There is widespread and long?running discontent with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of progress for society. A number of alternative measures have been proposed, including the Genuine Progress Index (GPI). A GPI has been developed by local government in the Wellington region (New Zealand) to facilitate a rethinking of conventional notions of ‘progress''. The Wellington Region GPI (WRGPI) is a pluralistic index consisting of environmental, social, economic and cultural indicators with either physical or monetary values. This study explores a ‘good practice'' approach to public participation in the development of the GPI, and provides an overview of the context within which it fits. It considers the institutional barriers to the implementation of the WRGPI and provides recommendations of how deliberative and social learning techniques could be used to increase the likelihood that conventional notions of ''progress'' will be replaced with more holistic ones.