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Rodney Yeoman and Douglas Fairgray: Treasury and court show social values coming to the fore

Rodney Yeoman and Douglas Fairgray: Treasury and court show social values coming to the fore

Review:  Today Rodney Yeoman and Douglas Fairgray of Market Economics write an opinion piece in the NZ Herald about New Zealand moving away from a free market economy towards a more social-market economy. As examples, they point to the Environment Court decision to protect Okura’s natural environment from development and the Treasury’s development of the Living Standards Framework, which  “is likely to bring a significant shift in policy advice.”

They conclude: “This apparent rise of the social-market tide in institutional thinking is to be welcomed. The wellbeing of society is not defined simply by market transactions or income.  Rather, much of the New Zealand community’s wellbeing is driven by the non-market values of our environmental, cultural and social resources.”

Feature photo: In the Okura decision, the Environment Court concluded “we find that non-market costs … should be taken into account in the overall economic evaluation”. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey