Peter Davis passed on this comment:

It is helpful to have this evidence-based work. I was aware of the trends in poverty and hardship from an article by Max Rashbrooke - https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/12-06-2023/the-two-poverties - but not the information on persistent disadvantage. I have always been a fan of active labour market policies (ALMP) as a way of getting people into (sufficiently remunerative) work and keeping them there - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00181-019-01812-3 - through a mix of "sticks and carrots" with such mechanisms as training, bridging income maintenance, child care provision, and job placement. That was why I favoured the Unemployment Insurance proposal of the previous government. Properly designed and motivated, it could in part have been used as a mechanism not just for short-term job shifts but also tackling longer-term displacement and absence from the labour market. However, it seems like our educational and training institutions are not necessarily equipped for this, and our child care arrangements are financially out of reach of those who need them most, so quite a bit of rehab and prep work would be required in the New Zealand context for ALMPs to work as an effective tool for poverty reduction. Unfortunately ALMPs can be costly and it is unlikely that an incoming government with public sector cost reduction on its agenda would take up such an approach (which is unproven to date in the New Zealand context).

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Feb 11Ā·edited Feb 11Liked by Dave Heatley

Great post Jo.

I completely agree with your conclusion that we need a different policy approach to address persistent disadvantage.

Julie Fry and I have written an NZIER Working paper that sets out our proposed approach:


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