New Zealand drops to 17th on Good Country Index

  • 12/12/2017

An index that measures what each country contributes to the common good of humanity has placed Aotearoa 17th in the world, signifying another fall.

The Good Country Index, which works out what each nation gives and takes away from other countries relative to its size, uses data from the UN and other organisations to create its ranking.

In the index's first version, New Zealand ranked 5th before falling in the following version to 12th, and now dropping five places below that in the most recent index update.

This version's top 13 was made up of entirely European countries, with the top five consisting of the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Germany.

While New Zealand did well to still crack into the top 20, there were still a number of areas of weakness that the new Labour-led Government might do well to scrutinise.

Most notably, we could have ranked significantly higher if it wasn't for our poor performance in the category of prosperity and equality, in which we ended up 69th in the world out of 163 nations. In the previous version, we were 23rd.

While New Zealand has positive levels of open trading, UN volunteers abroad and a good fairtrade market size that would've indicated a good performance in that area, our foreign direct investment outflows are among the world's worst.

Aotearoa ranked well in the areas of science and technology (12th), health and wellbeing (17th), world order (19th) and planet and climate (27th).

It was seen to have performed particularly well in the areas of our ecological footprint, press freedom, internet security and humanitarian aid donations.

Areas for improvement included number or refugees hosted, involvement in violent conflict and arms and hazardous pesticide exports.

You can see the full breakdown of the results here.