NZ among the happiest of the OECD

22:07, May 25 2011
KIWI AS: Happiness is a Fruju in Russell, Bay of Islands.

New Zealand is near the top of the first multinational index of well-being and wealth.

The Paris based Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has produced an interactive tool measuring 20 different indicators in 34 countries.

New Zealand scores in the top four with Canada, Australia and Sweden.

The index suggests it is only New Zealand's financial wealth, in comparison with other rich nations, that prevents the country being on top.

One of the key measures was the household financial net wealth, per person.

New Zealand also rated badly in long working hours.

The scale lists six "material conditions" and New Zealand scores three "green circles" - meaning the country's employment rate, long-term unemployment rate and number of rooms per person are in the top two deciles.

Canada and Norway scored four circles and Australia three.

The OECD also rated 15 "quality of life" headings, with New Zealand scoring six green circles.

These were for self-reported health status, employment rate of women with children, students' cognitive skills, social network support, consultation on rule making and air pollution.

Australia scored eight green circles and Canada and Sweden seven each.

On the chart a red diamond was poor, showing the country in the bottom two deciles.

New Zealand got one red diamond - "employees working very long hours".