Ardern to promote ‘wellbeing agenda’ at Davos

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is attending the annual World Economic Forum in Davos in Switzerland soon (January 22-23), and while there will promote New Zealand’s ‘wellbeing agenda’ as some sort of  revolutionary new way of doing economics.

Beehive: PM to promote trade and wellbeing at World Economic Forum

At the World Economic Forum in Davos the Prime Minister will be promoting the Government’s approach to inclusive growth through the Wellbeing Agenda, and the delivery of the world’s first wellbeing budget in May this year.

She will be participating in a range of panel discussions at Davos including one focused on wellbeing and options beyond GDP with the head of the OECD, the future of the international trading system with the head of the WTO and a panel focused on mental health with His Royal Highness Prince William.

“Our wellbeing approach is generating significant international interest, particularly at a time when the international rules based order is under strain and leaders are grappling with constituencies dissatisfied with the status quo.

“I hope other leaders will come to see more compassionate domestic policy settings as a compelling alternative to the false promise of protectionism and isolation. “

Donald Trump won’t be at Davos this year  but “the false promise of protectionism and isolation” sounds like a swipe at hime, or at least an attempt to paint a contrast with his approach and Ardern’s.

New Zealand’s “wellbeing approach” is little more than theory at this stage. It is too soon to tell whether it will be a substantive new approach to budgeting and governing, or if it amounts to little more than grand talk with little action.

It’s not as if past governments and past monetary policies have ignored the ‘wellbeing’ of people. That is largely the purpose of government – the wellbeing of the people of the country.

A move to “more compassionate domestic policy settings” may be incremental change, or it could be a radical shift, but so far the only significant change is in the use of words, and the promotion of a Wellbeing Agenda as some sort of big thing.

Does anyone know what it will actually change for us, the people?

Ardern needs to be careful she doesn’t get too caught up in the wellbeing of her international profile at the cost of actually doing stuff of worth at a domestic level.

She and her government need to prove that their agenda is worthwhile and workable here in new Zealand before they claim too much credit overseas.

 

 

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27 Comments

  1. adamsmith1922

     /  18th January 2019

    I am left with the feeling that this well being slogan is a mantra to disguise lack of growth and a substitute for a lack of anything of real substance such as addressing appalling productivity, poor educational outcomes and a paucity of thought.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  18th January 2019

      Thats because you have made your mind up…
      “poor educational outcomes ‘ is being addressed by possible changes to the ‘Tomorrows Schools’ model, which for the last 30 years hasnt led to improved student achievement overall , but just school competition for student numbers, better facilities, school rugby, golf, cycling programs

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  18th January 2019

      whereas you just endured 9 years of exactly what you describe and never said….boo.

      Reply
      • adamsmith1922

         /  18th January 2019

        I was not that impressed by National’s,growth achievement. In fact, NZ’s economic performance has been suboptimal for decades. Neither party is that impressive on the growth front.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  18th January 2019

          The idea that NZ’s version of Pollyanna can make other countries (who have no idea of promoting the well-being of the people, of course) see the error of their ways is a total embarrassment.

          It’s also very arrogant. Which governments actively promote the opposite of well-being for the people ?

          Her words will win the Weasel Words 2019 Award. Also the Mouse that Roared Award.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  18th January 2019

            Who stands for government with ill-being, misery and hardship as their policy ?

            It’s true that if you want to see if something stands up to scrutiny and makes sense, reverse it.

            Reply
  2. thespectrum

     /  18th January 2019

    1984 was for New Zealand as they say these days a massive “correction”
    The Labour Govt went alt right economically and alt left socially.
    Bolger, Clark Key at the tiller for 9 years a piece maintained the same course.
    Any correction these days be it left or right is minor in comparison.
    Kiwis generally live in unrivaled comfort by world standards.
    The house is built and new Prime Minister’s these days
    have only to choose the barbeque or the carpet.
    NZ has never had it so good.
    Kiwi land is in cruise mode where the only problems are choosing ISP’s
    which hotel to stay at while visiting children in London
    or deciding between Mazda CX-9 or the Nissan X-Trail.
    NZ really is the land of light milk and manuka honey
    where gay men feature in SUV commercials farmers grow wine for fun
    women run the county between tai chi classes while dad changes the nappies.
    New Zealand the worlds first Utopian enclave.
    So why not flaunt our 1st nations status world wide.
    Give em a taste of Kiwi.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  18th January 2019

      That may be the top 10% choices…or deciding between Mazda CX-9 or the Nissan X-Trail
      (they arent competitors , so you arent one of those choosing)

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  18th January 2019

        Gay men and women also feature in bank ads, Strum. Not before time.

        Reply
        • thespectrum

           /  18th January 2019

          @Kitty Catkin. “Gay men and women also feature in bank ads, Strum.
          Not before time.”
          Absoluter Kitty

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  18th January 2019

            There’s a lesbian couple having a baby; one runs out of the lecture theatre where she’s giving a lecture when she gets the message. Next we see the two women sharing a loving, tender moment as they look down at the baby. They are obviously about the same age, not mother and daughter.

            The same bank has gay men as a couple, just one among the rest, taken for granted, no more time given to them than to the others.

            Reply
  3. Duker

     /  18th January 2019

    Jim Bolger in 1990 had the ‘decent Society’ as his partys mantra.
    It was of course NOT.
    Luckily Jim can now see he was conned by the extreme neo liberals like ‘Cut your benefits’ Ruth Richardson

    “Bolger says neoliberal economic policies have absolutely failed. It’s not uncommon to hear that now; even the IMF says so.

    But to hear it from a former National Prime Minister who pursued privatisation, labour market deregulation, welfare cuts and tax reductions – well that’s pretty interesting.

    They have failed to produce economic growth and what growth there has been has gone to the few at the top,”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91769882/the-9th-floor-jim-bolger-says-neoliberalism-has-failed-nz-and-its-time-to-give-unions-the-power-back

    Same in other western countries.
    Same goes for ‘immigration to increase a countries growth rate with higher skills’
    as Treasury now says that immigrants are increasingly working in low wage jobs where there isnt a skills shortage

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  18th January 2019

      Ruthy only cut benefits as a pay-back for Labour cutting farming subsidies. Neo Liberalism had nothing to do with it.

      Bolger is an old man with regrets. Anyone can muse on the recliner with a tot of whiskey.
      According to Michael Laws, Bolger wasn’t considered an intellectual heavyweight. He had though, according to Laws, far more intelligence than his party gave him credit for.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  18th January 2019

        ‘Bolger wasn’t considered an intellectual heavyweight. ‘…a bonus in a politician.

        Bolger is not alone in realising he had been duped in accepting the neo lib doctrine.
        Malcolm Fraser had a similar epiphany much to the chagrin of the right wing…who quickly disowned him.

        Reply
        • thespectrum

           /  18th January 2019

          @Blazer.
          ‘Bolger wasn’t considered an intellectual heavyweight. ‘…a bonus in a politician.”
          MMMM let me think.
          Keith Hollyoke was born in Pahiatua and smoked.
          Norm Kirk was heavy and spoke in a whisper.
          Rob Muldoon was.. short and had a loud voice.
          David Lange was fuller figured and articulate.
          Jim Bolger was a prop forward and had 9 kids.
          Jenny Shipley was stout and a primary school teacher.
          Helen Clarke was articulate.
          John ( SSS) Key was – Shortish, Smart and Smiled.
          Jacinda Adern is Clark (Gable) Gayford’s partner.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th January 2019

            It’s Clarke Gayford.
            And Muldoon wasn’t loud.He didn’t need to be. Not staring down the barrel of the tv camera at you in your living room, scowling.

            Reply
      • Duker

         /  18th January 2019

        ‘Ruthy only cut benefits as a pay-back for Labour cutting farming subsidies. Neo Liberalism had nothing to do with it.”

        PREPOSTEROUS NONSENSE did she even say that…of course not.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  18th January 2019

          And she has never been called ‘Ruthy’. I don’t know any Ruths who have, although in the US this diminutive is used.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  18th January 2019

            I’ve got an acquaintance Ruth who’s Ruthie when I’m in a very good mood with her. She smiles at me then.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  18th January 2019

              She’s Jewish too, Kitty. 🙂

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  18th January 2019

              That’s different to someone imposing a diminutive on someone. I bet that she wouldn’t like strangers doing it if she was never called that. And I bet that you wouldn’t do it if she disliked it.

              A neighbour called my mother, who was always called Pat, a diminutive – I think it was Patty, which my mother really disliked. The neighbour ignored all requests to not use it. She was one of these cheery people who are really quite controlling, as this small thing showed, ignoring other peoples’ wishes.

            • Gezza

               /  18th January 2019

              True.

  4. duperez

     /  18th January 2019

    Maybe the PM could do something about the well-being of the Honourable Michael Woodhouse. He seems perplexed that anyone would directly contact a Prime Minister about an issue they’re concerned about or have an interest in.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12192532

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  18th January 2019

      Directly contact?
      He texted her using her number she used in her days as an ordinary mp

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  18th January 2019

        Ah, so he was contacting her as an ordinary mp! Being able to leave the job at the door and revert to being any ordinary old citizen is a great attribute (ability?) for our PMs to have. 😊

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  18th January 2019

          I think that a Wellness Agenda to be budgeted by government is plain Sick.

          Reply

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