Wellbeing and policy, Aotearoa style

Nov 1, 2021

Treasury’s Living Standards Framework has been closely aligned with international models such as the OECD for over ten years. Some have said it is too generic and not sufficiently attuned to what wellbeing means in this country. In this seminar we will discuss He Ara Waiora, a mātauranga Māori framing of wellbeing that the Treasury now uses alongside the LSF. We will also discuss some new changes to the LSF that make it work better alongside He Ara Waiora, as well as being better attuned to the topics of child wellbeing and culture.


Monday 1st November @ 12.30- 2pm

Presenters: Phil Evans, Tim Hughes

Panelists: Atawhai Tibble, Tracey McIntosh, Arthur Grimes



Phil Evans is a Principal Advisor supporting the implementation of He Ara Waiora in the Treasury’s advice. He has worked in a variety of senior roles within the Public Service. Phil is motivated to build a strong foundation for future generations to thrive in Aotearoa. He affiliates to Ngāti Mutunga and Kāi Tahu iwi.

Since graduating in politics and economics from the University of Auckland, Tim Hughes has worked in a variety of policy roles over the last 15 years. He has been at the Treasury for the last two years, leading work to refresh the Living Standards Framework. Prior to that he was at the Ministry of Justice where he was closely involved in the Social Investment Approach.

The Panel: 

Atawhai Tibble is Ngati Porou, Tuwharetoa and Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga. He is a sought after cultural, Māori wellbeing and data expert, whose work has included a leading role in Te Kupenga, the world’s first indigenous wellbeing survey conducted by a national stats organisation. Atawhai has also had senior roles at the Treasury and the Social Wellbeing Agency, and was an expert member of the Mental Wellbeing Commission’s panel who designed the He Ara Oranga Wellbeing Framework. Atawhai is now a consultant for Haemata Ltd.


Tracey McIntosh is of Ngāi Tūhoe descent. She is the Chief Science Advisor at the Ministry of Social Development and is Professor of Indigenous Studies and co-head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa (School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies) at the University of Auckland. She was the former co-director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga – New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence.


Arthur Grimes is a Senior Fellow at Motu Research and Professor in the Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Government. Arthur’s current research focuses on urban economics (including housing and infrastructure), and the economics of wellbeing and public policy.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion and an opportunity for audience Q & A. 

Motu Public Policy Seminars are free to the public, but please subscribe to receive email notifications of Motu's events and publications.

Thanks to The Treasury, the Productivity Commission, Stats NZ and EECA for their generous support.

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