Fresh from winning a Gold Medal at New York Festivals International Television & Film Award for his hard-hitting documentary Mind the Gap, Bryan Bruce has today launched a website to highlight the rights of Kiwi kids. He also wants to encourage strategic voting in the forthcoming election.
Knowledge is Power bryanbruce.co.nz/ is a new resource to which voters can refer if they want to know where a candidate stands on policy issues affecting children. “With the election less than six months away, it is my intention to encourage the public to vote strategically for candidates and parties who have the most child-friendly policies. Knowledge is Power will help me to achieve that objective”, said Bruce.
“If John Key and John Banks could get together to ‘manipulate’ the vote in Epsom last time around then the whole of New Zealand can get together on behalf of our children by voting strategically to create a child friendly government,” said Bruce.
Bruce says his investigations into poverty and inequality issues has made him a determined advocate and lobbyist for children’s rights in New Zealand.
“The New Zealand I grew up in celebrated fairness and equal opportunity,” says Bruce. “It was a society in which a boy from a state house could grow up to be the Prime Minister. Now 10% of New Zealanders own 52% of the wealth in our country, while at the other end of the socio-economic scale mums and dads are working all week and can’t make ends meet. That’s not fair. It’s not what I believe we stand for as a people and a nation.”
“We need to realise we are cheating children on the health spend, we are robbing them of equal opportunities and we are failing to make the long terms cross party decisions we need to lift New Zealand back up to the top of the OECD table for Child Well-Being instead of third to bottom with just Mexico and Turkey behind us,” says Bruce
Mind the Gap produced by Bruce’s company Red Sky Film & Television with support from NZ On Air screened on TV3 last year. It investigates the growing gap between rich and poor in New Zealand, revealing why inequality is bad (even for the rich) and what we can do about it. It is the second in a series by the award-winning documentary maker for TV3. The first, Inside Child Poverty, triggered a nationwide debate on the plight of our poorest children when it was broadcast on TV3 in 2011.
“It’s a great honour to win Gold with Mind the Gap,” says Bruce. “This is a very tough competition where you’re up against the world’s best from over 50 countries. At the same time, there’s more than a touch of irony in winning Gold on the international stage with a topic about which New Zealanders should feel deeply ashamed.”
MIND THE GAP can be purchased at The Film Shop, with all profits going to supporting the Breakfast Club at Russell School Porirua) filmshop.co.nz/products-page/directors/bryan-bruce/mind-the-gap/.
For more information on social issues facing New Zealand visit www.bryanbruce.co.nz.