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Fairness – How well are resources distributed?

Access to early childhood education, by ethnicity

The result is in line with the target trend (towards sustainable development).  Since 2000, the gap in participation rates in early childhood education for different ethnic groups has narrowed.

As education contributes to individual economic and social well-being, equal access to education is an important indicator of equity. As early childhood education is not compulsory in New Zealand, different rates of participation among ethnic groups can indicate differing access to education. 

Early childhood education participation of year 1 students, by ethnic group, 2000–07.

  • Early childhood education participation rates increased for all ethnic groups between 2000 and 2007. 
  • Participation rates for New Zealand European children are the highest. From 2000 to 2004, rates for both Mäori and Pacific ethnic groups increased faster than the rate for New Zealand European students, lessening the difference between the groups.

Income inequality

The result is opposite to the target trend (away from sustainable development).  Between 1988 and 2007, income inequality between households with high incomes and those with low incomes widened.

The degree of income inequality is often regarded as an indicator of the fairness of the society we live in. Households with low incomes have fewer options for meeting economic needs than those with relatively high incomes. This indicator measures income inequality by comparing the ratio of high-income households to low-income households. The higher the ratio, the greater the level of inequality. 

Income inequality, by selected years.

Between 1988 and 2007, the income inequality ratio increased from 2.24 to 2.57.

Population with low incomes

The result is opposite to the target trend (away from sustainable development).  The proportion of the population recognised as having low incomes has risen since the late 1980s.

The proportion of the population with low disposable income provides an indicator of the fairness of a society. Households with low incomes have fewer options for meeting economic needs than households with relatively high incomes. 

Proportion of population with low household incomes, by selected years.

  • The proportion of the population with low disposable incomes rose slightly, from 9 percent in 1988 to 13 percent in 2007. 
  • There was some variability during that time. The proportion peaked at 23 percent in 1994 and has decreased since then.
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