Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Zealand, 'the most socially advanced country in the world'---acording to a Washington think-tank.

Before Kiwis get all flustered and bubbly with pride, they need to step back and take a big breath. The survey mentioned in the header looked a wide range of issues and on some NZ did not look quite so good, and just like any survey, the take can be variable and not always based on consistent raw figures. Different countries use varying methods to record the ‘data,’ ad that can cause quite different interpretations. GI and read the full report, by clicking on the article in the NZ Herald for Friday the 4th of April.
However, NZ can take some pride in the figures that paint us in such glowing terms and at the same time, keep the pressure on whoever is governing us to fight for further gains, especially re social policy and in the ‘green area’ of the report. NZ makes much of its 100% pure campaign and we have all seen where that has led over a few recent issues, re milk and the water quality of our rivers and lakes. Still, if one looks at the bigger world picture, we do shine.
We should take little pride in some of the terrible figures for the health of some sectors of our population. Rake the high number of Maori and Pacifica children who suffer from Rheumatic Fever, a disease more apparent in Third World countries. That the Government and health authorities are tackling it head –on now, with a massive programme is fine, but the damage for several generations is with us for a long time. The disease is directly the result of poverty and the gap between rich and poor in our nation.
One could find other aspects to this report that take the gloss off the original claims, but overall, it means that we are ahead of the bunch in many respects and for that, I am very glad I live in my wonderful country. Let’s build on what we have achieved, making sure we don’t whittle away our position and keep improving that which needs addressing. A country can never sit on its laurels, real, or imagined. Politics will focus on this report and the general election in September will become a relevant hunting ground to keep the issues in the report well and truly in the public’s eye. That is how it should be.