A leading statistician says an over-reliance on traditional economic statistics could be undermining good public policy.
Len Cook, a former Government Statistician in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, says traditional figures can paint a misleading picture of the economy.
He cites as an example the repair of leaky homes, which statisticians are likely to count as a boost to the country's output, or Gross Domestic Product.
Mr Cook says that creates a tension between policies that look good for the economy and those that are best for all New Zealanders.
However, a former Treasury deputy head Peter Bushnell, says departing from mainstream indicators could be too costly.