Cover photo of Social Policy Journal


The eleventh issue of the Social Policy Journal of New Zealand contains a stimulating mix of debate, critique, overview and theory. The contributions include matters of current concern as well as issues that will be with us for many years to come.

In the past, the Journal has devoted considerable space to the matter of benefit reform. The current issue expands this debate to encompass the current reform of ACC. Michael Mills and Andrew Stritch present two different perspectives on the reform, arguing the case for and against.

Also on the topic of benefit reform, but taking a more global perspective, Ross Mackay provides an account of recent welfare reforms in four countries. His paper sets out the context for welfare reform, in terms of the pressures that have built up on welfare systems, identifies some common themes in the reforms implemented by the four nations and discusses parallels with welfare reforms in New Zealand.

At a more micro-level, Paul Callister explores geographical dimensions to participation in the labour market. His research reveals interesting patterns of change over the last three censuses, particularly with respect to gender and level of education. Social change is also the topic of Mervyl McPherson's critical analysis of the latest volume in the Birth to Death series by Judith Davey. A more qualitatively-oriented research project is the subject of Maureen Baker's review, which discusses the findings of Robyn Fleming's study on how income is shared within families.

The Treaty of Waitangi is of central importance to social policy in New Zealand, something we have acknowledged from the very first issue of this journal. Mark Barrett brings us up to date on the role of the Treaty in social policy legislation and implementation.

Two other contributions exemplify the broader reach of the Journal 's interests. Linda Hill and Liz Stewart mine a wealth of literature on regulation theory for useful applications to the review of the Sale of Liquor Act. Greg Newbold analyses the findings of another legislative review and critiques its recommendations regarding firearms controls.

Hal Kendig's overview of recent research on ageing, and Juliet Elworthy's review of Ages Ahead, represent a timely reminder that next year will be the International Year of Older Persons. We intend to publish further papers on ageing throughout the year ahead and would welcome contributions from readers in this area.

At the other end of the age spectrum, Susan Baragwanath's paper on at-risk students carries forward concerns that she raised in Issue Nine. It is supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs' comment on her paper which summarises related policy work done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Also dealing with educational issues, Janet

Kelly, President of the New Zealand School Trustees Association, reviews Today's Schools by Simon Smelt. In the area of youth justice, Marlene Levine, Aaron Eagle and Simi Tuiavi'i discuss the findings of their study of creative approaches to serious youth offending which seek to avoid, where possible, custodial outcomes.

All in all, this issue of the Social Policy Journal brings together the work of a range of contributors, and reflects the wide range of interest and opinion on social policy issues. We have endeavoured, as ever, to present a balanced view and trust you will find it rewarding reading.

Elizabeth Rowe
General Manager

Cover photo of Social Policy Journal


Social Policy Journal of New Zealand: Issue 11

Print this page.