Hate to admit it: Labour and Greens are right about New Zealand’s inequality


There you are.

OECD data.

Hard facts.  Can’t escape them.  

Rising inequality holds back economic growth — according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The organization, which is primarily composed of high-income countries, analyzed economic growth from 1990 to 2010 and found that almost all 21 examined countries missed out on economic growth due to rising inequalities.

This is the same data that has been pushed by the Greens and Labour to prove that John Key isn’t doing a good job.

What they haven’t told you is that the data came from 1990 through to 2010, which are largely the Helen Clark years.



Another bit of hard proof that Labour destroyed the New Zealand economy, and it did so by squandering huge surpluses for absolutely no gain.  In fact, all the excesses were handed back to poor people, and still we had the most excessively socially unequal country in the OECD.

You might want to bookmark this article, so you can flick it at anyone who claims that the Key government are nasty people who have made New Zealand inequality worse.  (Hint:  National arrested the downward slide)

Turns out that Helen Clark’s Labour government did the damage.  But then that’s no news to those of us that are close observers of these things instead of believing the latest Tweet from Russel Norman.


– Washington Post


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  • Captain Darling

    “What they haven’t told you is that the data came from 1990 through to 2010” That minor fact wont stop Wussel from blaming this all on John Key.

    • Cadwallader

      It won’t prevent the msm banging the same drum either.

    • shykiwibloke

      He’ll have his paper bag on so cant hear you.

    • Rick H

      Yep, John Key was still alive during that period, so definitely his fault.

    • Honcho

      It was while he was working at Merrill Lynch stealing from the poor and giving to his rich mates. [/conspiracy]

    • Wheninrome

      Mr Norman’s loyal supporter will believe what he says, but no matter, the well read amongst us look further than a headline or a tweet.
      These are the people who generally determine outcomes of elections, they are the true swinging voter, the person who considers a political party on the merits of their agenda every election. So far they have been happy with the status quo, who knows in 3 years, but Mr Norman’s loyal supporter is not going to change from being Norman’s loyal supporter and therefore is not really relevant. They are not “open” to other points of view.

  • Whafe

    The squandering that went with the last Clark regime was unprecedented, the mere fact the MSM conveniently forgets this is unbelievable. All about crab sound bites really.

    I can’t be fooled, the left buried us all, imagine where things would be at should they not have squandered money like the left did

    • Win

      And almost matched by the manifest wastage from Auckland Council and ATEED.

      • Albert Lane

        And what do over 1,000 Auckland city council employees have to do to earn their $100,000 p.a. salaries? I’d love to see a breakdown of the wage rates in each department.

        • Win

          Quite. And how about those earning $500K plus. What revenue (not talking rates here) do they generate to earn their salary? And how many PR flunkies are employed by AC?

  • Just wait until Smalley gets on to this …..

  • The Accountant

    Look at the top three, on the right. Who the hell would want their economies?

    • Rick H

      and Greece is not even on there – they probbaly did better than any other country, using this graph.

  • Rodger T

    Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.

    Vin Scully

    Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

    Evan Esar

    There are two ways of lying. One, not telling the truth and the other, making up statistics.

    Josefina Vazquez Mota

    Oh dear ,I could copy and paste statistic quotes all evening….

    • Eiselmann

      82.79 percent of Statistics are made up.

  • Michael_l_c

    Interesting that the best 3 became european financial cot cases. But then so are Turkey, Italy, UK. If economies have created ‘equality’ then collapse what does that do for equality & the ‘poor’? My guess is not a lot.

    Lies, damn lies & statistics.

  • HunuaRanger


    and from 2007 to 2011 NZ appears to be just about even, compared to other countries, so National are doing a commendable job.

    • Albert Lane

      So how come NZ is the second best place on earth to live in?

  • andrew carrot

    So Spain’s economic growth is the least impacted by “inequality”! I didn’t know 50% youth unemployment held so many opportunities!

    • Michael

      If everyone is poor, the you have equality!

  • Wallace Westland

    Helen’s bribes and unbridled lust for power have kept NZ at the lower end of the economic recovery scale and of course dismantled al the gains hard working kiwis thought they were striving for.

    Key’s lack of political will and courage in not winding back WFF in scaled increments until it was phased out over the 6 years he has already had and the 3 he is now riding along with adding at least a minimal interest rate added to student loans along with tightening up the criteria, courses and learning institutes that a student loan can be applied too is now also holding NZ back.

    And only he can take the credit for that!

    There should be no place for middle class welfare in this country. It is appalling that there are business owners and contractors than can conceal their earnings by using a trust fund and then qualify for WFF!

    • Cadwallader

      Good points. If any “industry” needs a clean out it is the so-called education one. There seems to be an abundance of odd little course providers offering weird illogical courses in the provincial cities. The new “universities” which have evolved from trades schools/ poly-techs have proliferated through offering “degree” courses in subjects which at best deserve diplomas. The real beneficiaries from the current situation seem to be the staff-members rather than their students (oops now meant to call them “learners.”

      • Wallace Westland


    • Kiwibabe

      I do not totally agree regarding WFF. It targets those who are working, so encouraging work and family units. Life at the bottom and middle is tough, although encouraging unaffordable breeding is bad. No easy fixes other than education, education, education.

      • Coffee Connoisseur

        I’m curious, how much do you think one needs to earn before breeding becomes affordable?

      • Wallace Westland

        WORK WORK WORK. I earned high incomes.
        I work in dangerous physically challenging industries and always have. I originally earned high wages due to the long hours not because the work paid incredibly high wages because it doesn’t. Higher than working in a shop but not greatly so.

        Therefore why should I feel good about my wages and those of people like me being taxed harder to pay people that work 40 hours a week in shop a top up while by the time I hit 40 the injuries were already beginning to take their toll?
        Almost anyone could do what I did. They just won’t. No sympathy from me about how tough it is.

        • Kiwibabe

          Agree, work assumed, long hours etc.

        • Albert Lane

          I even worked on Christmas Day. I should have been at home with the family, but my work ethic demanded that work came before anything else. And I was never the recipient of an unemployment or sickness benefit.

          • Wallace Westland

            Ooooooooookay…but the discussion is about WFF. I disagree with it, aren’t entitled to a tax credit(divorced, my ex get nothing either as her joint income with her partner and my child support payments put her over the threshold too) and it annoys me that people that haven’t made the sacrifices I have feel that because I make a decent living I must be rich and therefore I should subsidise their life choices when they have kids etc. (I’m not rich but according to Inland Revenue I am)

            I’ve worked plenty of Xmas days over the years.
            I’ve been unemployed. More than once. What I haven’t had is a benefit of any kind.
            So that said where exactly do you stand on people that don’t work as hard as we do putting their hands out for an undeserved handout?
            Because in my opinion if you don’t like the money you earn get a job that pays you the money you want!

  • Jp

    Another way at looking at those gaps the closer to Zero means the gap is closer, therefore everyone is poorer.

    • Albert Lane

      Yes, I love it when they tell us that the bottom 15% of the population measured by income, is still poorer than the upper 85%. That will always be the case.

  • Murray Smith

    Givers should set limits,
    As takers seldom do.

  • Michael

    Flip this stat and find the truth – we miss out on growth because too many people that are “victims” of this inequality do not contribute to the economy but are a fiscal drag. The path to wealth for all is meaningful skills and employment, not handouts and more welfarism.

  • Warren Murray


    1990-99 – Bolger & Shipley; National and National led coalition
    1999-2008 – Clark and Labour led coalition
    2008-2010 – Key and National led coalition.

    • Warren Murray

      “What they haven’t told you is that the data came from 1990 through to 2010, which are largely the Helen Clark years”,


      • Kiwibabe

        Warren, I believe, and hope, that the present National government especially Key, who after all kept working for families, is a different and better animal than the 1990’s party (ignoring arguments as to validity or necessity of Rogernomics and Richardson policies).

  • JRyan

    I remember when Clarke was elected, the timing could not have been better as the world economy improved and this floated the Labour government through their years in power. The town idiot could have run the country and it would have prospered.

    • Logo

      She did!

      • zotaccore

        The town idiot was Cullen, who of course was rewarded with a knighthood… which I don’t recognize. With his smarmy parliamentary commentary and smugness and trotted all the way off to the bank with his parliamentary earnings he feels ok that he self-squandered.

      • Albert Lane

        But did it prosper?

  • Nz front

    The only thing I appreciate about labour is that they started KiwiSaver. And I’m going to buy some land.

  • JC

    “You might want to bookmark this article, so you can flick it at anyone
    who claims that the Key government are nasty people who have made New
    Zealand inequality worse. (Hint: National arrested the downward slide)”

    You might also want to bookmark this page from Eric Crampton which shows how dumb the study was.. like how education is a negative for equality and that you get better growth from higher inequality (before tax and transfers) and other contradictory stuff.



  • Coffee Connoisseur

    I really wish people would start to grasp the simple concept that us vs them should not be about left vs right but about Govt vs the people.