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Dunne calls for priorities re-think

Monday, 26 July 2004

Dunne calls for priorities re-think

United Future leader Peter Dunne says a new report released today, which says the median household wealth in Australia is more than three times that of a similar household in New Zealand, highlights the real issue Kiwis ought to be worried about.

“If we are falling that far behind Australia, what are government and business doing to close the wealth gap, to ensure New Zealand remains an attractive place in which to live and raise a family?

“Instead of fretting about the Prime Minister speeding to a rugby match, or Israeli spies doing an Inspector Clouseau as they steal New Zealand passports, or whether Carlos Spencer kicks too little or too much, we ought to be focusing on the things that matter and have an influence on the wellbeing of our families,” he said.

“Today’s New Zealand Institute report, which shows 16% of the population is living in debt and our living standards are well below those of our trans-Tasman neighbours, should throw a bucket of ice-cold reality in all our faces.

“New Zealanders expect as of right First World health, social and education services, while blithely accepting wealth levels that will soon fund only Third World opportunities.

“It’s a formula that does not work. New Zealanders, voters as well as politicians, must get much more hard-headed and clear about their priorities if we are to build up a society that can sustainably pay its own way and provide the high standard of living we all hope for.

“It’s time we stopped our obsession with this mindless trivia, and got on with the job of making New Zealand the best place in the world in which to live and raise a family,” said Mr Dunne.


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