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NZ first in world according to 2014 Social Progress Index

03 April 2014

New Zealand ranked first in world according to 2014 Social Progress Index

Index a useful tool for focussing business to better contribute to building a stronger society

New Zealand is the most socially advanced nation in the world according to a major new global index sponsored by Deloitte. The 2014 Social Progress Index, published today by US-based not-for-profit the Social Progress Imperative, ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance, and shows New Zealand topping the rankings across a wide range of measures.

The Index, created by a team led by Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, is designed as a complement to GDP and other economic indicators, focusing instead on ‘Basic Human Needs’, ‘Foundations of Wellbeing’ and ‘Opportunity’ to provide a more holistic understanding of countries’ overall performance.

Deloitte New Zealand CEO Thomas Pippos says that Deloitte supports the Social Progress Imperative on this potentially game-changing initiative as part of its global corporate social responsibly program that looks to advance the debate in this area.

“Having New Zealand come out on top is a great achievement for our country and reinforces that while we should always look to improve where we are at, we are well advanced in creating the type of country we all aspire to live in,” says Mr Pippos.

“The beauty of the SPI is that it drills down to the specific strengths and weaknesses that a country has in relation to social progress, and provides a roadmap for collective action to build a stronger society. This is something that GDP as a measurement tool, doesn’t address.”

Of the 54 indicators measured within each country to make up the overall Index ranking, New Zealand scores top spot across a wide variety of different measures. It is particularly pleasing that New Zealand performs strongly on the underlying measures of ‘Opportunity’ thanks to its top global rankings on ‘Personal Rights’ and ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’.

But according to the SPI, the areas where New Zealand could do better include ‘Ecosystem Sustainability’ and some of the measures that underpin ‘Health and Wellness’.

“And it’s here where the Index is really useful to businesses looking to make a difference, guiding decision making to help focus investment and activity on areas where there is most need,” says Mr Pippos.

“In terms of the way forward, no one sector can do it alone. We will only resolve the big issues we face, globally and regionally, through government, business and civil society working together in new and innovate ways to design and deliver solutions that create growth and prosperity.”

“Ultimately, business can only thrive in societies that prosper, and there is extraordinary value to be gained for companies that take this long-term view,” concludes Mr Pippos.

For more information on the Social Progress Index and to look at the full 2014 results, visit

For more information on Deloitte’s strategic partnership with SPI, visit


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