While the entrails of the Government's well-being framework remain a mystery to most, the idea of measuring and protecting our environmental assets, as we do our economic assets, makes sense.

This is especially so in New Zealand where the economy is almost totally reliant on healthy, productive biological systems, driving 80 per cent of our earnings and supporting thousands of jobs and families.

This is what Treasury boffins mean when they talk about the "pillar of natural capital". We better get used to the language because the incorporation of natural capital in their budgets will get increasingly coherent for