New Zealand made headlines after announcing its first Wellbeing Budget in 2019. The country continues to lead the way in delivering wellbeing budgets, setting spending priorities to meet wellbeing goals.
A wellbeing analysis is applied across all spending, and government departments are asked to leave silos and work together on joint proposals to achieve agreed wellbeing priorities.
With a message of kindness and a focus on child poverty this approach received international plaudits in a world hungry for inspiring, positive news.
The focus of the 2022 New Zealand Budget was health, the cost of living and climate change. Big ticket items were a record amount spent on health, a temporary payment for around two million New Zealanders and $2.9 billion of Emissions Trading Scheme revenue recycled on climate projects. Our colleagues at WEAll New Zealand have welcomed these budgets and the measures they contain, though they continue to press for the budget to look upstream to prevent harm from happening in the first place rather than simply paying to fix damage. This is a concept called Failure Demand, where governments pay costs associated with responding to the damage created by the current economic system.