‘In good things and bad, New Zealand has followed the world with a ten to 15 year lag.’

Dr Girol Karacaoglu, Chief Economist at the New Zealand Treasury, shares the Treasury’s policy framework around poverty at the TacklingPovertyNZ one-day workshop in Queenstown on 29 March 2016. You can watch the video of his presentation on the McGuinness Institute’s YouTube channel, or you can view the video below.

Dr Girol emphasised that workshops like TacklingPovertyNZ are important to share how central government, local government and communities can work together to address problems.

He shared with participants the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework, which acts as a platform that government ministries use to frame public policy. The framework integrates economic, environmental and social matters to maximise intergenerational well-being, which are vital when thinking about a sustainable future for New Zealand.

TP Girol Living standards for blog

The New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Framework

Girol explained the biggest intellectual challenge we face today is how to get the government to understand that concern about environmental and social issues does not mean that economic issues are neglected. Instead a holistic context is needed to ensure we build a sustainable future for New Zealand; issues need to be looked at through an integrated approach.

He discussed how the Treasury thinks about public policy – ‘to help people live the kinds of lives they have reason to value’. Treasury aims to achieve this by ‘increasing their opportunities and capabilities, and incentives, to contribute to economic and social life, and benefit from their contributions’. Girol made the point that having access to an increasing amounts of data on the most vulnerable people in a community does not directly provide a multidimensional solution. There is still work to be done on the solution; he noted that a lot of work is going on at the Treasury around inclusiveness and preventative social investment programmes with newborn to 12 year old children.

About TacklingPovertyNZ workshop tour
In December 2015, the McGuinness Institute undertook a three-day workshop in collaboration with The
New Zealand Treasury. This workshop has led to a number of outputs, one of which includes undertaking a series of one-day workshops around New Zealand in 2016. Queenstown was the first one-day workshop where we tested our approach to see if a useful output could be achieved over one day. Over the next few months we will work on smoothing the inputs and processes. The next stop on the TacklingPovertyNZ tour is tentatively booked for Rotorua on 19 August 2016. We are currently in discussion with other regional councils including the Far North, Gisborne and Manawatu. After each workshop we will prepare a discussion paper to map local issues and to explore ideas developed by participants throughout the day. In addition to being made public, each discussion paper will be given to the Chief Economist of the New Zealand Treasury.

If you are interested in attending any of the upcoming workshops and would like to learn more about the TacklingPovertyNZ initiative, sign up to receive our bimonthly newsletter here or visit our website.