15 October 2014   

The Sustainable Governance Indicators released by Bertelsmann Stiftung in July seem to have had negligible media coverage. The interpretation of the New Zealand indicator scores was probably seen as a mixed bag by all parties and therefore not given airtime during the election period.  However all the New Zealand indicators improved when compared with the 2013 Index.

The SGI is a cross-national survey providing comparative assessments of OECD and EU member states.  The purpose is to identify and foster effective policymaking and explore how governments target sustainable development.  The sustainable governance that it advocates is built on three pillars: Policy Performance, Democracy and Governance.  The Index is a compilation of the indicator scores given to each country’s policies and practices.

New Zealand scores in the upper half on most indicators. This is attributed to a unicameral parliament, a strong executive, and a commitment to applying new public management principles and methods to enhance strategic capabilities and performance.

The assessors however see New Zealand as needing greater innovation, a capital gains tax, more regional development and an extension of the parliamentary term to four years.


Sustainable Governance Indicators 2014             New Zealand ranking


Are Democratic Institutions and Practices robust?

from 41 States
Civil Rights and Political Liberties 1st
Rule of Law 3rd
Electoral Process 9th
Access to Information 15th

Does Government cultivate social and economic conditions that generate wellbeing and empowerment

Social Policies 1st
Economic Policies 16th
Environmental Policies 27th

Do institutional arrangements enhance the public sector’s capacity to act? Can citizens, NGOs and other organizations hold the government accountable for its actions?

Executive Capacity 4th
Executive Accountability 12th