Growing Up in New Zealand: Transition to school

We know that healthy families are at the heart of a healthy society. Being part of a family is the most significant socialising influence in a person’s early life. Given that childhood disadvantage strongly predicts negative adult life outcomes, it’s critical that we understand how our children are impacted by the modern world in which we live.

Role of families and whānau overlooked

It seems odd to us that the role of families and whānau in developing and maintaining social and cultural capital is overlooked in the terms of reference for the Tax Working Group. Scant attention is paid to the interface of families and whānau with the economy and the tax system. Yet it is this interface that makes it either easier or more difficult to combine family or whānau responsibilities with participation in the economy.

The political nature of social services

In social services, institutions and politicians appear more likely to have a strong aversion to evaluation and continuous improvement practices that make transparent the imperfection inherent in their decisions and complicate managing political risk.

The year in review – part 3

Whenever getting it wrong can adversely affect citizens as well as benefiting them when getting it right, there needs to be transparency and validation of a standard comparable to that well used in official statistics.

The year in review – part 1

The 2016/17 year was one of two quite distinct parts. In the first part, the broad programme of Superu continued to advance apace during the first nine months of the year. Then, since April 2017, we have been in the process of disestablishment.

Improving the effectiveness of social services

Social services involve interactions with people that can be fraught and complex: they are often based on partial knowledge of conditions and may involve many partners and inadequate responses. The quality of social services delivery is a vital and undervalued consideration in the selection of social policy choice. Continue reading

Looking back to look ahead – prospects for the next generation

The challenge of social investment against a backdrop of demographic, social and political change in New Zealand.

Our early lives shape much of our life course, and the way we then go on to influence later generations. Families and community play significant parts in this, as does the state, particularly through health, housing, education, justice and income support policies, but also through employment and tax policies and facilitation of social services. Continue reading