Letter to Parliamentary Leaders & their Responses

Recently we thought it appropriate to find out the views of the various Parliamentary Parties on our project and “The Spirit Level”. The letter follows and after that the responses.

Dear Parliamentary Party Leader,

2011 Election
Compelling new evidence presented by The Spirit Level (Wilkinson & Pickett) shows that more equal societies – those with a narrower gap between poor and rich – are more cohesive, healthier, suffer fewer social problems and are more environmentally sustainable. In view of these findings, will you please advise whether or not you will encourage members of your party, who are elected to the next New Zealand Parliament, to make New Zealand a more equal society as the most effective means of building a better society; whether you will urge them to actively support the case for policies designed to narrow the gap between poor and rich; and whether you will persuade them to actively participate in the the debate on which measures should be implemented to achieve that aim of a more equal society.


Nick Jennings
for: Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc.


From the National Party:  no response as yet

From the Labour Party:  no response as yet

From the Green Party:

Dear Nick,
Many thanks for your email to Russel. Our MPs are very familiar with the book and it is a very important piece of research which informs Green Party policy. Russel read it when it was released in New Zealand, as did other Green MPs. Inequality has been one of the major foci of the Green Party, and will continue to be, given the enormous importance of this problem we face as a country.

Addressing child poverty is one of our three policy priorities this year and the work is being led by co-leader Metiria Turei – please seehttp://www.greens.org.nz/endchildpoverty for more on this.

If you are interested in our earlier work on inequality, please see http://www.greens.org.nz/mindthegap.

Kind regards, and many thanks for your work on this crucially important issue.


Anne Heins | Executive Assistant | Office of Dr Russel Norman MP   Co-leader, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

From the Maori Party

From: “Tariana Turia (MIN)” <[email protected]govt.nz>
> Date: 13 November 2011 2:16:46 PM NZDT
> To: “‘[email protected]nz‘” <[email protected]>
> Subject: Re: 2011 Election.
> I totally agree that this must be the future focus
From the ACT Party: no response as yet
From the United Future Party: no response as yet
From New Zealand First Party: no response as yet