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Where Did Closing The Gaps Go?

Twelve months ago the Labour coalition said that it wished to be judged on whether it managed to close the gaps between Maori and Pacific Islanders and the rest of New Zealand, said Hon Richard Prebble.

In the Helen Clark authored Speech from the Throne it was stated “As long as the economic and social gaps between Maori and other New Zealanders remain large, the government of New Zealand cannot claim to have addressed the needs of all New Zealanders. My government is committed to closing the gaps.”

This week Prime Minster Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton released a 24 page booklet highlighting the coalition’s achievements after a year in office, absolutely no mention was made of ‘closing the gaps’.

“Today, like Soviet historians, the government are trying to erase even the term ‘closing the gaps’ from history records.

“This government will be judged on its closing the gaps strategy, a strategy based on the premise that only if those with more are made poorer will the strategy work. Instead of focussing on making the pie bigger for everyone the coalition has been hell bent on reducing everybody’s portion.

“A government that was accountable would admit that the average household is $70 per week worse off and that the gaps between New Zealand and the rest of the developed world are widening by the day. It is the worst record of any government in the history of New Zealand.

“Instead of concentrating on media spin and rewriting record books the Labour coalition should do a U-turn on its business unfriendly policies and give everybody the opportunity to increase their slice of the pie, said Hon Richard Prebble.


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