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  • rmacculloch

Former PM Ardern Credits Robertson with "establishing the well-being framework". Not true. It was not established by her gov't.

When Grant Robertson announced his resignation from Parliament, Jacinda Ardern put on Instagram that one of his great achievements was the "establishment of the well-being framework". That framework was actually established by my friend, Girol Karacaoglu, former Chief Economist at the NZ Treasury when John Key was PM & National was in power. He released a paper describing the framework in 2015. All Ardern & Robertson did was pick up on the word "well-being" and put it into their "comms", PR & marketing. They dropped the word into some legislation to try to make themselves look good. Girol asked me for advice on the framework even before 2015, way before the rise of Ardern & Robertson. Bill English, who was Finance Minister at the time, didn't want to promote Girol's work. That's the history. Ardern is taking credit for something she did not do. Arguing you established something when all you did was get PR people & speech-writers to use the word in your comms is a bit rich. Ardern has to get more honest about her role in history - she was a Great Communicator, a phrase used to describe Ronald Reagan. She invented nothing.


Here are the people responsible for helping Girol establish the framework, as listed in his acknowledgments: I wish to thank the following individuals for their comments and feedback on the first version of this paper - without in any way implying their endorsement: Jean-Pierre Andre, Joey Au, Geoff Bertram, Hilary Blake, Romina Boarini, Jonathan Boston, Nick Carroll, Kristie Carter, Andrew Coleman, Diane Coyle, Eric Crampton, Paul Dalziel, Shamubeel Eaqub, Brian Easton, Hans-Jurgen Engelbrecht, Lew Evans, Roger Fairclough, Martin Fukac, David Galt, Margaret Galt, Arthur Grimes, Oliver Hartwich, Gary Hawke, Seamus Hogan, Andrew Jackson, Adam Jaffe, Jacek Krawczyk, Robert MacCulloch, Wayne Mills, Jamie Murray, Patrick Nolan, Les Oxley, Weshah Razzak, Chris Ritchie, Paul Rodway, James Roumasset, Michael Ryan, Grant Scobie, Graham Scott, Conal Smith, Robert Stratford, Adolph Stroombergen, Ken Warren, Bryce Wilkinson, John Yeabsley. I also benefited from discussions at the New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Group meetings and two workshops, one at the New Zealand Treasury and the other at the New Zealand Productivity Commission.


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