New Zealand can easily claim to be a high growth country and there are a number of areas where are leading the world. For much of this growth we can thank the National led Government because it has largely occurred under their watch:
- We have growing unemployment, it has more than doubled since January 2008.
- The level of Government borrowing has more than tripled.
- Our levels of child poverty have grown alarmingly. In 2006 1/6 of our children lived in poverty (In households earning less than 60% of the median household income) and it is now said to be 1/4 and 50% of all children experience poverty at some time in their childhood.
- We have a huge growth in spending on consultants, over ten times over the past ten years.
2010-11 $4,674, 000
2012-13 $21,927,000 (budget)
- The demand for housing has grown substantially (see page 22 of linked report) and around 400,000 will be needed over the next 20 years. There is great demand for good low cost housing.
- The growth of intensive farming in NZ has seen a parallel growth in water pollution and now 90% of our lowland rivers are regarded as unsafe for swimming. More of our lakes and estuaries are close to flipping from an overload of nutrients and sediments.
- There has been an alarming growth in the salaries for CEOs, many have increased between 25 and 45%.
- The incomes of our wealthiest New Zealanders have grown over 20%, helped in part by the tax cuts they were given that are costing us around $2 billion a year in lost revenue.
- The numbers of people migrating and leaving for Australia is increasing to the highest levels ever, an average of 1000 a week and a record 54,000 over the past year.
- We have one of the biggest increases in income inequity in the OECD and much of it has has occurred over the last four years.
- The value of the New Zealand dollar compared to the US dollar has grown strongly over the last three years.
With so much growth in so many areas one would think the Government would be celebrating, but there seems to be more enthusiasm to keep things quiet.