Kia ora koutou

Haere mai and welcome to the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Aotearoa’s 2022 year in review post. It’s been a huge year for us and we wanted to share some of our highlights. We also wanted to wish everyone around the world a happy New Year. In Aotearoa, Summer is time for family, relaxing and connecting with nature – all the things that make life worth living but are not captured by GDP.

This year we welcomed Gareth Hughes, as WEAll Aotearoa’s first Country Lead to help progress our collective mahi. Gareth is a former MP and has a background in many progressive causes. He wrote a blog introducing himself on our website here. Since May, Gareth has been leading our work program and building connections and relationships.

We have been awarded a generous grant from Partners for a New Economy which will supercharge our work next year. With this grant we are undertaking research with The Workshop on how to reset economic narratives, we will launch a campaign generating big transformational ideas and we will undertake a national roadshow and host a national conference in Auckland.

We focused on sharing and creating new knowledge and policy to influence change towards a Wellbeing Economy.

As part of our global collaboration developing WEAll’s Policy Design Guide, our Hub team have been collaborating locally, piloting the use of the guide in Porirua and Lower Hutt. The WEAll Aotearoa team worked with the Te Hiko Centre for Community Innovation to explore how the elements in the Guide can work in practice and have just published the final report which you can read here.

We have spoken about building a Wellbeing Economy at a number of events including at the Economic Development NZ conference, a SDG seminar, webinar presentations to Pathway to Survival, Our Climate Declaration and panel discussions with current and former ministers.

We jointly hosted a webinar with the New Economy Network Australia (NENA) discussing Trans-Tasman governmental approaches to wellbeing and what each country can learn from each other. You can watch a recording here. 

We welcomed the launch of The Wellbeing Reflex a paper investigating how New Zealand, Finland and Bhutan were able to successfully contain the initial waves of Covid (2020-2021) by taking a Wellbeing Economy approach which Hub member Paul Dalziel helped write.

We focused on spreading and amplifying powerful narratives of hope to change the debate and inspire New Zealanders from all walks of life.

We have set up social media accounts on TwitterFacebook and Linked In, which we would love for you to follow.

We commented on New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget and its first national wellbeing report – Te Tai Waiora an independent big-picture stocktake into the state of wellbeing in New Zealand, produced by the New Zealand Treasury. 

We submitted on the Productivity Commission’s forward-looking A Fair Chance for All report inquiring into disadvantage, which you can read here.

We were proud to sponsor the first award for wellbeing outcomes at the Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) conference to promote and acknowledge the good work happening at the local council level.

We focused on strengthening, supporting and connecting existing powerbases to build a movement for a Wellbeing Economy.

We hosted networking get-togethers in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin connecting people from diverse communities to talk about economic transformation and build the movement.

We have a growing list of people interested in building a Wellbeing Economy and we hosted two supporters Zoom meetings and sent out Spring and Summer pānui / newsletters. You can suscribe here.

We have engaged with and followed various local wellbeing initiatives across the Motu and Hub member Justin Connolly has been an active participant in the Waikato Wellbeing Project.

We joined with many other organisations as part of the Vote Climate alliance pushing for climate action in the local body election and we have recently joined a number of other groups to campaign for a fairer, more progressive tax system in next year’s election. 

We were glad to be in Cannons Creek to join with others to celebrate the launch of Wesley Community Action Te Hiko Centre for Community Innovation’s new website to help spark community action.

We have been active participating as part of Collective Change Kōrero, to foster systems change dialogue and you can read the updates from the firstsecond and third meetings. 

We collaborated globally as part of the incredible Wellbeing Economy Alliance and loved seeing the work coming out of the Amp Team and WEAll Hubs.

We saw a lot of Wellbeing Economy coverage in the news:

  • Wellbeing Economics had a big feature in North and South magazine including comment by WEAll Aotearoa hub member Paul Dalziel. 
  • Hub member Suzy Morrissey spoke about New Zealand’s journey to Wellbeing Budgets to the ABC.
  • Gareth explored the links between Wellbeing and food in an article for Organic NZ magazine magazine and has been writing articles on the Cost of Living and the Budget for Newsroom. 
  • WEAll Aotearoa member Lindsay Wood published his People, Places and the Climate Crisis podcastwhere sixteen experts and six mayoral candidates answered critical climate questions ahead of council elections.
  • WEAll Aotearoa member Jack Santa Barbara reviewed the new book – Herman Daly’s Economics for a Full World about the thinker often cited as the ‘Father of Ecological Economics.’
  • With corporate profits rising fast, Gareth appeared on TodayFM discussing windfall taxes as one possible solution to the cost of living crisis and he wrote for Newsroom arguing now wasn’t the time for tinkering with tax, but a transformational change was needed to build a fairer tax system.
  • Hub member Paul Dalziel was featured in Actuary magazine where he discussed his work thinking about a Wellbeing Economy. 
  • WEAll Aotearoa had a wonderful feature in the Economic Development New Zealand journal.
  • Gareth also regularly appeared as a progressive commentator on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon’s The Week in Politics segment and also discussed WEAll’s work on the Working Group podcast.

As you can read here it has been a huge year and we thank our Hub members, supporters and partners who have worked with us on this important mission. We are excited about our ambitious goals for next year and if you’d like to get more involved please contact WEAll Aotearoa Country Lead Gareth Hughes.

Ngā mihi nui

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