New measure of progress
Theatre troupe sorts remnants
The wellbeing of the Wellington region will be assessed in a different way in future. Instead of using gross domestic product, Wellington Regional Council will in future use the genuine progress index.
The first assessment of progress between 2001 and 2010 went online on the Greater Wellington Regional Council website last week. The GDP method assumes the number of products, goods and services purchased reflect the wellbeing of society.
One failing is that it registers as benefits activities which cost money but are otherwise detrimental, such as smoking.
The GPI takes into account aspects of social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing.
The council released the first report under the new system this month. It found the region had improved 5 per cent overall in the last decade, but social wellbeing had not improved and health had declined.
Greater Wellington regional strategy project leader Melanie Thornton said the new index would help to formulate the Wellington regional strategy.
‘‘What we are hoping to do is that this genuine progress index will help inform long-term planning, looking at some of the areas where some of the results were not that good, and also areas where we can work with other organisations.’’
Asked what difference the index would make to the council’s planning, Ms Thornton gave the example of health.
‘‘Obviously we are doing a lot of work with sustainable and active transport,’’ Ms Thornton said.
According to the report, some things improved: entrepreneurial and innovative community, environment and the connectedness of communities.
Others did not change: social wellbeing, sense of place, lifestyle quality, cultural wellbeing, and strong and tolerant communities.
Economic wellbeing was higher in 2010 than in 2001, but lower than in 2008.
Community prosperity declined from 2001 to 2002, increased until 2008 but steadily decreased in the last two years.
The healthy community GPI has increased recently but remains lower in 2010 than 2001.
To view the report, visit gpiwellingtonregion. govt. nz, click on Publications , and click on ‘‘ Wellington Region Genuine Progress Index’’.
Tawa Community Theatre president Ross Pedder and Sue Miller sort through bags of the few costumes that survived the fire at its Kowhai Park hut earlier this year. The troupe has begun the long job of resurrecting the storage hut, one end of which was destroyed. The builders, painters and electricians have done their bit and now theatre members have begun to group together all the surviving props, pieces of set and the remaining wardrobe. The wardrobe section was the worst affected and most was lost, but what remains has been commercially cleaned, courtesy of the insurance company, and now requires sorting, labelling and hanging. A storage unit full of gear remains to be gone through for ‘‘keep, toss and maybe’’ consideration.