The TacklingPovertyNZ initiative aims to contribute to a national conversation on how to reduce poverty in New Zealand.

In 2016 we undertook a series of six one-day workshops on tackling poverty. The results of the workshops were presented to the Right Honourable Bill English in his office on Thursday, 3 November 2016. In response to this meeting, we prepared a proposal on Demarcation zones for public policy innovation also for presentation to the Rt Hon Bill English. A copy of the proposal can be found on the McGuinness Institute website.

The diagram below maps our TacklingPovertyNZ publications from the 2016 workshops and upcoming work for 2017.

20160622 Recent Publications

Think Piece 26 – Doing Something About Poverty in New Zealand

This think piece discusses what can be done, putting forward seven proposals to address poverty in New Zealand. The seven proposals were identified from the 240 ideas that emerged from the 2016 TacklingPovertyNZ workshops. They reflect themes or suggestions that were repeated across the workshops and which, if implemented, would represent a significant change in how New Zealand addresses poverty. These are to

  1.  simplify and standardise the benefit system,
  2. introduce special demarcation zones in regions of high need,
  3. revisit the role of the state as employer of last resort,
  4. apply a social investment approach to investment in ‘hard’ regional infrastructure,
  5. invest significantly in mental health,
  6. target the behavioural drivers of poverty, and
  7. introduce asset-based assistance for high-risk children.

Read the full think piece on our website.

Working Paper 2017/01 – TacklingPovertyNZ 2016 Tour: Methodology, results and observations
In February 2017, we published Working Paper 2017/01 – TacklingPovertyNZ 2016 Tour: Methodology, results and observations on our websiteIts purpose is threefold: to explain the thinking behind the one-day workshop series (the methodology), to document the ‘hows’ collected on the way (the results) and to explain our interpretation of the ‘hows’ we heard (the observations). In particular, the paper explains the Framework (depicted below) and its application. As part of our next steps for 2017 we will build on these findings.


Demarcation zone proposal
This proposal is a response to the alarmingly entrenched forms of poverty we witnessed on the 2016 TacklingPovertyNZ workshop series and is now published on our website. It calls for the establishment of demarcation zones, which will separate an area from existing rules to make space for the implementation of new rules that are fit for the specific community they serve. This instrument of public policy reform aims to tackle poverty and build economic wealth in communities by decentralising economic and social governance.

20160622 TP Newsletter Button

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Thank you to those who have supported the TacklingPovertyNZ project, in particular the New Zealand Treasury, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Manawatu District Council, Rotorua Lakes Council, Gisborne District Council and Far North District Council. We also extend our gratitude to the former mayor of Queenstown Vanessa van Uden, the former mayor of Manawatu Margaret Kouvelis, Mayor of Rotorua Hon Steve Chadwick, Mayor of Gisborne Meng Foon and the Mayor of the Far North District Hon John Carter. We would also like to extend a particular thank you to the national speakers: Dr Girol Karacaoglu, Dr Carwyn Jones and Dame Diane Robertson. Lastly we would like to thank all of the local speakers and workshop participants who worked so hard to build and share ideas on how to tackle poverty, as well as the original TacklingPovertyNZ 2015 workshop participants who returned as interns for the 2016 workshop series.