• The Quest for Prosperity: How can New Zealand keep living standards rising for all? [PDF]
  • By Legatum Prosperity Index™
  • August 2017
  • Published by the Legatum Institute

Executive Summary 

National success is about far more than just GDP. It is about a healthy and happy life, a good education for our children, a clean and protected environment, family and communities we can rely on, a safe place to live, opportunities to start a business or get ahead, and the freedom to be who we want to be. This is true prosperity. 

In lifting living standards, securing economic and social progress, or put simply delivering prosperity, New Zealand has seen much success over the past decade. It topped the Legatum Prosperity Index™ (the Prosperity Index) in 2016 principally due to its strong social capital and the openness of the economy. It has also recorded the largest prosperity surplus – delivering more prosperity than its wealth would suggest – for the past decade.

This paper is a data-led contribution to the debate on what is needed to keep living standards rising. It first examines the strengths of New Zealand’s prosperity through the lens of the Prosperity Index, and the areas where, in comparison to international peers, further improvements can be made.

By focussing on living standards and economic growth, New Zealand has the right approach. However, while New Zealand tops the Prosperity Index it cannot afford to be complacent. The challenges to prosperity for the next generation are such that government needs to be much bolder in tackling the issues that threaten prosperity.

We identify three key challenges in keeping future prosperity growing for all New Zealanders.

Read the full report here