Posts Tagged ‘income gap’

by Daphna Whitmore

povertyA big new research project has been launched by the government. Called “A Better Start – E Tipu e Rea“, it is to run for ten years, with $34 million funding to “improve the potential of young New Zealanders to have a healthy and successful life”.

It will focus “on those tamariki most at risk of obesity, learning and mental health problems – those for whom we can make the most difference. These are Māori, Pacific and poorer children, who carry an unfair burden … Māori and Pacific communities are helping to design, execute and interpret our research in a way that is culturally right for them.”

While giving a nod to poverty being a factor, will the researchers get to the heart of the economic system?

Will they tackle the fundamental causes of inequality and consider who creates wealth and who gets it under capitalism? Will they establish why the majority of people earn only modest incomes and why there is a chronic shortage of jobs? In other words, will the research expose the capitalist disparity-creating system? (more…)


by Daphna Whitmore

On the eve of Waitangi Day thousands of people marched in protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Many Maori took part believing the TPPA will undermine indigenous rights. That protest was expected to spill over into Waitangi Day events, but with John Key staying away from Waitangi the annual February 6 protests have been muted. That left Steven Joyce to take one for the team and cop a flying sex toy.


Despite Maori economic assests worth over $40billion, Treaty settlements have not ended Maori deprivation and poverty. (more…)

by Don Franks

“What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand, a tough capital gains tax to drive local speculators and investors out of the housing market and a massive state house building programme to meet the housing quality and affordability crisis where it’s having its most devastating impact – on low income New Zealand tenants and families”.

propertyThe author of the above is long-serving left activist John Minto, writing in The Daily Blog on July 13th “National playing the reverse card on housing”.

I think John is wrong here and his main proposition, actioned, can cause workers nothing but trouble.

I don’t have a problem with John’s second and third points – although, frankly, this side of a socialist revolution they’re just rhetoric.

“Driving local speculators and investors out of the housing market” has a nice Jesus cleansing the temple ring, but so long as private property is lawful, capitalists will be capitalists.

A massive state house building programme for low-income families sounds worthy and decent, but which builder will sign up for it while better returns are to be made housing the super rich? (more…)

indexby Daphna Whitmore

The election campaign was more colourful and circus-like than any I can recall. The result in the end was a lot more bland. National were miles ahead in every poll so it was no surprise they romped home on the night. They won the party vote in 59 out of 64 general electorates.

Although they could govern alone they won’t, and the government will be made up of the same parties as before.


On the leftish-blogosphere readers are being told to prepare for a grim three years where National will go full throttle neo-liberal. The same people have made the same predictions ever since National got in six years ago. They are still wrong. Key has signaled he has no surprises and that National are not about to lurch further to the right. Not only is Key not a neo-liberal, there is barely any support for that doctrine in NZ today.


The Act Party has been on life-support for years, and this election they managed to outdo themselves by halving the tiny vote they got in 2011. Act’s best contribution to the political landscape is the proof they provide that money doesn’t win elections. The Internet Party likewise. (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

The income gap widening is hardly news, but it keeps making the headlines.

An OECD report published December 2011 shows that inequality grew more in New Zealand than most other developed countries in the past two decades.

In that time, through Labour and National governments alike, the gap has become a chasm. (more…)