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Perspectives on Prosperity

Caren Rangi FCA

Principal Consultant
Ei Mua Consulting Ltd

For me personally, prosperity is the state in which I can achieve the right combination of economic, social and cultural fulfilment through the contributions I make and the reciprocal arrangements I enter.

By “right” I mean measured success in each of these three areas.

Economic success - my ability to generate the wealth I need for my family to live a full and happy life. Social success - the extent to which I can contribute to strengthening society’s prosperity. And finally, as a person who is fiercely proud of my Cook Islands Maori heritage, cultural success. This is the extent to which I can celebrate and share my cultural capital through my economic and social interactions.

My parents are part of a generation of emigrants from the Cook Islands to New Zealand whose primary objective was to gain better economic prosperity for their families than what could be obtained in their homeland. However, they also had strong values of reciprocity (making a contribution to New Zealand’s success) and cultural pride (raising us as Cook Islanders within a Kiwi context) which they instilled firmly in us, alongside their economic objective. So my family and I have benefited from having that broad outlook on prosperity, and I like to think that this has enriched our contribution to society’s prosperity too.

Prosperity is more possible if there is a strong alignment of values and validation of the diverse range of ways in which people measure prosperity, because it’s not always about the dollar. A strong foundation of values, and acknowledgement of the diverse ways in which those values are exercised is essential.

Prosperity is created by great combinations of people (families, communities, businesses, governments) who operate from the same values base but bring complementary skills and resources. Stronger, more joined-up conversations about each group’s contribution to prosperity and identification of more opportunities for those sectors to collaborate is key to improving national prosperity.