“Mind the Gap” documentary should be wake-up call
Media Release on Brian Bruce documentary “Mind the Gap”
From Closing the Gap—Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc
Tuesday 3rd September 2013
“The Brian Bruce documentary, “Mind the Gap”, shown last week on TV3 should be a wake-up call for all Kiwis,” said Peter Malcolm, national secretary of Closing the Gap —an organisation committed to reducing inequality in New Zealand.
“The documentary showed very clearly that income inequality has grown more in New Zealand over the last 30 years than any other developed country,” said Malcolm. “Fifty per cent of the wealth in our country is now owned by 10% of the population while the bottom 10% own none.”
He said the documentary clearly showed that the poorer people in New Zealand, despite welfare benefits, are really struggling and their children are hugely disadvantaged with many living in poverty.
“We should be appalled at this,” says Malcolm. “But we should note that this is no longer a matter only for those who are concerned about the poor”
Malcolm said that recent reports from British academic Richard Wilkinson, co-author of “The Spirit Level”, demonstrate that high levels of inequality in any society have serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of everyone in that society, not just the poor. Recent research has shown that economic performance is damaged by inequality.
“The health, well-being, dignity of all our people and their ability to play a positive role in our society should be of paramount importance and arguments about the economy should be about sharing fairly what we have,” says Malcolm. “We will all be better off as a result.”