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2015 OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand 2015

image of OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand 2015

This 2015 OECD Economic Survey of New Zealand examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover sustaining the economic expansion and making growth more inclusive.

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Making New Zealand's economic growth more inclusive

New Zealand generally performs well in terms of economic and social inclusion. It has high employment rates, and education and health-care systems work well for most. However, some New Zealanders are stuck on low incomes and face material deprivation and multiple barriers to economic and social participation. The ranks of those falling behind increased in the wake of the economic reforms in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which succeeded in halting the decline in GDP per capita relative to the OECD average but contributed to large increases in income inequality and poverty that have only been partially reversed since then. These developments have been aggravated by the rising burden of housing costs on low-income households. Māori, Pasifika and low-income households have also experienced slower rates of improvement in many health and education results. NZ governments have made improving outcomes for disadvantaged groups a top priority in recent years. Reforms are being made to facilitate the transition of welfare beneficiaries into work, increase the supply of affordable and social housing and enhance health and education outcomes for disadvantaged groups. These reforms go in the right direction and, in many cases, would be more effective still if complemented by other reforms.

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