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Record suicide level symptomatic of NZ despair

Jim Anderton MP Sun Sep 12 1999

Jim Anderton
MPThe record New Zealand suicide rate released earlier this week by the Auckland School of Medicine is symptomatic of a despairing society' says Alliance Leader Jim Anderton.

'The great economic experiment of the new right has failed dismally leaving us with a broken economy, a massive overseas debt and the highest suicide rate since the Great Depression.'

Jim Anderton says that this week APEC Leaders will be hearing Mrs Shipley extol the virtues of a deregulated society dominated by the free market.

'What APEC needs to know is the downside of the great economic experiment - a nation in despair. We currently have 220,000 jobless people in this country and the highest youth suicide rates in the OECD.

'Since 1984, successive governments have pushed for individualism over collectivism and the notion of 'community' and 'public good' have been lost.

'The result is a generation of young people trying to fulfil individual ambition without the means to do it. There are far too few job prospects for young workers.'

Mr Anderton says the Alliance will address the despair young New Zealanders are feeling by creating meaningful work opportunities for them.

'I have had heart-rending letters from parents of teenagers who have taken their own lives. These parents are telling me that if their son or daughter had been able to get a decent job, they would still be alive today.

'The answer to such teenage despair rests with governments' Mr Anderton says, 'The Alliance's answer is to provide a $200 million nation-wide fund which will invest in new job opportunities and help develop existing businesses in every region of New Zealand.

'This Government is more interested in entering the global marketplace through APEC than addressing the domestic despair that free trade and globalisation has caused,' Mr Anderton says.

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