We recognised the need to inform our work with the views of New Zealanders supported by and working in New Zealand’s welfare system, as well as a solid basis of research and evidence.
To ensure the veracity and rigour of our recommendations, we undertook a broad and inclusive consultation during which we heard the views of over 3,000 people. As well as community forums throughout New Zealand, people shared their thoughts with us through a survey, submissions and stakeholder meetings. We heard from a wide variety of New Zealanders including people receiving welfare payments, employers, service providers, advocates, community workers, and staff of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
Our consultation process allowed us to hear what happens to shape the lives of New Zealanders and how we might change the system to make a positive difference for families and communities.
Feedback from all consultation channels has been brought together and prepared under key themes and can be found in the Background Paper ‘Views on New Zealand’s Welfare System’ (WEAG, 2019a).
Our work was further supported by background papers on various aspects of the welfare system, to identify and understand the problems along with possible evidence-based solutions. These are listed in the technical appendices. The papers, together with the consultation document, formed the evidence base for the recommendations outlined in this report.
Some of the issues covered in this report were subject to substantial debate within the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. We sought a consensus view on all key issues. While all members might not subscribe to every statement printed here, they endorse this report and its recommendations as a whole.