About the December 2015 workshop, held in Wellington, New Zealand
TacklingPovertyNZ saw 36 New Zealanders between the ages of 18 and 25 come together in Wellington to articulate a youth perspective on the issue of poverty in New Zealand and how we might, as a country, go about tackling it. The workshop ran from Sunday 6 December to Wednesday 9 December 2015 with a finale presentation held at Parliament. The names of all 36 participants are listed here.
At the end of a fast-paced 72 hours, the group presented their findings to MPs and other guests at Parliament on how New Zealand might best tackle poverty as a country. They had the floor for one hour, during which time they reported their observations, outlined key obstacles and set out potential opportunities going forward. A video of the finale can be viewed here. Learn more about the 2015 workshop below:
About the workshop: 7–9 December 2015, Wellington
Participants spent most of their 72 hours in Wellington working hard at Treasury, in order to present their findings to MPs and other guests at the finale at Parliament on Wednesday, 9 December 2015. The discussions aimed to build a shared understanding of the complexities surrounding the current policy landscape, matching knowledge with public policy tools. Participants grappled with several key questions:
- What does the term poverty mean in 2015?
- Do poverty traps exist? If yes, what do these obstacles look like and how do communities find ways to overcome them?
- What are the underlying trends that are likely to impact poverty in New Zealand in the next 25 years?
- Which policy tools have worked in the past and which have not?
- What knowledge and insights are missing from the discussion?
About the selection process
In order that a wide range of views are heard throughout the workshop, the participant selection process ensured that the group as a whole had a range of experiences, skills and backgrounds and also provides a broad geographical representation of New Zealanders.
With regard to the first category, the Institute sought to build a group of engaged and enthusiastic young people (18 to 25 years of age) who each fit at least one of the following descriptions:
- Has experienced poverty or hardship first hand.
- Works in a position (voluntary or paid) dealing with issues of poverty at the front line.
- Studies relevant topics such as economics, design, media, ethics, arts, law, politics or public policy and has a strong interest in reducing poverty in New Zealand.
- None of the above, but has a strong interest in and knowledge of issues surrounding poverty.
Thank you especially to our host MP, Hon. Paul Goldsmith, for enabling the workshop participants to come to Parliament and voice their ideas. It is important not only that young people think about ways they can contribute to society but also that they have an audience to hear and stress-test their thinking. Having the final presentation at Parliament was a key catalyst for debate and discussion throughout the workshop.
In regard to this specific workshop, we had a great deal of support from organisations working in New Zealand to tackle poverty (see a list of these organisations here). Many others gave their time and energy to provide ideas that shaped and tested the participants’ thinking. A full list of speakers, including Members of Parliament, can be found here. Participants were able to meet at changing room one at the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust (the Westpac Stadium) on Sunday night for a pre-workshop registration and meeting. This was very important in terms of setting the context of the challenge participants would face over the next three days. Special thanks to Shane Harmon and the team at Westpac Stadium for making this happen.
The Institute has been fortunate to work with a number of organisations that work hard tackling poverty in New Zealand. The following organisations have nominated a participant for the workshop:
- Child Poverty Action Group – Teria Pehi
- First Foundation – Brad Olsen
- Lifewise – Elizabeth Maddison
- J R McKenzie Trust – Shay Wright
- Māori Women’s Welfare League – Te Ao Marama Ropati
- Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei – Rongorito Wirihana Te Rei
- TeachFirstNZ – Mitchell Denham
- The New Zealand Treasury – Caitlin Papuni-McLellan
About the workshop process
This workshop followed the model of previous workshops held at the New Zealand Treasury – see LocalNZ, LivingStandardsNZ and LongTermNZ (see diagram below). Participants’ food and accommodation costs was covered during the workshop, as well as travel costs to and from Wellington. Find out more about previous workshops here.