Media release: Minister hopelessly ill-informed

Media release
5 July, 2022

Wellington (Tuesday, 5 July 2022) – A policy paper released today by The New Zealand Initiative suggests that Minister Wood's assertions about wage rates are based on myths rather than facts.
The Minister’s claim that labour’s share has fallen since 1991 is not true for employee’s share, and it is employees’ liberty that he intends to reduce.
The author Dr Bryce Wilkinson draws solely from official statistical sources, including Statistics New Zealand, so the accusation of being ideological is spurious.

“Productivity growth in New Zealand picked up sharply after 1991, both absolutely and relatively to Australia. The Minister’s bald claim of a 46% fall is inconsistent with the statistics our paper documents,” says Dr Bryce Wilkinson.
The Minister may be using a different data set or cherry-picked time periods, but without the substance behind the claim, it is highly misleading.
Dr Bryce Wilkinson says, “If employees’ wellbeing were important to the government, it would take official statistical information seriously.
The Minister’s failure to acknowledge and address the facts set out in our paper suggests that the government’s interests lie elsewhere.”

Read our policy point: Minister hopelessly ill-informed on labour market statistics, here.


Dr Wilkinson is available for comment. To schedule an interview, please contact:

Amanda Boyd, Marketing & Communications Manager
P: 04 494 9109

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