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Government gets tick on Social Report Card

28 August 2008 Media Statement

Government gets tick on Social Report Card

Minister for Social Development and Employment Ruth Dyson says the findings of the 2008 Social Report show that New Zealand’s overall wellbeing is improving.

"For the first time since 1988 we’ve seen the gap between the rich and poor close. Working for Families has made a significant impact, providing invaluable assistance for families and creating a more level playing field," said Ruth Dyson.

The report, produced by the Ministry of Social Development, shows that social outcomes are advancing strongly since the mid-1990s. There have been significant improvements across a range of areas particularly health, knowledge and skills, paid work and economic standard of living.

Key findings of the Social Report are:

• NZ still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the OECD
• Income inequality has decreased between the top and lowest income earners
• NZ are first equal in the world as the least corrupt nation
• Adults are better educated with more people gaining a bachelor’s degree or higher
• Maori have made large strides in attaining tertiary education
• Life expectancy has increased
• We’re living healthier lives as people can expect to live independently for longer
• Teenagers are leaving school with higher qualifications
• There’s been an increase in our pay packets
• Our workplaces are safer
• We’re better connected to the internet with more homes logging on

"Overall this report shows that New Zealander’s social wellbeing has made great strides in the past few years. This report allows for robust debate and influences good policy making. I would call on other political parties to indicate whether they support such honest and open reporting," said Ms Dyson.

A full copy of the report is available on August 28 from


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