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Celebrate NZ but Kiwi kids and women still missing out

David Cunliffe
Labour Leader

4 April 2014

Celebrate NZ but Kiwi kids and women still missing out

New Zealanders should celebrate living in the most socially advanced country in the world but with the same study showing a massive increase in violence against children, there is so still much to do, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“The Social Progress Index shows there has been a 68 per cent rise in recorded violence against children from 2008 to 2013. It also shows 20 per cent of Kiwi kids are living in vulnerable circumstances and New Zealand is ranked a miserable 31st for child mortality.

“New Zealand is also flagged over-representation of Maori in our prison population and while gaps in academic achievement between Maori and non-Maori are narrowing, they remain ‘stubbornly wide’.

“Violence against women, pay inequality and limited gender diversity at the top are noted as persistent challenges.

“The Social Progress Index states GDP per capita is not the most important way to measure a nation’s wellbeing. It proves National’s narrow focus on economic outcomes will not improve the lives of all New Zealanders.

“New Zealand is weakest on economic measures where National wrongly claims credit, and strongest on social measures led by Labour policies.

“Many of the laws which made New Zealand a tolerant, caring and inclusive society were passed by Labour governments: from the welfare state to Working for Families and free healthcare for under six-year-olds.

“However, our challenge is to make New Zealand a greater place to live.

“Under this Government, inequality is increasing and one in four of our children live in poverty.

“It is not good enough for just some New Zealanders to have access to the good life. We want all Kiwis to have it.

“Labour stands for fairness and opportunity for all. Only a Labour-led government will improve the lives of all New Zealanders, not just the privileged few,” David Cunliffe says.

ENDS

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