75th Anniversary of the Social Security Act 1938
Child Poverty Action Group and Holy Trinity Cathedral held a joint celebration on Monday16th September to draw attention to the significance of the Social Security Act that Michael Joseph Savage introduced 75 years ago.
The audience reflected the make-up of the communities of New Zealand; teenagers, social commentators, academics, politicians, urban Maori, the Pacific community, worried citizens and members of the parish who all came together to reflect on the heritage of the Michael Joseph Savage’s vision.
Tonight’s gathering is a very significant one. 75 years ago Parliament passed the Social Security Act designed to provide some protection from poverty and a degree of financial security when circumstances were particularly difficult for individuals and families...
Economist Professor Paul Dalziel spoke of how the Savage Labour Government realised “there is no way of dealing with poverty except by getting to the people who are poorly paid”. He contrasted that approach with the trickle-down theories of recent governments that have lost sight of the importance for decent work to raise people’s wellbeing.
Associate Professor Susan St John contrasted the inclusiveness of the previous Family Benefit and the success it had in addressing poverty with the current design of the current working for families tax credits.
Dr Mamari Stephens from the Victoria University of Wellington's Faculty of Law critically reviews welfare approaches to Maori in her speech entitled: Maori, social security and whanau ora: 75 years of ambivalance.
18 Sept: The Social Security Act 75 yrs on