Dr Girol Karacaoglu, then Chief Economist, New Zealand Treasury, informed the participants about the Treasury’s higher Living Standards Framework, and how the Treasury is currently working towards greater intergenerational wellbeing in New Zealand at the one-day Manawatu TacklingPovertyNZ workshop on 15 August 2016.

You can watch Dr Girol’s video on the McGuinness Institute YouTube channel or view it below.

Dr Girol explained the Living Standards Framework, which government ministries use to frame public policy. The framework integrates economic, environmental, social and human capital to maximise intergenerational well-being, which is vital when thinking about a sustainable future for New Zealand.

Girol discussed how the aim of public policy is to provide opportunities and empower people to live the kinds of lives they can find value in. Treasury’s advice emphasises that living standards are enhanced if everyone has the capability and opportunity to participate in society. He spoke about how the major issue we are currently facing is disjointed public services. We have a range of silos which are unable to function in a collective, collaborative manner to deliver outcomes to our citizens.

Girol noted that New Zealand is a diverse country with a rich history and culture that must be brought into solutions. While Wellington can do the analysis and number crunching, the solutions should come from the community.

About the TacklingPovertyNZ 2016 tour
In December 2015, the McGuinness Institute undertook a three-day workshop in collaboration with the New Zealand Treasury. Its purpose was to explore ways to reduce poverty in New Zealand. This workshop has led to a number of outputs, one of which was a tour of one-day workshops around New Zealand throughout 2016. The purpose of the tour was to build and share ideas on how to tackle poverty, come up with local solutions and connect like-minded people within communities.

The Manawatu workshop was one of six, along with workshops in Queenstown, Rotorua, Gisborne, Kaitaia and Kaikohe. A discussion paper for each area visited has been published on our website. These papers are specific to each community and together form a series showcasing insights from individuals who attended a one-day workshop in their local community.

In addition, the mayors from each council met with the then Minister of Finance, Hon Bill English to discuss the outputs of the workshops, which led to the Demarcation zones for public policy innovation proposal sent to the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Bill English, on 21 December 2016. The proposal calls for the establishment of demarcation zones, which will isolate and separate an area from existing rules to make space for new rules to be implemented that are fit for the specific community they serve – decentralising economic and social governance. This instrument of public policy reform aims to tackle poverty and build economic wealth in the community.

Working Paper 2017/01 – TacklingPovertyNZ 2016 Tour: Methodology, results and observations has been released for comment and can be found on our website. This paper brings all the outputs together from the six workshops and aims to illustrate the differences between communities. In 2017 we would like to build on these findings. There was a lot to learn and digest, and we are still working through what this means in terms of public policy. Any feedback on this paper is most welcome. This year we will send an invitation to all MPs to meet to discuss the working paper.