Rising inequality has wiped a third off New Zealand's economic growth in recent decades, new international research has found.
The OECD has called for higher taxes and more redistribution of wealth to combat inequality, which it found was damaging the economic performance of most developed nations.
New Zealand's economy should have grown by nearly 44 per cent between 1990 and 2010, but a widening gap between the haves and have-nots saw it grow by only 28 per cent, according to the report.
While the OECD may be calling for "higher taxes and more redistribution of wealth" the paper says
Redistribution policies via taxes and transfers are a key tool to ensure the benefits of growth are more broadly distributed and the results suggest they need not be expected to undermine growth. But it is also important to promote equality of opportunity in access to and quality of education. This implies a focus on families with children and youths – as this is when decisions about human capital accumulation are made -- promoting employment for disadvantaged groups through active labour market policies, childcare supports and in-work benefits.
"...active labour market policies, childcare supports and in-work benefits."
In other words, welfare reform.