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Social report shows poor showing on big issues

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 21 July 2005

Turner: Social report shows poor showing on big issues

There are significant reasons for disquiet about developments in New Zealand with recurring poor indicators in key areas, United Future deputy leader Judy Turner said today in the wake of the Ministry of Social Development's Social Report 2005.

"When we look beyond the positive spin, and acknowledge some gains, we see that there are a number of key areas where we are not progressing," Mrs Turner said.

"We continue to rate very poorly in the OECD for child abuse, and that should be a cause of serious concern for us as a nation looking at ourselves.

"The ongoing gap between rich and poor does us no credit and the improvement in the last year can only be described as completely marginal.

"The number of low income families has increased slightly on the OECD measure, while adult literacy rates, particularly for quantitative literacy, is well below the OECD median

"And then there are our youth suicide figures, which remain very high by international standards, as do our obesity stats."

Mrs Turner said the message is simple: "This country has a lot of work to do yet in some crucial areas, and the Government needs to sharpen its focus in those areas."


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