“The greatest risk is not addressing the things that matter, including social and environmental factors when painting a picture of progress. GDP is not a welfare measure, but rather a measure of economic activity,” said Mr Ward.
"In a globally competitive market it has become hard to avoid comparing nations when measuring success," Mr Ward said.
The report, titled Is policy making measuring up: Rethinking how we measure the success of a nation, explores how global demands have changed the way we think and measure success and what the results really mean.
“Success is typically measured by GDP – this measure is narrow and if we continue to tie our success to this measurement we will miss the impact of policies,” Mr Ward said.
In the report, alternative indices are examined that compare Australia and New Zealand with vastly different results.
“Countries have different strengths and weaknesses and these will be reflected in the indices used to alternatively measure and benchmark growth. Is policy making measuring up: Rethinking how we measure the success of a nation is part of the future [inc] series and ensures that the way we look at society, government and business captures the future that we are already shaping."
“The measure of productivity and our GDP is important and will continue to be. But it would be remiss to just stop there. We call on policymakers, government and statistical agencies to identify alternative measures which can be reported alongside GDP to provide greater insight into the progress of a nation,” Mr Ward said.