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Looking to the future

Future Pathways image

New Zealand Productivity Commission

Date published

13 February 2024

This report provides an enduring policy and research agenda to address Aotearoa New Zealand’s productivity challenges.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s productivity performance matters for all New Zealanders. Improved productivity increases the nation’s income and our ability to produce and afford goods and services that underpin a happy, healthy life. It also allows the nation to invest in public goods and services to benefit everyone – like education, health services, and infrastructure.

Improving productivity depends on action across a range of interconnected factors, while also requiring sustained focus over the long term. Aotearoa New Zealand also needs to look to the future to understand how global issues could impact on its productivity performance and anticipate the kind of investment required.

The key areas the Commission recommended for further work or investigation are:

  • focus on the role of innovation – and diffusion of innovation
  • invest in the basics – a skilled, healthy population
  • think long-term about Aotearoa New Zealand’s approach to land use and infrastructure
  • look to the potential inherent in te ao Māori and the Māori economy
  • continue work to address Aotearoa New Zealand’s specific productivity challenges.

Within our report, we have identified more specific policy and research topics that could provide a potential starting point for work on each of these opportunity areas.

These topics reflect areas already raised (through engagement) as potential issues for the Commission to examine in future inquiries if the organisation had continued to operate.

We offer this report and the policy and research agenda proposed within it, as a starting point to inform an all-of-government productivity strategy that sets a clear vision for Aotearoa New Zealand’s future economy, and pathways to achieve it.

The findings and recommendations of the report have also been summarised in an overview document.


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