Changing the Story
    How to address poverty now and prevent it in the future


    Full video is now available from our Wellington expert panel discussion. This conversation offers an opportunity to consider what’s being done, and what could be done to change the stories of hardship that are lived out by too many New Zealanders.

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    Delivered by Professor John Hattie


    On Friday, 5 August Professor John Hattie delivered the 2016 Sir John Graham Lecture: Achieving Change - using evidence to empower educators and help students succeed
    Watch the full video of his address and Q+A session. 

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    Uncovering the pathways into and out of disadvantage in New Zealand

    Read the latest paper in our Heart of Poverty Series, by Kieran Madden. 

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ARTICLE - SUBMISSION: Maxim Institute's submission to the Health Select Committee

Since late 2013, Maxim Institute has undertaken a stream of research into the legal and policy arguments regarding euthanasia and the international experience of legalised assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. This submission provides responses to numbers three and four of the Health Select Committee’s Terms of Reference for their inquiry into the ending of one's life in New Zealand. + more

BLOG - Removing the barriers

As Shawn Fremstad of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research states: “disability is both a fundamental cause and consequence of income poverty.” With the need to pay for extra support, medical bills, and specialty equipment, the cost of living for people with disabilities can be incredibly high. Place this alongside a low income as a result of “job loss and reduced earnings, [as well as] barriers to education and skills development” and the result for many people with disabilities is poverty and isolation from society. + more

BLOG - The public square vs the voting booth

Why was Donald Trump’s election so surprising? One obvious reason is that he was completely unfit to be president. Less obvious is the fact that so much of what is now said and assumed in public life implied that his ideas were out-of-touch with the majority, with reality, and with the future. But as the election showed us, the consensus positions of public life turned out to be out-of-touch with a huge number of American voters. There’s a problem with our public conversations, and it points to a lesson for New Zealand. + more

BLOG - Lessons from America

Thinking, it seems, has gone out of fashion. Over the past decade linguists have shown how the usage of “I feel like” has skyrocketed, becoming a synonym for “I think.” As New York Times columnist Molly Worther writes, “in American politics, few forces are more powerful than a voter’s vague intuition.” The “reflex to hedge every statement as a feeling or a hunch,” as she describes it, illustrates a general unwillingness to genuinely engage with the evidence. Psychologists call this confirmation bias: when faced with facts that contradict our deeply-held beliefs, we tend to rationalise the facts away. + more

BLOG - Not helping harms us

In “[m]edieval and earlier times beggars were considered a normal part of the community.” Beggars “reminded people of the possibility of random misfortune” and giving alms to assist them was seen as a duty. It wasn’t until after the black plague, the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution that “beggars were no longer viewed as normal, but [as] threats to the social order and national prosperity.” Alongside wages and prosperity for many, blame, shame, and division crept into our thinking about societal and economic norms. + more

BLOG - Posturing doesn't help those facing poverty

“I know that’s not PC, but you know, that’s me,” said Judith Collins last week as she commented on child poverty at a police conference. Cue Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Greens, who alleged that Collins was displaying “deepest ignorance” and making “a foolish statement” because Collins reportedly had said that child poverty is “primarily” due to “a lack of [parental] responsibility.” + more

BLOG - Of revolution and reaction

Right and left don’t seem to make much sense of the world anymore. Perhaps, as New York Times columnist David Brooks writes, the ideas of revolution and reaction better describe today’s political climate. Are we currently in the “Age of Reaction,” as Brooks contends? + more

  • "The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less."

    - Vaclav Havel