Ron Colman's 2006 Visit to New Zealand


Dr. Colman is the Founder and Executive Director of GPI Atlantic which has been developing Genuine Progress Indicators for Nova Scotia – with the intention for this being a pilot for Canada.  To that end he is taking a lead role in the development of the Canadian Wellbeing Index.  He also piloted Canadian community schemes at the Kings County and Grace Bay communities.

He is also leading the ground breaking effort in Bhutan to develop the first-in-the-world national accounts based on GPI.  He visited Bhutan for two years in a row and followed that with an international conference he organized in Halifax that hosted representatives from Bhutan.  Prior to his 2006 New Zealand visit, he spent one month in Bhutan to assist them in that process.  In addition, Bhutan has attracted recent worldwide media coverage in their development of the Indicator of Happiness.   

This is the third time Anew NZ has assisted sponsoring Dr. Colman.  In previous visits he conducted public seminars and workshops for Local Government and interdepartmental workshops for the New Zealand Government, both in 2003 and 2004.  more

In 2004 he was commissioned by the NZ Ministry for Social Development to write a comprehensive report, “The Nova Scotia Genuine Progress Index – Insights for New Zealand” which included recommended next steps New Zealand might take in developing progress indicators.

He is interested in establishing a collaborative relationship between Canada and New Zealand regarding the development of a set of global progress indicators that are comparable between countries in the same way GDP is presently used.


In the GDP, more is always better, no matter what is growing.

Four hundred leading economists, including Nobel Laureates, said:  “Since the GDP measures only the quantity of market activity and without accounting for the social and economical costs involved, it is both inadequate and misleading as a measure of true prosperity.  New indicators of progress are urgently needed to guide our society.  The Genuine Progress Index (GPI) is an important step in this direction.”

Dr. Ron Colman has designed the GPI as an instrument of change, intended to direct policy attention to vital social, economic and environmental aspects of wellbeing that are neglected or ignored in conventional measures of progress.  more

New Zealand 2006 events

Date in May


Monday, 8th morning

University of Auckland seminar

Monday, 8th afternoon

Anew NZ workshop, PIAG

Monday, 8th evening

National party policy committee, North Shore

Tuesday, 9th morning

Local Government Workshop, North Island Councils, Manukau City

Tuesday, 9th afternoon

Waitakere Council

Tuesday, 9th evening

National video linked workshop, Sustainability Working Group

Tuesday, 16th morning

Well workshop, Parliamentary Commissioner for Environment

Tuesday, 16th afternoon

NZ Ministry for Social Development workshop

Tuesday, 16th afternoon

Green Party Caucus - Wellington

Tuesday, 16th afternoon

Maori Party Caucus - Wellington


Wednesday, 17th morning


National Party Caucus - Wellington

Thurs and Friday, 18th & 19th


Two day Maori party workshop – in Otaki

Wednesday, 14th day

Nelson and Tasman Councils


Wednesday, 24th evening


Public meeting in Nelson

2006 Public Events

  1. Auckland, 8 May - "Measuring the True Wealth of Society" - for public
  2. Auckland, 9 May – “Taking the Next Steps After Community Outcomes” - for local councils
  3. Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin – 9 May – video linked workshop – “Productivity and the Future of Work and Acounting - (Word document) or (PDF document)”  for general public and accountants
  4. Wellington workshop, 16 May, "The Genuine Progress Index (GPI) - The Canadian experience and possibilities for interantional cooperation" - more
  5. Nelson, 24 May - more

Report by Dr. Colman, commissioned by the Ministry for Social Development Word (2MB) or ZIP (800kb)

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Creating a Culture of Possibilies

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