New Zealand Government’s Wellbeing Budget

“Budgets have traditionally focused on a limited set of economic data. Success has been declared on the basis of a narrow range of indicators, like GDP growth. But New Zealanders have questioned that claim of success when they have seen other things that we hold dear – child wellbeing, a warm, dry home, or being able to swim in our rivers and lakes – getting steadily worse. The old ways have left too many people behind.”

The people of New Zealand have now seen the first ever government budget to make national wellbeing the top priority: the 2019 Wellbeing Budget.

Mental health has received the biggest funding and investment boost on record: NZ$1.9bn (£980m). This includes NZ$0.6bn for the “missing middle” – those suffering from mild to moderate anxiety and depression not requiring hospitalisation but significantly affecting quality of life.

The Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, said:

“It is my absolute pleasure to present Budget 2019 – the Wellbeing Budget. This Budget signals a new approach to how government works, by placing the wellbeing of New Zealanders at the heart of what we do.

This approach represents a significant departure from the status quo. Budgets have traditionally focused on a limited set of economic data. Success has been declared on the basis of a narrow range of indicators, like GDP growth. But New Zealanders have questioned that claim of success when they have seen other things that we hold dear – child wellbeing, a warm, dry home, or being able to swim in our rivers and lakes – getting steadily worse. The old ways have left too many people behind. It is time to change.”

He added: “Mental health is no longer on the periphery of our health system. It is front and centre of all of our wellbeing.”

Here you can watch a short video of the Prime Minister of New Zealand – Jacinda Ardern – and the Finance Minister talking about the budget.

And you can find out more – and/or download the budget as a pdf file – from here.

New Zealand Government’s Wellbeing Budget
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