KiwiRail's famous open viewing carriage on their tourist trains
New Zealand has once again been deemed in the highest 3 as the richest, happiest, healthiest and most prosperous with the naming of the world's 25 top such countries. This time they have pipped Norway and come out as No 1.
London's Legatum Institute has announced its 10th annual global Prosperity index, which indicates the richest countries in the world. While forming the list, the Institute has compared more than 104 variables which include gross domestic product per-capita and full-time employees.
Besides these variables, the survey also includes some curious numbers such as well-being of people and how well-rested they feel themselves. According to the information there are variables which are divided into 9 sub-categories.
These are economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and natural environment.
149 countries have been included in the index based on the most available data they have and Norway has been on the top the past 7 years. However some changes have taken place and here are the results.
Delma Tronson in Napier
It ranked top in the social capital and economic quality indexes, and took 2nd place for governance and business environment. Overall New Zealand came out on top.
This is in line with migration statistics between New Zealand and Australia, where there are now more Australians moving to New Zealand than in the other direction, and moreover the land of the long white cloud has all the hallmarks Australia seems to have lost in recent decades.
There is what is referred to as a softer atmosphere in New Zealand whereas Australia has a harsher, heavier and more aggressive feel about it. We have friends who have relocated to New Zealand and we've travelled to New Zealand many times for ministry and holidays.
Many Australian people long for that ill-defined society they grew up with thirty to forty years ago. They felt safe walking down the street, neighourhoods were friendly and social-able, government policy associated with social welfare was seen as a help rather than having to show evidence for payments 20 years previously and numerous other considerations.
Greymouth the west coast on South Island
Part of this feel-good is expressed through New Zealand's tourism whereby the nation's energy and finances are geared toward showing visitors the very best of the nation with its magnificent scenery and Kiwi life.
This is demonstrated in numerous ways, one of which is light and helpful conversations, the smart nation with available IT and wifi, lovely accommodations, many new experiences and fascinating firsts!
The railway experiences are tourist delights, the coach trips highlight the very best of what is on offer and every convenience is offered. Little wonder visitors love their stays in New Zealand and want to return.
Australians have experienced all this and more. My wife of 40 years before we were married, went on a CYTA Christian youth tour of New Zealand which in the early 70's was already geared for tourists. This illustrates their vast experience in providing holiday makers such joys.
KiwiRail's Picton to Christchurch line 2007
New Zealand young writers
Since 2012 the young writer program has included numbers of Kiwi young people. In that first year there were eight, by 2014 there were 18 which has remained steady.
In 2013 the New Zealand young writers were included in the annual Basil Sellers Awards. The panellists who mark the young writer articles for these awards, on the whole have expressed views as to the Kiwi young people's professionalism and clarity in theology.
2013 NZ Basil Sellers Awards
1st – Daniel Jang (Wellington)
2nd - Casey Murray (Auckland), Sophia Sinclair (Christchurch)
Theology – Sam Burrows (Auckland)
2014 NZ Basil Sellers Awards
1st - Casey Murray (Auckland)
2nd - Sophia Sinclair (Christchurch)
Theology – Jeremy Suisted (Cambridge)
Christchurch Cathedral in 2007 before the 2012 Eathquake earthquake which destroyed it
2015 NZ Basil Sellers Awards
1st – Sophia Sinclair (Christchurch), Jeremy Suisted (Cambridge)
2nd – Tim Newman (Christchurch), Brad Mills (Auckland)
Theology - Andrew Sinclair (Christchurch)
2016 NZ Basil Sellers Awards
1st - Matt Browning (Rotorua), Kara Greening (Taranaki)
2nd - Tim Newman (Christchurch)
Theology - Tim Shallard (Auckland)
These Kiwi young people have added much to the young ministry ministry and on Monday 13 February Christian Today New Zealand was initiated.
Matt Browning and Kara Greening 2016 NZ Basil Sellers joint winners
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html