NZ, Oz, meet UN definition of awesome
I think it’s tremendous that New Zealand ranks as the third best country in the world, according to some report or other. (The headline on Stuff, “NZ tops places to live”, is a tad misleading since, in most people’s estimation, coming third is two spots shy of winning.)
Good on Australia, too, which is second after Norway. (I am certain Scandinavia did a bulk-bribery deal with global ranking bodies some time in the 1970s: aren’t they always at the top of these lists?)
Without wanting to be a naysayer or a carping ex-pat (god forbid), I just want to float a tentative word of caution amidst the celebrations.
This is not a ranking of the best countries in the world full stop.
This is a ranking of the best countries in the world, according to the UN.
This is like being the hottest gay nightclub in town, according to the Mormon Church.
Or the greatest motion picture of the decade, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
According to the UN mindset, a country ranks highly if it is stable, well off and its people live long and relatively healthy lives.
What they are actually ranking is safety. Safe is good, but it’s not a synonym for awesome.