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Category: Welfare Reform
There is an on-going debate in New Zealand as to why immigrants are required for low-skill work that unemployed New Zealanders could do. Some say our immigration policy is at fault. Others point the finger at our welfare system.
Two decades ago, on August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, popularly known as welfare reform, into law. At the time, liberals proclaimed that the bill would slash the incomes of one in five families with children and push 2.6 million people into poverty.
Ten years ago this week, we established the New Zealand Centre for Political Research. We thought a new public policy think tank could strengthen New Zealand’s future by helping to better inform voters about the dangers of socialism.
Child abuse is never far from the headlines in New Zealand. We like to think of ourselves as a great country in which to live, work and raise our families. While that is true for the vast majority of New Zealanders, for a vulnerable minority of children living in violent families, life falls well short of these ideals.
Listening to Paul Henry interview Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley about the latest condemnatory report into Child, Youth and Family was very dissatisfying. There was no discussion about getting to the real core of the problem.
No matter what structural changes to the child protection agency are introduced, nor what new processes are brought in, the problems of abused and damaged children will continue until the government stops paying women who are not in loving and stable relationships to have babies.
Lots of people survive courtesy of a benefit. They do so because they are too sick to work, can't find a job, have children who need feeding with no other source of income, and so on. There are a myriad of reasons why people receive welfare. Most of these people - 300,000 or thereabouts - are not violent. The same can be said of the general population.
Whanau Ora is the birthchild of MMP. It is the Maori Party’s policy for tribal self determination. It has been designed to direct hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into empowering tribal groups for self-rule - independent from the state but funded by it.
This week, even Lyn Provost, the Auditor General who has presumably spent many, many hours putting together a report on Whanau Ora said, "It was not easy to describe what it is or what it has achieved." These outsider inabilities to understand the concept may not matter if insiders did. But there is now evidence that parties directly involved disagree about aims and purposes.
Good policies do not have international borders. What works in one country, can often be successfully adapted and used in another. For policy analysts, general elections provide a rich hunting ground for cutting edge policy options - and the United Kingdom’s 2015 general election on May 7 is no exception.