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Poverty Writ Large at Aotea Square

PRESS RELEASE

Poverty Writ Large at Aotea Square

Metiria Turei, Green Party mayoral candidate will be performing a Poverty Writ Large street theatre at Aotea Square, Friday 21 September 2001, at 12 noon.

The street threatre, using colourful props and a troupe of 11, graphically illustrates how wealth is distributed among New Zealand’s working population. “Ten percent of the population take 40% of NZ’s total income. Fifty percent of the population have only 10% of NZ’s total income.

“Statistics mean little to people when merely stated. When set out physically, using people and props, it is very clear how poorly income is spread around our people. Typically, Maori, women and youth make up the bulk of those at the bottom and we are able to show that graphically and with great flair.” said Metiria Turei.

“For example, the top income earner in New Zealand took home $2.9 million dollars. That $55,769 per week. The average annual wage for Maori in 1996 was $12,200 and for Pakeha $16,200.”

Mrs Turei will show how international free trade agreements impact on income and income distribution. “The impact of international free trade agreements on the local council will directly affect income distribution where jobs are lost and wages fall in order to compete with overseas markets.. We need to understand the links between all these concerns so that we can tackle poverty issues from all angles and at all levels.”

Mrs Turei believes that the Council has a role to play in assisting communities to develop local economic initiatives that provide local people with local jobs. “The Auckland mayoral campaign has been lacking in debate about issues that affect ordinary people, issues such as jobs, housing, water and poverty. My campaign is primarily concerned with those issues. The Council can be proactive in growing and supporting communities." she said.

Mrs Turei is promoting Community Economic Development for Auckland City, including a Council “Buy Local” policy, community economic initiatives and a partnership relationship between the Council and the community as opposed to a consultation model. The partnership model will ensure that the Council is held accountable to the whole of the community, including those marginalised communities, such as Maori, ethnic minorities and young people. END

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