Fit for the future: boosting resilience in the face of uncertainty

State of the State New Zealand 2017
Household finance Cost and standard of living Well-being Climate change adaptation New Zealand

This report considers the theme of household resilience and wellbeing. Household resilience is concerned with how Kiwis preserve their quality of life in the face of change. The report considers how well households are able to maintain or recover their levels of wellbeing in the event of disruption or shock. A framework to provide insight into the many interacting dimensions of household resilience such as financial resources, health, education, social networks and connections was produced for the report.

The report observes that the costs of education, housing and healthcare have been rising faster than overall inflation, leaving more households struggling to meet everyday needs. The report also found that the volatility of incomes was a major issue for many New Zealanders. In any given year, one in nine working age Kiwis will suffer from a significant fall in income. Some of the ways households are forced to manage shortfalls, like postponing a visit to the doctor or dentist, increase future risk. As a result of trends like these many households are in a poorer position to deal with disruptions.

In the six months of research for the report, Deloitte and Victoria spoke to some of New Zealand’s brightest thinkers and most senior leaders from the public sector, business, non-government, media and academia – all of whom provided a unique perspective on household resilience and a consensus on its importance.

State of the State 2017 proposes four recommendations to boost resilience and ensure New Zealand households are fit for the future. The recommendations are to:

  1. apply and evaluate explicit resilience objectives in health, education and housing policy
  2. explore policy interventions that advance trials to build household resilience through a social investment approach and income support
  3. establish a Resilience Unit to strengthen our public institutions’ focus on resilience
  4. engage with New Zealanders to build a wellbeing and resilience index.    
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