Life looking up in the regions
5:00AM Friday October 19, 2007
By Simon Collins

A state of the nation report has revealed that life in the regions is getting better - and we can still beat our cousins across the Tasman on some scores.

Gaps between rich and poor New Zealanders have closed in the past five years, largely on the strength of healthy commodity prices which have flowed through to the regions.

Although New Zealanders may be poorer than Australians, we still come out ahead on 10 out of 22 key social indicators in the Ministry of Social Development's annual Social Report.

Perhaps surprisingly, New Zealanders are less obese, more employed, less unemployed, less corrupt, leave school with higher school qualifications, have more access to the internet and trust other people more than Australians.

But it's no surprise that we have lower incomes, more inequality, lower life expectancy and higher suicide rates than our richer neighbours.

More here .