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Speech by Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf

Speech by Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf - Social Capital and the Living Standards Framework

Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf spoke at the University of Auckland last evening on the topic of “Social Capital and the Living Standards Framework”.

Below are some excerpts from the speech:

• “Societies that have high levels of social capital benefit in many ways. They have lower crime rates, better democratic functioning, better economic performance, higher educational outcomes and higher levels of individual health and wellbeing.”

• “Our distinctive culture matters and we need to reflect on a social capital framework that makes sense for New Zealand. This is why we are very keen to engage with the broader academic community as we develop our framework, to ensure that it will be tractable for our unique context and helpful for making better public policy in our country.”

• “Measuring the value of public social capital is not easy and although we have started on this journey, we are still very much near the starting line. Suggested indicators of social capital include generalised trust, the strength of our national identity, civic engagement and institutional trust. The availability of robust indicator data on social capital has considerably increased since the start of the New Zealand General Social Survey in 2008. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of work left to develop these indicators. The work going on now by the Treasury and many others helps to build understanding of what social capital means in a public policy setting. It allows us to build on existing indicators of social capital and to identify what information needs improving.”

The full speech can be found here:


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