Carroll, Penelope; Casswell, Sally; Huakau, John; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Perry, Paul
June 2011
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Jun2011, Issue 37, p111
Academic Journal
This paper looks at New Zealand perceptions of poverty and inequality and the implications for health and social outcomes. Changes in economic and social policies have contributed to increased economic and social inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand over the past 20 years. Research shows that such inequalities have strong implications for health and social outcomes. The New Zealand Values Survey data (collected by computer-assisted telephone interviewing from New Zealanders 18 years and over in two random samples [n = 1,226 and n = 1,272] from December 2004 to March 2005, and later fused into one data set) provide insights into how New Zealanders feel about inequalities and what they are prepared to do about them. The majority of respondents stated they were prepared to pay increased taxes to provide better health services and a better standard of living for the elderly and the disabled. However, less than half were in favour of increased taxes for subsidised mortgages or government-owned houses for those in housing need, or to reduce student debt. Around two-thirds believed people were poor because of personal deficits and they were generally not in favour of any increase in government assistance to the poor. These findings have implications for government policies aimed at reducing underlying inequalities to achieve more equitable health and social outcomes.


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