Cover photo of Social Policy Journal


It is my pleasure to invite you to read the thirteenth issue of the Social Policy Journal of New Zealand. Issue Thirteen is notable for two reasons: firstly, it marks the conclusion of the International Year of Older Persons (IYOP) by incorporating a substantial compendium of research and policy writing, much of which was developed over the past year as part of IYOP. Secondly, it is the first issue of the Journal to be published by the Ministry of Social Policy, which is a new body incorporating the former Social Policy Agency. With the publication of this volume the Ministry keeps the Agency's commitment to support IYOP with such an issue, as well as a longstanding commitment to the Journal itself as a forum for social policy debate and research.

I am also taking this occasion, of publishing under the auspices of the new Ministry of Social Policy, to look for ways of improving and enhancing the Journal. This process has begun with a renewed and expanded call for submissions. I also invite you to write to me, or to members of the editorial committee, with any comments you have about the Journal or changes that you would like to see implemented in future issues.

The papers in this issue relating to older people cover a range of social policy areas that include employment, health, housing and service provision. A key concern is the maintenance of independence for older people, and this incorporates the themes of "ageing in place" and "the third age". Maire Dwyer and Alison Gray summarise the findings of their research, soon to be published by the Ministry, on the many factors, particularly as seen by older people themselves, that affect their ability to live independently. Taking an ethnographic approach, Sally Keeling studied older people living independently in Mosgiel. John Patterson focuses on employment as a way for mature people both to be independent and to make a contribution to the community.

A nation-wide survey of the health and health-service usage of older people is the data source for two papers. One paper by Ross A. Flett and others summarises the findings of the study as a whole. A second paper by Paul R. Hirini and others, which analyses the subset of data collected from older Māori, focuses on the unmet health care needs of kaumātua and kuia.

Philippa Howden-Chapman and others review the impact of housing on the health of older people, in the context of New Zealand's climate, and the implications that this has for New Zealand's housing policy. A survey of the history of service provision to older people provides a context for Alun Joseph and Lex Chalmers' case study of recent trends in usage and privatisation of services in the Waikato. Judi Altinkaya and Helen Omundsen's paper focuses on policy affecting mature refugees to New Zealand.

Not all of Issue Thirteen is devoted to IYOP contributions. Two other papers are included because they are particularly timely, along with several book and conference reviews. Moira Wilson provides new insights into patterns of benefit experience, which are only now possible because of the construction of the longitudinal Benefit Dynamics Dataset. The Department of Corrections has developed a new tool for identifying offenders' rehabilitative needs, and in their paper Kristen Maynard and colleagues focus on the process and implications of including in this tool a number of unique Māori culture- related needs.

Keriata Stuart reviews the new edition of Mason Durie's Whaiora: Māori Health Development, which she identifies as a seminal work; Sally Bullen and Melanie Smith survey the conference papers included in Recognising the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and Margaret Sparrow reviews New Zealand's Contraceptive Revolution by Ian Pool et al. Juliet Elworthy provides an overview of the 1999 Social Policy Research Centre Conference, while Peter Larose focuses on one contribution to that conference, a paper on poverty traps by Bruce Bradbury.

I hope that you find this issue of the Social Policy Journal a useful one.

Elizabeth Rowe
General Manager

Cover photo of Social Policy Journal


Social Policy Journal of New Zealand: Issue 13

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