End-of-year outcomes aren’t just for faculty and college college students. Countries, too, could be measured for his or her progress – or lack of it – throughout quite a few classes and topic areas.
This report card supplies a snapshot of how New Zealand has fared in 2023. Given the change of presidency, it will likely be a helpful benchmark for future progress reviews. (Somewhat appropriately, the coalition appears eager on standardised testing in training.)
It’s essential to do not forget that this train is for enjoyable and debate. International and home indices and rankings ought to be learn with a level of warning – measurements, metrics and numbers from 2023 inform us solely a lot.
Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless doable to hint the nation’s ups and downs. As the yr attracts to an finish, we are able to use these statistics and rankings to determine whether or not New Zealand actually is the very best nation on the earth – or whether or not we have to make some extra new yr’s resolutions.
International move marks
Overall, the nation held its personal internationally when it got here to democratic values, freedoms and requirements. But there was slightly slippage.
Despite falling a spot, Transparency International ranked New Zealand second-equal (subsequent to Finland) for being comparatively corruption-free.
In the Global Peace Index, New Zealand dropped two locations, now fourth-best for security and safety, low home and worldwide battle, and diploma of militarisation.
The nation held its floor in two classes. Freedom House underlined New Zealand’s near-perfect rating of 99 out of 100 for political and civil liberties – however three Scandinavian nations scored an ideal 100. The Global Gender Gap Report recorded New Zealand as regular, the fourth-most-gender-equal nation.
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The Index for Economic Freedom, which covers all the pieces from property rights to monetary freedom, once more positioned New Zealand fifth, however our grade common is falling. We additionally dropped a spot within the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index to eighth.
New Zealanders are about as glad as they had been final yr, nonetheless the tenth-most-cheery nation, in response to the World Happiness Report.
The Human Development Index didn’t report this yr (New Zealand was thirteenth in 2022). But the Legatum Prosperity Index, one other broad measure protecting all the pieces from social capital to dwelling circumstances, put New Zealand tenth total – reflecting a gradual decline from seventh in 2011.
The Economist’s Global Liveability Index has Auckland at equal tenth, with Wellington racing up the charts to twenty third. (Hamilton, my dwelling, is but to register.)
While New Zealand registered a gradual slide within the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, at thirteenth place it nonetheless ranks extremely by comparability with different nations.
Could do higher
New Zealand has seen some progress round evaluation of terror danger. While the nationwide terror risk stage has remained at “low”, the Global Terrorism Index ranked the nation forty sixth – decrease than the US, UK and Russia, however larger than Australia at 69th.
The nation’s earlier drop to thirty first within the Global Competitiveness Report has stabilised, staying the identical in 2023.
On the Global Innovation Index, we got here in twenty seventh out of 132 economies – three spots worse than final yr. The Globalisation Index, which seems at financial, social and political contexts, ranks New Zealand solely forty second.
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But the nation’s response to local weather change remains to be thought of “extremely inadequate” by the Climate Action Tracker, which measures progress on assembly agreed world warming targets. The Climate Change Performance Index is a bit more beneficiant, pegging New Zealand at thirty fourth, nonetheless down one spot on final yr.
New Zealand’s abroad improvement help – low as a proportion of GDP in comparison with different OECD nations – had blended critiques.
The Principled Aid Index – which seems on the functions of support for world co-operation, public spiritedness and addressing vital improvement objectives – ranks New Zealand a lowly 22 out of 29.
The Commitment to Development Index, which measures support in addition to different insurance policies (from well being to commerce) of 40 of the world’s strongest nations, has New Zealand in nineteenth place.
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Decent financial grades
The financial numbers at dwelling nonetheless inform a usually encouraging story:
unemployment stays low at 3.9%, nonetheless under the OECD common of 4.8%.
median weekly earnings from wages and salaries continued to rise, by NZ$84 (7.1%) to $1,273 within the yr to June
inflation is rising, however the charge is slowing, falling to five.6% within the 12 months to September
and good or dangerous information in response to one’s perspective, annual home worth progress seems to be slowly recovering, with the typical worth now $907,387 – nonetheless significantly down from the height on the flip of 2022.
It’s value noting, too, that report internet migration acquire is boosting financial measurements. In the yr to October 2023, 245,600 individuals arrived, with 116,700 departing, for an annual internet acquire of 128,900 individuals.
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Room for social enchancment
In the yr to June, recorded suicides elevated to 565, or 10.6 individuals per 100,000. While a rise from 10.2 in 2022, that is nonetheless decrease than the typical charge over the previous 14 years.
Incarceration charges started to rise once more, climbing to eight,893 by the top of September, shifting again in the direction of the ten,000 determine from 2020.
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Child poverty seems to be stabilising, with some reviews suggesting enhancements in longer-term tendencies. While commendable, this must be seen in perspective: one in ten youngsters nonetheless reside in households experiencing materials hardship.
The inventory of public housing continues to extend. As of October, there have been 80,211 public homes, a rise of three,940 from June 2022.
In quick, New Zealand retains some bragging rights in essential areas and is making modest progress in others, however that’s removed from the entire image. The last verdict needs to be: a passable to good effort, however appreciable room for enchancment.
Alexander Gillespie doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.