UC Connect: Dawn of the Wellbeing Budget – revolution or facade?

24 May 2019

Wellbeing, kindness and compassion have been promoted by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as central to how her government makes policy and determines its budget. But how can a government budget for wellbeing?

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    University of Canterbury academic Sacha McMeeking, the Head of Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, has been working with the Treasury, the Welfare Expert Advisory Group and StatisticsNZ on how we understand concepts of wellbeing and give expression to values in our public policy, with a particular focus on how tikanga Māori could infuse our shared understanding on what matters to us as a nation.

Wellbeing, kindness and compassion have been promoted by our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as central to how her government makes policy and determines its budget. But how can a government budget for wellbeing?

The first Wellbeing Budget is being delivered this year. The new Living Standards Framework promises to make notions of social cohesion, the realisation of human talent and environmental sustainability as important as GDP for setting our priorities as a nation and measuring our progress toward the Aotearoa New Zealand ideal.

University of Canterbury academic Sacha McMeeking, the Head of Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, has been working with the Treasury, the Welfare Expert Advisory Group and StatisticsNZ on how we understand concepts of wellbeing and give expression to values in our public policy, with a particular focus on how tikanga Māori could infuse our shared understanding on what matters to us as a nation.

In this upcoming UC Connect public lecture, Sacha will describe and contextualise the Living Standards Framework and Wellbeing Budget, to explore what these new approaches mean for the Aotearoa New Zealand ideal:

  • How do we articulate our national ideals?
  • What could or should the role of community values be in the business of government?
  • How well do the Living Standards Framework and the Wellbeing Budget reflect existing and aspirational Aotearoa New Zealand values?

Sacha McMeeking is of Ngāi Tahu descent and has had a varied career working with Iwi and Māori across public policy, entrepreneurship and community development. She was awarded the Fulbright Harkness Fellowship in 2010, which she used to explore the role of tradition-based values in decision-making. She will shortly commence a doctoral programme with the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School in the United Kingdom, exploring the relationship between entrepreneurship, positive social change and building community capability to be self-determining.

Dawn of the Wellbeing Budget – revolution or facade? by Sacha McMeeking, Head of School, Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, UC Arts, 7pm – 8pm, Thursday, 30 May, 2019 in C Block Lecture theatre. Register to attend free.

For further information please contact:

UC Communications

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