The Ministry of Social Development’s key annual report, ‘Household incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2018’, by Bryan Perry, makes for depressing if not surprising reading.
Economic inequality remains at the very high level the country was left with in the late 1990s following 15 years of market-based reforms. Very modest progress under subsequent Labour-led government appears to have been undone by National-led governments.
Poverty rates for the general population and children remain high. Relative poverty rates virtually all increased 2008-17. In contrast, material deprivation decreased. Nonetheless, the overall story is the continuing absence of substantial action against economic inequality and poverty, both of which damage individuals and the social fabric alike.
Read Max Rashbrooke’s report here: