Grant Robertson's wellbeing budget, will it be a new way to measure our success as a country or just a public relations exercise? Or is it just a twist on the National Party’s social investment approach?

Grant Robertson's wellbeing budget, will it be a new way to measure our success as a country or just a public relations exercise? Or is it just a twist on the National Party’s social investment approach?

Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s wellbeing budget will be rolled out in May and it will no-doubt receive plenty of both positive and negative attention.

But what is it exactly and what does it mean for New Zealanders?

In December last year Finance Minister Grant Robertson outlined what he hoped to achieve with the 2019 budget. He said the Government wanted to look beyond traditional economic measures - such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - to a wider set of indicators of success.

“Under the Government’s wellbeing approach, the development of Budget priorities represents a new way of working and of thinking about how we develop our priorities as a Government, and measure our success as a country,” Robertson says.

“Using the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework (LSF), evidence from sector-based experts and the Government’s science advisors, and with collaboration among public sector agencies and Ministers, we have identified five priorities for the Wellbeing Budget.”

The LSF contains data measures across 12 areas, including health, housing, safety, and social connections, which are in most cases internationally comparable. It shows the current and future wellbeing of New Zealanders broken by their ethnicity, age, gender, region, family time and deprivation area over time.

Robertson says the five priorities for Budget 2019 are creating opportunities for productive businesses, regions, iwi and others to transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy. Supporting a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation, social and economic opportunities. Lifting Māori and Pacifica incomes, skills and opportunities. Reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing, including addressing family violence. And lastly, improving mental health with a particular a focus on those aged between 18 and 25 years of age.

“This is a change and a transformation in the way that we do budgets. Now that doesn’t mean taking our eye off the ball of fiscal responsibility, far from it in fact. We can’t have wellbeing across the board unless we have a strong balance sheet and unless we look after our core finances. But if they are the only things we measure our success on I believe we run the risk of reinforcing some of the gaps we’ve neglected in the past.”

He says in recent years the New Zealand economy was recording GDP growth rates of 3.5% to 4%. But at the same time the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had warned us about our growing levels of homelessness, child poverty and environmental pollution.

Robertson says being fixated on GDP growth as a gauge of our national achievement isn’t enough.

“We have to do better than that in terms of how we measure our success,” he says. “So the wellbeing budget, using the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework, has established five priorities that are about our overall well-being.”

He says under the new framework every Minister will be responsible for helping to meet the targets.

“It’s about seeing what we do as part of long-term outcomes rather than getting fixated on the inputs and how much money we’re giving to a particular minister and even the outputs of how many operations we might do. ”

Robertson says the budget document will be similar to a business annual report where the front two thirds are about the why and what of the organisation, while the back third includes the accounts.

“New Zealand has traditionally done its budget by just giving you the accounts. We want to say much more about why we’re doing what we’re doing and what it will mean in terms of the long term change of New Zealand.”

The drive to focus on measuring factors beyond the standard metrics such as GDP isn’t new and has been endlessly debated by economists and social scientists for years.

In 2017 the OECD released a report titled: How’s Life? 2017: Measuring Well-Being. The paper, which is part of its Better Life Initiative, spells out many of the same concepts being used by Robertson and refers to the “beyond GDP” movement and how it has drawn attention to the limits of macroeconomic statistics in describing what matters most to the quality of people’s lives.

The report documents a wide range of what it calls well-being indicators from rates of unemployment and employment to housing conditions and environmental quality and how they vary over time between different population groups and countries. It includes a chapter of country profiles, including an overview of New Zealand which states:

“On average, New Zealand performs well across different wellbeing indicators and dimensions relative to other OECD countries. It has higher employment and lower long-term unemployment than the OECD average, and benefits from lower-than-average levels of labour market insecurity and job strain. Reported social support is also one of the highest in the OECD. While New Zealand’s environmental quality is high, its performance is mixed in terms of personal security and housing conditions. Although the homicide rate is low, only 65% of people in New Zealand say they feel safe walking alone at night, compare to an OECD average of 69%.”

'Nothing more than a PR exercise'

So what does National Party finance spokesperson Amy Adams think of the proposed wellbeing budget and Robertson’s so-called new approach?

“I agree we need to measure core metrics across society about what sorts of lives New Zealanders are living. And I would agree we need to measure factors we’re concerned about. But I would have to say my overarching thought on the wellbeing budget is it looks like nothing more than a PR exercise.”

She says she has no problem looking beyond GDP to measure economic and social performance.

“But I think it’s pure spin for them to suggest that caring about other things has never happened before,” Adams says. “Budgets have always been about governments setting their priorities for what they think will lift outcomes for New Zealanders. And that’s no different to the current approach. But I think it’s a bit rich for this government to be on its moral high horse saying that GDP shouldn’t be the only thing that we measure.”

Adams says what is important is that the Government is held to account for the money it spends, to make sure it leads to improved outcomes for New Zealanders.

“I would say I’m concerned that it appears to be a straight adaption of that OECD framework. We don’t need a bunch of overseas bureaucrats telling us what determines a good life in New Zealand. I think we need a framework based on what New Zealanders care about.”

 She says she has no problem with the Government seeking to address the country’s housing affordability or mental health issues.

“No arguments from me,” Adams says. “But spending the money in government is easy, doing it effectively is the hard part.”

New Zealand Initiative chief economist Eric Crampton says there may be some merit in the government’s approach.

“The government has a great opportunity to reframe its budgets around the anticipated effects of the policies they’ve announced. Governments have gotten into the habit of demonstrating how much they care about an issue by how much they are willing to spend on it – without any reasonable way of checking whether the policies do any good. If the wellbeing budgets succeed in bringing a greater focus on delivering value-for-money in government spending, where value is defined appropriately broadly, that will be for the good. It’s the effects of the spending that really matter, and that needs to be measured and checked.”

But he also adds a note of caution.  

“If the wellbeing approach instead just adds a lot of nice-sounding words around policies that have not faced any reasonable cost-benefit assessment – again, where both costs and benefits are defined appropriately broadly – it will be a waste.”

'A lot of similarities with the National Party’s social investment policy'

Arthur Grimes is a senior fellow at the Motu economic research institute and adjunct professor of economics at Victoria University.

He says the overall wellbeing proposal outlined in the government’s Budget Policy Statement in December is sound.

“The general concept is sensible. It’s a good way to focus the agenda down to five key points,” Grimes says. “But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. The question will be whether it will lead to substantive change, or is it just cosmetic?”

Grimes says using broader measures to look at economic wellbeing isn’t new. He says economist like the late James Tobin and 2018 Nobel Prize winning laureate William Nordhaus have published works going back over 30 years looking at such measures of economic welfare.

“This has been a long standing theme in economics.”

Former British Prime Minster David Cameron was singing from the same song sheet over 10 years ago despite the fact he's now he's been consigned to UK political history.

Speaking at the 2006 Google Zeitgeist Europe conference Cameron stated:

"Too often in politics today, we behave as if the only thing that matters is the insider stuff that we politicians love to argue about - economic growth, budget deficits and GDP. GDP. Gross domestic product. Yes it's vital. It measures the wealth of our society. But it hardly tells the whole story.

"Wealth is about so much more than pounds, or euros or dollars can ever measure. It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general wellbeing. Wellbeing can't be measured by money or traded in markets. It can't be required by law or delivered by government.

"It's about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture, and above all the strength of our relationships. Improving our society's sense of wellbeing is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times."

And Grimes says even within the New Zealand context Robertson isn't reinventing the wheel. He says the wellbeing approach in fact shares a lot of similarities with the National Party’s social investment approach championed by Bill English, with its focus on long term social outcomes.

“I think this is just a reframing of it. But the test will be if leads to fundamental change. I think if it doesn’t have a substantial effect this time it will be discredited. And that’s the real test for the wellbeing budget.”

(Also see an interest.co.nz video interview with Grimes on economic wellbeing here).

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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64 Comments

10
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What determines my well-being is different than others who in turn are different themselves. But, no matter. Labour knows best and will apply it to everyone through compulsion and the “tyranny of the majority”. For a government that apparently wants to stand up for minorities they are forgetting the ultimate minority - the individual.

Well said Withay , my well-being is very different to even someone related to me .

Robertson is going to give us something which is a cross between a smoke and mirrors show and something that Dynamo would be proud of

This newfangled "budget " is , in my view, just feel-good nonsense to ensure we dont take much notice of real important measures like productivity growth, or GDP growth, our level of borrowings or debt on the Capital account and even the current account which was in surplus when the Coalition took over .

Expect to see Pepper's Ghost during the BUDGET SPEECH

Following your argument...GDP doesn't represent my financial situation.

So we can either pick a basket of measures that does a good job of approximating the country or we can carry on in ignorance.

If enough people think they are leading the country in the wrong direction then we have a democratic process to change that.

Don't be surprised in time that 'having a pulse' will be a measure of well-being, given the alternative.

It talks about how our low employment being a positive indicator of our well-being, yet fails to mention how is it then we have more people needing food parcels, living in cars, needing emergency housing etc.

It is obvious that high employment/low unemployment is not always a proxy for well-being. After all we all know it is relatively easy to 'manufacture' high employment numbers and does not measure whether the money earnt is enough to live on.

Have more measures with moving or undetermined/moving definitions will only lead to easy manipulation of the results by the politicians to show how successful they are, yet further real falls in our standard of living.

Hell, they can't even agree on what 'affordable' means for housing.

Imagine if they had sorted out housing and allowed it to be our long term historical norm of 3x medium income. This would have greatly improved almost every other measure.

But the horse has already bolted on this and the real outcomes are going to get worse, but now hidden behind new well-being definitions.

a simple fundamental would be any NZ citizen that does not want to, not having to live in a tent, garage, under a bridge, car, but given an affordable room if single, or an affordable unit if a family.
in saying that i like what the queenstown community trust is putting together to address the problems in their city and would like to see more of these types of programs to compliment the state with some help from the state as local people sometimes are better at fixing local problems with local solutions
http://www.qlcht.org.nz/our-programmes/

Maslow's hierarchy of needs would be a good place to start. https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Trying to implement action on those requires a seismic shift from our current thinking though. We've allowed one of the very most important needs, Shelter, to become a tradable commodity, that is severely unbalanced, to address that imbalance will crash the economy. So where to from here? Devil meet the deep blue sea, whilst being trapped between a rock and a hard place.

Exactly.

Food and water are already on the same path now that we are a supplier to the greater global good.

Water for free to be shipped overseas, and for irrigation to make products that we have to pay the international price for.

Right now, one over ripe avocado in Christchurch supermarket is $9, or you can buy 4 for $5 in Paihia at the farm stall.

Agreed.

Also the treasury's framework is so generalised it will be impossible to measure progress
https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2018-11/lsf-introducing-das...

The KPIs the government should be looking at are issues like:
Physiological needs
Food
- number of families/people (& people/families per 100,000) receiving food donations
Water
- population (& pop per 100,000) without water supply meeting minimum required standard

etc

14
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Just more BS from this government who goes from one thing to another without actually achieving anything.
KiwiBore flop!
Pike River, now the person in charge of it is saying that there is a very slim chance of finding bodies!
What a waste of time and money, and they say at least they have tried!!
Reduce child povertY! Words and no meaning or way of establishing this!
Food Banks have never been so busy, so what this lot is doing is not working!
Totally incompetent and anyone can see that unless you have blinds on!
Where is Winston, where is Kelvin Davis, Greens are quiet!

some people go for a sunday drive for fun
The Man has a sunday rant at the government for his fun LOL

Even when he's overseas on "holiday", he's on here 24/7 ranting and raving.

Maybe he's got no friends in real life to go on holiday with? It wouldn't surprised me. Or if he does, they're used to him being glued to his phone/laptop in the hotel room all day.

He certainly has grumpiness down to a fine art. You have to remember he is an old baby boomer though. Imagine how grumpy he will be if he lives into his seventies and eighties. Imagine living with him. He needs to shift to Auckland where it is warmer and more positive an environment.

The change in addressing more than just the gdp number as a layman’s measure of the country’s success is very important. The economy is very easily and frequently measured, yet other very important aspects are not, which has lead to people placing far too much importance on economics when voting.
I personally would love to see an overall environmental indicator used and reported as frequently by the media as gdp. People seeing this number often and real world policies changing it over time would really help shift people’s perception to weigh environmental issues higher.

10
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Unfortunately I think what it'll mean is plenty of cushy jobs being created in Wellington - and not much else. While these are enviable endeavors organisations and departments need a long lead-in to build that capability, a sustainable funding approach backed by evidence would likely be more useful.

12
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... if the government got the balance of taxation , justice , healthcare , housing , immigration , and education correct ... then they wouldn't have to faff around wasting their time on our " well being " ... 'cos if you get all those things right , or nearly right , then that results in a bunch of happy citizens ...

We don't need Grant Robertson and Taxcinda Ardern to start whipping us by government decree , avowing that the beatings will continue until we cheer up ...

GBH - avoidance of fact and shooting of messengers doesn't change fact.

Robertson is probably aware that this is a first step in a long process - pity nobody will interview him and ask if this is so?

Ultimately, if we don't measure draw-down and move to live within long-term limits, GDP will end up in the same file as the Mayan Long Count.

Yet according to the Cantril Ladder 2018, New Zealand is ranked 8th - right up there with 1. Finland, 2.Norway, 3. Denmark, 4. Iceland, 5. Switzerland, 6. Netherlands, 7. Canada.
New Zealand is ahead of Sweden and Australia.
(It sure will be interesting to see where we are on the 2019 ladder, after a year of Coalition.
Do we really need a Well Being Budget when we are right up there with the Scandinavian countries that Labour revere?
It seems to me that the Coalition are using a clever, but selfish, political strategy of trying to make us all feel ‘down’ about ourselves to serve their own political ends.

Good point Googleboy.

Here is a link to the World Happiness Report:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/happiness-report/2018/WHR_web.pdf

Bringing in CGT will probably put us down somewhere between Zimbabwe and Congo. Is it worth it Labour? Really?

I am a skeptic. Is it based on surveys? How do you get a balanced participant selection? Ie. the survey isn’t over represented by middle class respondents.

Ask StatsNZ who are collecting the information - they use world best practice in sample design and bias correction

Terrible logic.

Look at the top ten or so happiest countries. Most of them have capital gains tax already.

Facepalm...these are quite some histrionics.

Yeah it’s idiotic, imbecile nonsense. Seriously stupid.

I said nothing about CGT.....I am focused on understanding why we need a ‘Wellbeing’ Budget when we are right up there in terms of overall happiness. This is just Coalition hype to try convince the voting public that their lot in life is crap. Labour are glass-half-empty types...and now they want to blanket everyone with their malaise.... no wonder business confidence has slumped again.

Yes it was me who mentioned CGT rather tongue in cheek but I agree, why jeopardize an already good thing? It is Labour who are seriously stupid.

I said nothing about CGT

Not a problem. I did not reply to you.

I said nothing about CGT.....I am focused on understanding why we need a ‘Wellbeing’ Budget when we are right up there in terms of overall happiness. This is just Coalition hype to try convince the voting public that their lot in life is crap. Labour are glass-half-empty types...and now they want to blanket everyone with their malaise.... no wonder business confidence has slumped again.

And how do you go abouit ensuring we stay near the top?

Yet according to the Cantril Ladder 2018, New Zealand is ranked 8th - right up there with 1. Finland, 2.Norway, 3. Denmark, 4. Iceland, 5. Switzerland, 6. Netherlands, 7. Canada.
New Zealand is ahead of Sweden and Australia.
(It sure will be interesting to see where we are on the 2019 ladder, after a year of Coalition.
Do we really need a Well Being Budget when we are right up there with the Scandinavian countries that Labour revere?

Next: Citizen Rating?

Next? Resource stock-take counts.

Aim? Long term maintainability

Meat free world just buy time at best. Going Vegan wont save the planet, that is absolute bullpoop. Reducing the population is the one and only strategy that has any hope, ie if you dont exist you consume 0% and produce 0% waste. Even the Green's with a co-leader with 6 kids shows how "off the table" such a narrative is as yet.

“A lot of similarities with the National Party’s social investment policy...” Arthur Grimes
And there is the punch folks. National were already making great strides in social investment, with wrap-around services for one family at a time to make a difference.....albeit they quietly got along with it.....and delivered without all the ‘Instagram’ fanfare.
But Instagram ‘fanfare accompanies everything Jacinda does... and then her followers blindly ‘believe’ her, whether she has delivered or not....maybe they have had ‘mates-access’ to hallucinatory drugs ahead of any laws? Nah....in fact it is obvious, they just simply cannot weigh up policies and effectiveness and then think for themselves.

It does seem less practical and pragmatic and more virtue signalling. The homeless problem in Auckland was really just a political football to gain points and not something that required radical social engineering in any way shape or form.

and how many more families ended up in motels under National? and the costs of this? and how hard did national try and hide this utter failure? (bloody hard).

The only great strides National were making on social scene was the ones where they were running away. Meanwhile they accelerated the immigration numbers to try and boost GDP but didnt pay anything to meet the costs of this.

New Zealand should strive to lead the world in humanitarian principles. We were among the first countries to allow women to vote after all.

Yet there are still people in our society who are discriminated against for reasons that are outdated and unreasonable.
Specifically I am thinking of the people who are unwilling to work. These people are often maligned and misunderstood and suffer financial hardship and prejudice.

Why should you have to work? Crusty old Paul in the New Testament wrote, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." Possibly the most evil regime in history, the Bolsheviks claimed, "He who does not work shall not eat". The Nazis tried to trick people by promoting the lie that work will set you free.

Yet modern capitalism was very successful in developing the practice of deliberately keeping a certain percentage of the workforce unemployed. Five percent of the workforce should be kept in the army of the unemployed and this was a good thing. Yet still these people were maligned.

Instead people who are unwilling to work should be celebrated and their calling should be viewed as a legitimate and noble one yet they still have to eat. It is anti-communist and anti-fascist. It rises above a the idea that people are merely cogs in a machine, or, shudder, have a purpose like a farmyard beast of burden.

OK Zachary, enlightening me because your post sure didn't. Explain to me why we should celebrate the unwilling to work people, and why I'm expected to financially support them (I assume that's what you're suggesting?)

Quite often its unable to work rather than unwilling though sure there will be a few. I'd almost be willing to bet though that there are far more parasites "at the top end" who pay little or no tax compared tot he bottom.

"why I'm expected to financially support them " because that's how it is, if you dont like it leave, simple.

In enlightened times there is something monstrous about using poverty and homelessness as a work incentive. We aren't free if we are compelled to work.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/paulmcleod/advocates-unwilling-to-w...

Besides it is the dream of many to retire early on a decent income,essentially being unwilling to work yet still living well. This is generally considered laudable.

There is a clear problem, a % of ppl cannot (for what ever reason) work the Q is as a society how do we address this. Its widely seen that as economy and jobs get ever more complex that an ever bigger % of ppl will not be intelligent enough to do these tasks. For instance with an IQ of 87 or less its almost impossible to employ someone in a job requiring training. So when the right wing extremists shout "get a job" I look at this from an employers and employees perspective. Who wants to take on someone like this? example my son just got promoted on the condition he trains his replacement OK fair enough. Except this person is of such low IQ its impacting the business and my son now has to cover all the early shifts as that is peak work load. So what do we do with such a in-capable person? Get a job at the council? as a rate payer I wouldn't want this (would anyone?). So what's the least negative impact? well a UBI has some merit in this case (and others) in that as a society we cover the un-fortunate and their negative impact on productivity is minimalised.

"Besides it is the dream of many to retire [early] on a decent income" not an un-reasonable hope. "essentially being unwilling to work" no this is not computing and simply not true. A UBI is not a pass to "living well" its a Basic income as it says, nothing more.

This is of course even ignoring the ability to "finance" such on a finite planet where the cheap and plentiful resources are now effectively all but gone so it aint going to happen.

Even myself, I look at the BBs who have retired, some on very decent pensions but even they are not a huge % of BBs. However as a later generation such generous company pensions are no where to be seen so I expect to have to work until I cant.

I watched a very interesting TED talk on the weekend about UBI where the presenter claimed that poverty can cause an IQ drop of 15 points. Similar to sleep deprivation or alcoholism.

It's an interesting thought and could explain why poor people seem to make so many poor decisions. They're not poor because they are stupid, they are stupid because they are poor.

It matches the observation that people brought out of poverty can often compete with the best.

I agree with Grant Robertson. And I agree with Amy Adams. Especially if you read the provisos offered by both. Grant says he can't do 'wellbeing' without sound finances. Amy says governments have always been thinking about the benefit to citizens of some action.
The trouble the Nats faced was the bureaucracy, and Grant Robertson will have his good work undermined by the same people.
The Nats got nowhere with Social Investment once the Wellington types got hold of it. Ïnvestment' - who could argue with carefully targeting the spend across all departments, with an eye to the long term benefit of folk in the social area. As versus patch and spend to plug holes in the systems on an unco-ordinated basis. Well the government departments did not like it for sure.
I followed it closely for a number of years. Even with cabinet ministers meeting jointly, and jointly with the chief executives, nothing ever got past those Wellington creeps.
I wish Grant Robertson good luck, he will need it.

A well being budget.What a joke.
An egg kills a young fella on the streets of Auckland,previously been jailed for aggravated robbery where a dairy owner was killed,and gets sentenced to 7 years jail.
How do you rate the well beeing of his victims and there are plenty of them.
This well being budget is a PR stunt that is loved and given warm fuzzies from those in the U.N.

I agree. Not fair to the victims.

And while we are in the topic of fairness, why don’t they define ‘Fairness’. I am paying 33% in tax on bulk of my salary. Surely ‘fairness’ would have me taxed at a flat rate for all? Bring it on.

Well if "we" are allowed to tax those not paying PAYE tax ie bring in a CGT and a land tax then your PAYE would be around 20~25%, and you would be NET way better off. Your choice in the voting booth.

Do you save any money from your pay? That money is taxed 15% less than the person who had to spend it.

FYI the judiciary and the legislature are separate.

When our young and Maori aren't killing themselves at an almost industrial level, then you will have earned the right to use the term "well-being"

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12112773

When maybe the parents dont produce so many then maybe the fewer will be better off.

""We can't ignore the social determinants of suicide, including poverty, violence and the legacy of colonisation."

Anybody know what the expiry date on "legacy of colonisation" excuse or is it pertpetual?

If there was an option to unwind colonisation in New Zealand overnight, including all the nice things like KFC and Televisions, if they’d be all for it?

Pretty sure it is possible to import goods and services without being raped and colonised.

and these are by and large something of being in the past and unlike most countries NZ has tried to make amends.

Oh and what exactly is the difference between one Maori tribe successful raping and killing off another v a white tribe doing the same?

Were there not ppl inhabiting NZ before Maori arrived? what happened to them? "raped and colonised."?

No one has clean hands, but really for ever blaming someone else just gets a bit wearing, there is a bigger picture, time to stand back and look at it.

No, all Maori were a peaceful indigenous people minding their own business that were invaded and slaughtered by the evil white man.

The economic and cultural powerhouse of PNG springs to mind as an excellent reason why colonization was such a bad deal for the Maori.

It's probably too soon to tell, nymad. Give it another 1000 years or even less if PDK is right.

Hah. True.
Better just give them a few more years to prove themselves. We shouldn't write them off yet.

PNG is making its own mistakes. Maoris in NZ have had foreigners make the mistakes - it is different. When the dust settles and a long view is taken they will realise that colonisation was inevitable; that epidemics were the biggest factor as they were in the Americas and were in reverse for Africa (very unhealthy for Europeans). Generally Maori did better than almost any other colonised country. There was always considerable mutual admiration between POMs and Maori until recent academics got involved. Note that this debate about the pros and cons of colonisation is taking place in English. In a written script.

If colonisation causes suicide then it is rational to expect the effect to wear off over time otherwise the UK would still be suffering from colonisation by Romans, Vikings and Normans. If suicide rates are gradually declining then an expiry date can be extrapolated. If not declining then it is another factor - maybe caused by academics stirring up a culture of grievance.

WellWellWell being is having yer 800K travel expenses paid for by mug Taxpayers who did not invest in Houses, nor had a choice in wasting millions of their hard earned dosh, on a Flag to make a point about SIR...who didn't like where his Star was born, but took the Knighthood...anyway......and so did all the others who travel 1st class, whilst.....Taxpayers generally follow meekly in Coach...................if lucky.
And there is nuffin like a Dame to waste our Kiwi Munny too.....even though paid at the Top-end of the Prime Munnysterial Wage Packet Wasteful Labour and National "Budgetary".. (Yeah Right).....performance racket....garnered by all PM's.

(And some cannot even run a successful Company, never mind a Country....and pay their dues.).

I could add more, but Real Taxpayers, are so dumb..LA.....

About time "Well Being" meant a fair deal for all...cittizens...who pay their way...........Regardless. Dunchathunk..

I do not write much here any more....It ain't Friday, but it is March Madness.....so I woke up.....and had a rant.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11154765

WellWellWell being may happen when loopholes closed..........Muggins will pay...other......................wise?

Time to wise up......you has been rorted.!!

Child Poverty measures differ so widely from country to country that our measure is unlikely to mean anything.

The poor have been with us since Biblical times , and the best we can expect to do is help those in real need , which we have been doing for nearly a century .

then how to define "those in real need"?

Here 's the final word on Colonization

https://youtu.be/Y7tvauOJMHo