Dame Diane Robertson, Auckland City Missioner, was a speaker on day one of the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop.
Dame Diane’s presentation is now available on the McGuinness Institute YouTube channel. You can also watch the video below. The McGuinness Institute would like to thank Dame Diane Robertson for allowing the publication of this video.
Dame Diane discussed working in an industry where people are the ‘poorest of the poor’. She explained Family 100, an interesting research project she had been involved in. The research project looked at 100 families and sought to find out ‘what stops families moving out of poverty?’ Dame Diane shared with the group a number of factors that prevent people moving out of poverty. These factors included: visiting numerous agencies and organisations; not having enough food, because food is seen as a ‘discretionary item’ that often comes behind other costs; and debt cycles. She said that ‘the only people that are nice to my clients are the debt collectors’. Dame Diane left participants with the suggestion that we need to reduce scarcity and ‘we need to look structurally at how we deal with families in poverty’.
The TacklingPovertyNZ workshop brought together 36 young New Zealanders between the ages 18 and 25 to prepare a youth perspective on the issue of poverty in New Zealand and how we might, as a country, go about tackling it. 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. Every year, the McGuinness Institute has worked in collaboration with the New Zealand Treasury to create a place for young New Zealanders to explore complex public policy issues together. The workshops have always proved exciting, enjoyable and insightful. The McGuinness Institute would particularly like to thank the staff at the New Zealand Treasury for their continued support and encouragement. Learn more about TacklingPovertyNZ at the website.