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NZ a model for prosperity: think tank

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/11/2016
Auckland skyline © Getty Images Auckland skyline

New Zealand is the most prosperous country in the world, according to calculations by a London-based think tank.

The 2016 Legatum Prosperity Index, which ranks 149 countries and says its methods are a better measure of gross-domestic product, is glowing in its praise of the country and says it is a model for delivering both wellbeing and wealth.

New Zealand came first, followed by Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Canada and Australia. Yemen came 149th, below Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"New Zealand is quite simply the blueprint for achieving prosperity," said indices director Alexandra Mousavizadeh.

"Each country has to follow their own path way but the principles that have made New Zealand top of the index can be followed elsewhere in the world, indeed they should be."

The index measures economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital and the natural environment.

New Zealand was ranked first in economic quality and social capital and topped Australia in all categories except health and education.

The authors noted New Zealand benefited from the "Commonwealth effect", where an Anglosphere bloc within the Commonwealth did better.

The top performing countries: New Zealand, Finland, the UK, Canada, and Australia had open markets, high levels of personal freedom, and strong civil society in common, Legatum said.

"New Zealand's unrivalled ability to turn its wealth into prosperity means that it outranks about 26 other countries who have greater wealth at their disposal, including the UK and Australia."

Last year New Zealand was ranked fourth overall, behind Norway, Switzerland and Denmark.

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