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Divorced from reality: New Zealand ranks 1st in the world

Posted by te2ataria on June 27, 2016

Sent by Alice in Zeanderland

Which of the two headlines should you believe?

  1. New Zealand ranks 4th in prosperity fiction

  2. New Zealand ranks 4th in prosperity index

[Hint: one of them has no place in reality. Moderator]

“New Zealand ranks fourth in the world for prosperity, and number one outside of Europe, according to a London-based [stink] tank.

[Despite the abject poverty, our country was  outclassed only by Norway, Switzerland and Denmark.]

“The think tank looks at 89 variables to come up with the list. They include gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work, as well as more interesting figures like the number of secure internet servers a country has and how well rested people feel on a daily basis.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81474699/New-Zealand-ranks-4th-in-prosperity-index

[However, the “stink tank” ignored the 300,000 or so Kiwi kids who live in poverty, the homeless, the helpless…  A good journalist would investigate the link between the stink tank and the UN grants paid out by Helen Clark’s department.]

“Based on the available data of 142 countries, Legatum’s index [sounds like a viral infection of the Gastrointestinal tract] ranked the 16 top-performing nations”: New Zealand ranked 4th, beating Sweden to 5th place, Canada was 6th, Australia 7th, followed by the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, with The united States in 11th place, Germany at 14th and the United Kingdom settled for 15th place [Was that before Brexit?], followed by Austria, which was the last on the list.

Reality Check

Former journalist Caitlin McGee, who spent years living in the Middle East and reported from South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Indonesia, recently returned home to New Zealand, only to be dismayed with what she’s found…

To not be able to swim in our rivers because they are so dirty would’ve been unthinkable to me 10 years ago. In March, the Waikato River Authority said it could take up to 100 years for the Waikato and Waipa rivers to be restored to clean and healthy levels. I’ve seen first-hand waterways that run off the Waikato River blanketed in a creeping toxic algae, festering like a black drain, lifeless. Meanwhile, what remains of our pristine water is being sold by the likes of the Ashburton District Council, to be extracted, bottled up and sent overseas.

Above ground, New Zealand’s reported rate of intimate partner violence is the highest in the developed world. Our incarceration rate is also one of the highest in the developed world and more than half of the men behind bars are Māori. According to Corrections Minister Judith Collins, our prison population topped 9,000 for the first time last year: “Since 2014, the prison population has increased… leading to record highs throughout 2015 and early 2016.” In part, she said the booming prison population was due to locking up family violence offenders for longer.

According to Infometrics analysis the health system has been under-funded by $1.7 billion since 2010, leaving it unable to keep up with inflation and population growth. Meanwhile District Health Boards are being squeezed, exemplified by a recent report into the Waikato DHB’s Mental Health and Addiction services that argues for the need to “secure adequate resources and meet staffing gaps” immediately.

Then there’s housing and homelessness. New Zealand has one of the fastest growing rates of income inequality in the OECD and it’s on show in our biggest city. In Auckland, families with at least one working parent are living in vans and cars, with marae and charitable trusts stepping in to fill the breach left by social services. How galling it must be for those parents trying to find a warm place for their children to sleep to then see the Prime Minister’s son in all his privileged glory, posing with a Lambourghini and helicopter in his music video.  […]

I have lived a privileged life. As a woman, I have had basic rights to education, employment. I choose who I love and I grew up in a financially stable household. The majority of the world’s women do not have these luxuries. I know I am lucky. I may have not lived through injustice and hardship but I know what it looks like. And I am seeing more and more of it in the last place I expected: home.

New Zealand Prosperity Dividends 

Ram-raids force dairy owners to sleep on floor of east Auckland shop

“A family is sleeping on the floor of their Auckland dairy out of fear that ram-raiders will return to their shop.”

Raiders drove a car into the front of Glendowie Bay Superette, owned by a Chinese family,  in the early hours of June 8, police said.

“Since then Wenyi Cao, her husband John Sands and their 17-year-old son have been sleeping in their store because they are worried their emergency plywood door won’t keep thieves away.”

“It’s a situation all too familiar for Cao. In 2014, the family slept in the diary for two months while they waited to replace their roller door which a burglar had cut open with an electric bolt cutter.”  http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/81426407/ramraids-force-dairy-owners-to-sleep-on-floor-of-east-auckland-shop

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