comprehensive, balanced range of wellbeing outcome indicators. It is not prescriptive about whether or how governments should intervene to promote wellbeing, it helps support advice about prioritisation. 

No single set of indicators can capture absolutely everything that matters for every person, family, whānau and community. This is the first version of the LSF Dashboard. Further work is needed to better represent Te Ao Māori perspectives and key aspects such as children’s wellbeing and New Zealand cultural identity. The Treasury will review and update the LSF and its Dashboard in 2021. 

The LSF Dashboard is one of a number of outcome measurement frameworks in use in the public sector. Ours is focused at the “macro” level while other frameworks drill-down into detail on particular sectors or population groups.

This document summarises the LSF and its Dashboard. It outlines the approach we have taken and how the LSF Dashboard has been developed. It includes an introduction to the wellbeing patterns apparent in the LSF Dashboard data, as well as information about how to use the LSF Dashboard. 


The Treasury would like to thank all contributors to the Living Standards Framework reports, especially Rose Boele van Hensbroek, Simon Brown, Tony Burton, Emily Connors, Hoa Dao, John Janssen, Steven Johnston, Anita King, Keith McLeod, Suzy Morrissey, Tim Ng, Olivia Payne, Jez Tavita and Sonette van Zyl. The Treasury would also like to acknowledge Stats NZ for the data quality and assurance they provided.


This paper reflects the current views, conclusions and recommendations of the New Zealand Treasury. The Treasury thanks the members of the LSF Challenge Group for helpful discussions during the course of this work. All views expressed in this document are those of the Treasury.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 4 December 2018