New Zealand Report Card 2020: do well but may try harder

New Zealand Report Card 2020: do well but may try harder

A year ago, who could have even imagined that 2020 would be as it did? A pandemic, closed borders, lockdown, economic crisis, a delayed election … but here we are at the end of a year like no other.

So if New Zealand were to receive a report card for its COVID-19 performance, measured against members of the global community, what would it look like?

On the pandemic

We take gold when we are The best in the world when he confronts the COVID-19 pandemic according to the publication Foreign Policy.

Global business leaders agree, reports The guard and Other, citing a Bloomberg Media survey that looked at a number of factors including political stability, economic recovery, virus control and social resilience.

A place to do business

The World Bank says we are them best place in the world to do business.

Transparency International says we’re back to it top of the class (joint first with Denmark) when it comes to being corruption-free.

The Economist says that our internet (in terms of affordability and accessibility) is also ranked 2nd best, behind Sweden.

But not competitive

Conversely, the latest global competitiveness report has made us a place 19th place.

Similarly, the Global Innovation Index, New Zealand, which ranks among the top 25, registered 26th position.

A quiet place

For peace, in terms of social security and security, the scale of the ongoing domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarization, Vision of Humanity says that we are ranked 2nd best, behind Iceland.

The index of economic freedom (which covers everything from property rights to economic freedom) has us as third best.

A democratic place

The Democracy Index, which looks at considerations such as free and fair elections and the influence of foreign powers, has us on 4th best in the world. Norway, Iceland and Sweden are doing better.

Excellence is also deserved for our democracy in the Freedom in the World Index with one points 97 out of 100, but we lost a point due to the terrorist attack in Christchurch.

Global Gender Gap Report notes an improvement of a place and lands us as 6th most gender equality country.

World Justice, Rule of Law, Project have us like 7th best in the world, up a place since last year.

A happy place

Our happiness remains steady, as 8th happiest place on the planet, says the World Happiness Report.

Reporters Without Borders has us like 9th best in the world, but we fell two places due to recent concerns about the quality and independence of some media.

Our well-being

When it comes to falling out of the top ten countries, but still doing really well, the latest Human Development Index has led us to increase two places, to 14th, in terms of life expectancy, education and income.

It is just ahead of the UK and US but far behind Australia in 6th place.

The environment and the climate

When it comes to environmental issues, we do well but not well. According to the Yale Environmental Performance Index, which measures environmental health and the vitality of the ecosystem, our total the ranking is 19th, notes that we fall, not rise, in this ranking.

In some areas, for example with fresh water and sanitation, we are just 26th in the lineup.

When it comes to climate change, our climate index has risen to our country 37th, a good jump from the previous position in 44th place.

But the Climate Tracker Index is a little tougher and puts our answer as “insufficient“despite our good intentions with our Zero Carbon team.

Jobs and income

Unemployment reached 5.3% in September, which although it was one percentage point higher than where it was before COVID, but it’s not so bad better than most comparable OECD countries right now.

From the middle of the year, the medians for weekly wages from wages, compared to last year, increased NZ $ 44 (4.3%) to NZ $ 1,060.

A reduction in suicide

One area better than expected is with suicide statistics. Although the New Zealand award is high in comparative examples, during the year to 30 June 2020, 654 people died by suicide compared with 685 the year before.

Although each of these deaths is a tragedy, and we have a very long way to go as a country in this terrible area, this reduction (with 31 deaths and a reduction in suicide rates from 13.93 deaths per 100,000 to 13.01) moves in the right direction.

Crime …

In the shape of crime, New Zealand police figures show that abuse has increased by more than 14% in the last 12 months, but this is partly due to the introduction of new domestic violence crimes.

The amount of both burglary and theft has decreased.

… and punishment

Little progress is evident with our prisons. While high compared to similar countries, the good news is that the number of people in prison has dropped slightly 9 469 in mid-2020, down from 9 969 the year before.

The housing crisis

The housing crisis, driven by demand that exceeds supply and prices escalates much faster than comparable countries, creates a terrible situation for those who can not afford a home, or the cost of it eats up too much of their money.

Homelessness, which was inclusive tens of thousands before the COVID pandemic remains systemic.

People in poverty

Probably the sharpest end to the child poverty crisis. Figures from early 2020 show about one in five Kiwi children (235,400) lived in relative poverty.

So while New Zealand’s report cards contain a very impressive collection of clear excellence and reflect some positive changes, we must be vigilant and try to improve. There are some areas of error that need to be addressed if we are to claim to be the best country in the world.

Author: Alexander Gillespie – Professor of Law, University of Waikato The conversation


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