Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Rich, poor gap shrinks, Maori & Pacific make gains

Gap between rich and poor shrinks, Maori and Pacific make gains

28 August 2008

For the first time in 20 years the gap between the rich and poor is closing.

Figures released today in the Ministry of Social Development's 2008 Social Report revealed income inequality between the top 20 percent of earners and the lowest 20 percent has dropped - the first decrease since 1988.

The report also found there are fewer people living on low incomes with 13 percent of the population living in households with low incomes compared with 22 percent in 1997.

From 2004 to 2007 incomes for households in the low to middle income range grew more strongly than incomes for the top 40 percent of households.

Another key feature of the report shows that over the longer term, Maori and Pacific peoples have made significant advances in three areas; unemployment rates have reduced substantially, far more Maori and Pacific peoples are gaining access to early childhood and tertiary education and Maori life expectancy has also improved considerably. However, in most areas reported on, significant gaps remain.

A reduction in income inequality and the gains made by Maori and Pacific peoples are part of a wider snapshot provided by the report into the country's wellbeing and quality of life over time. The report supplies information to both inform debate and allow central and regional government to identify issues and areas for further research.

Over the longer term, the report shows social outcomes are improving strongly.
Since the mid-1990s there have been improvements across a range of areas particularly health, knowledge and skills, paid work and economic standard of living.

Don Gray, Ministry of Social Development Deputy Chief Executive, attributes the reduction in income inequality to the record-low unemployment rates and robust economic conditions the country has experienced. The impact of Working for Families and the focus on getting more people into jobs has also provided extra cash to lower-income families.

''This report shows that New Zealander's wellbeing has improved markedly across numerous fields,'' Mr Gray said.

''Overall as a nation we are healthier, incomes have increased, our teenagers are leaving school better qualified, income inequality has dropped and we're living longer. Compared internationally, we're also doing well as New Zealand exceeds or equals the OECD median for two-thirds of the 22 areas where there is internationally comparable data.''

Despite the large gains made in the majority of the report, it also finds improvements can be made in housing affordability, assault mortality, road traffic injuries, obesity and potentially hazardous drinking.

''The report highlights areas that need more attention, but in raising these issues it also provides an opportunity to improve them, Mr Gray said.

''Tackling these areas will help raise our overall wellbeing even higher.''

ENDS

Copies of the report are available from http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Next Governor-General

The next Governor-General will have to be named quite soon. Dame Patsy Reddy (appointed 2016) is nearing the end of her five-year term. At the best of times, being a credible local stand-in for a head of state that’s based in London cannot be an easy job. Yet for the next appointee, the usual republican rumblings will be the least of it. The next G-G will almost certainly be in office when the Elizabeth II era finally comes to an end, and when the reign of her deeply uncharismatic son gets under way... More>>


 
 

Office Of The Speaker: 2021 Register Of Pecuniary And Other Specified Interests Presented

The 2021 Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament was presented to the House today. It contains a summary of members’ pecuniary and other specified interests as at 31 January 2021. The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon ... More>>

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels