Seventy-five years after Labour’s social security reforms of the 1930s, it is time for a major shift in how New Zealand regards the wellbeing of its people. Instead of measuring economic growth for its own sake, we should be assessing how well it enables New Zealanders to lead ‘the kinds of lives they value and have reason to value’.
Wellbeing economics is famously defined by Professor Amartya Sen as: ‘the expansion of the “capabilities” of people to lead the kinds of lives they value and have reason to value’. Exploring the wellbeing economics concept of ‘value-added growth’, this analysis spans from personal to national growth, calling for New Zealand’s transformation from the traditional ‘welfare state’ to a progressive ‘wellbeing state’.
BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.