Rich with good ideas

16:00, Jan 30 2012
TOP ENTRY: Trish Fisk won $1000 prize for her essay and impressed Integrity Action Whangarei founders, from left: Wayne Deeming, Owen Lewis and Jeremy Busck.

A simple solution to bridge the growing gap between rich and poor is to set a maximum wage.

That's the suggestion put forward by Whangarei resident Trish Fisk in an essay competition run by political lobby group Integrity Action.

The group – known for focusing on local government issues – asked people to describe in their own words what quality of life means, what ideas they see as priorities, the principles and values driving these priorities and how they can be realised.

Competition judges – Integrity Action Whangarei founders Wayne Deeming, Owen Lewis and Jeremy Busck – say Ms Fisk's piece stood out.

They say the former Rodney Times reporter's work capitalised on the essay opportunity, eloquently addressing the issues and going further to say how we can improve our quality of life.

Ms Fisk argues that for there to be a quality of life there needs to be less inequality between rich and poor.


"If we can have a minimum wage why can't we have a maximum wage to prevent the gap between rich and poor widening?"

She asks "does the multimillion-dollar CEO really earn his keep so many many times more than the worker who actually produces the goods? Would he be worth bobsy-die if the individuals at the bottom of the feed chain didn't do their job?

"Any history student will tell you that when the difference between the haves and have-nots becomes too great, then the social structure begins to fray until revolution is inevitable. If not revolution then certainly social disobedience and increased crime."

Mr Deeming says each of the judges felt Ms Fisk's work ticked all the boxes.

"She also explained her work with examples which made it easy to understand and very readable and she covered the scope of what we were actually looking for."

Mr Deeming says the group hopes the competition will generate enough interest to develop a true online community "views" website – – where people can promote ideas to improve Whangarei.

Good idea? Email your views to or text 027-483-0999.

Whangarei Leader