NEW Zealand is the first country in the world to set a “wellbeing budget”. 

The Labour coalition government unveiled the budget in May to widespread praise when it was revealed that billions of dollars were to be invested in mental health services, the alleviation of child poverty and in measures to tackle violence within the family.

Finance minister, Grant Robertson said the budget was designed to address the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots.

The move means New Zealand is the first country to centre its entire budget on wellbeing priorities and instruct its ministries to bring forward policies to improve wellbeing.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon pushes use of "wellbeing economy" over GDP

“While economic growth is important – and something we will continue to pursue – it alone does not guarantee improvements to our living standards,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Nor does it measure the quality of economic activity or take into account who benefits and who is left out or who is left behind. 

"We know for example that New Zealand has had strong growth for a number of years, all the while experiencing some of the highest rates of suicide, unacceptable homelessness and shameful rates of family violence and child poverty.

Growth alone does not lead to a great country. So it’s time to focus on those things that do.”

READ MORE: Scotland's National Performance Framework explained

The Government has broadened its definition of success to incorporate not just economic growth but the health of its people and natural resources. 

To draw up its budget the Government took a different approach to previous years.

Instead of focussing on their own areas, Ministers had to demonstrate how their bids would achieve the wellbeing priorities.