I hate comparing us to other countries. But sometimes we can learn some valuable lessons that could serve us all well.
We often joke that New Zealand is technically our 11th province, after Australia.
But one thing disproves this very quickly, showing that New Zealand is socially far more advanced.
According to the annual World Happiness Report, New Zealanders are some of the happiest people on the planet.
So it would be prudent to have a look Down Under every now and again to see what it is they’re getting so right.
One possible reason could be innovative thinking.
The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has caught my attention with a bold plan to measure the country’s success according to the overall wellbeing of its citizens, rather than economic growth and other abstract matters related to the GDP, which few people understand.
This is such a mind-bendingly progressive idea, that it’s impossible for her critics to understand.
I have come to believe that economic growth is a capitalist tool that really only benefits the super-rich.
For the rest of us it simply means ongoing employment, so that we can continue paying the bills that keeps the world’s wealth at the top; while we continue to balance our sanity on payday one more pay slip away from repossession.
It’s this thinking that countries like New Zealand are starting to shed light on.
Ardern is implementing new policies forcing her ministers to address her five key priorities improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing the inequalities faced by indigenous peoples, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a sustainable economy.
These are all things that can lead to happier citizens who will be able to feel the benefits of the policies in their daily lives.
The problem with year-on-year growth is that it depletes resources, keeps us enslaved to our jobs, reduces chances of prosperity and relies on a never- ending supply of gullible consumers aspiring to wealth few, if any, of us will ever attain.
I believe the true cause of the cycle of global recessions is corporate shareholders always wanting bigger and better yachts, resulting in a shortage in consumer spending and an over-supply of greed.
New Zealand is showing us the way out!