Just as both life and geology in Christchurch seemed to be stabilising from the September earthquake and 5,000 aftershocks, the vicious 22 February quake has hit with terrible human pain and physical destruction. It would be hard to show more starkly how inadequate standard economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are to measure our progress and welfare. It does not measure the loss of life or searing physical and emotional pain, nor the huge loss in quality of life and leisure as people struggle to obtain life necessities such as shelter, food, water, and power. Neither does it measure the enormous destruction of homes, commercial buildings, water pipes, roads, power lines, environment, historic buildings and much more. We are long overdue for adopting better measures of welfare and meaningful progress – and for economic policies (and theories) that take them into account.