And New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ahern said she would go beyond GDP and other purely economic measurements to look at how New Zealand society is progressing.
Relying on purely economic measurements allows governments to almost ignore their main purpose – improving people’s lives. If something is not measured it can be ignored.
As it happens, early this decade the Australian Bureau of Statistics began what Ahern wants to do. It set out to measure Australia’s progress. It did a wide consultation on what mattered to Australians. Economics was just one of four main areas of concern. The others were society, environment and governance.
Since then, we may have progressed economically, but regress has been the mark of the other areas.
Pertinently, regress in governance included the Coalition Government squeezing the ABS so much financially (and probably otherwise) that it was forced to abandon the Measuring Australia’s Progress program altogether.