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Replace GDP with GPI Says CORANZ

A national outdoor recreation council has welcomed Prime Minister Jacinda Adrian’s recent announcement that measuring the national’s progress by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was flawed. The growing realisation is that GDP was narrowly economic in focus and ignored important social and environmental aspects.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently announced her Government would implement a ‘well-being’ budget this year in order to focus less on improving Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the economy than in past years, and more on ensuring New Zealanders’ “wellbeing\".

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) has over the last decade, advocated the immediate need to replace GDP with GPI - i.e. Genuine Progress Indicator - where social and environmental values are elevated to the same level as economic. CORANZ has promoted the concept in its election charters at the last four elections said CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft..

"Significantly and sadly, very few politicians bothered to respond,” said Andi Cockroft.

"One of the paradoxes of modern society is that while our economic standard of living measured by material goods such as sales of washing machines, automobiles, television sets and other goods, had improved, our environmental and social values have declined alarmingly. We may have modern technological aids but we are not prepared to inherit the earth or to carry on the pursuit of happiness.”

He said rapid technological advances and developments had made life easier but society was falling prey to the weakness of an indoor nation and the flabbiness of a sedentary society.

"Pursuit of GDP and an obsession with material growth is like a dog chasing its tail. An increasing number of economists have dared to challenge the fallacy of pursuing maximum growth and disregarding social and environmental impacts. The Prime Minister has shown foresight and courage to challenge the mantra of GDP,” said Andi Cockroft.

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