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Child Poverty Action Group and Holy Trinity Cathedral mark the 75th Anniversary of Michael Joseph Savage’s Social Security Act 1938

 "When the Social Security Act was finally passed, Dad, in a spontaneous dance of delight in which the family joined, removed the [medical] bills from behind the clock and taking the poker from its hook by the stove, lifted the cover and thrust all the bills into the fire."  Except from Janet Frame: An Autobiography (1982).

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130820 Holy Trinity LogoChild Poverty Action Group and Holy Trinity Cathedral invite you to celebrate this historic occasion on Monday 16th September from 7pm.  Light refreshments will be served afterwards.

Championed by Michael Joseph Savage, the 1938 Social Security Act was based on the principle that every New Zealand citizen had a right to a reasonable standard of living.  Introducing a free health care system with a comprehensive array of welfare benefits for families, the elderly, invalids and the unemployed - the Act has been described as the greatest political achievement in our country's history.

Child Poverty Action Group is delighted Holy Trinity Cathedral will host the event with The Very Reverend, Dean Jo Kelly-Moore opening the evening.

Special guests Professor Paul Dalziel (Lincoln University), Senior Lecturer Mamari Stephens (Victoria University) and Associate Professor Susan St John (University of Auckland) will reflect on the historial significance of social security, review its current context and look ahead to its future in New Zealand.

The commemoration is expected to draw a wide audience given the Social Security Act left an indelible stamp on the political and cultural landscape of New Zealand. We welcome all to join us for the evening.


Speaker Information

Paul Dalziel is a Professor of Economics at Lincoln University and science leader in a multi-disciplinary five year research programme on Education Employment Linkages (EEL) in New Zealand. In 2010, he was a member of the Welfare Justice group that acted as an alternative forum to the government’s Welfare Working Group and in 2011 also gave the 2011 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture at the University of Auckland  entitled 'Recreating full employment'.  Professor Dalziel will speak about the Economics of the Welfare State.  

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MamariStephens (Te Rarawa) is a Senior Law Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.  She is currently working on a Social Security Law textbook with the assistance of a grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation which will be released next year and contributed a chapter on  Whanau Ora to CPAG's flagship publication, Left Further Behind (2011). Mamari also runs the Maori Legal project with Assistant Professor Mary Boyd of the University of Hawai'i.  We look forward to Mamari offering a Maori perspective on the welfare state.  

Susan St John Bio Photo

Associate Professor Susan St John Susan is a founding member of Child Poverty Action Group. She teaches part time in the Economics Depeartment Univeirty of Auckland where she is also co-director of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre.  Susan has led CPAG's long-standing legal campaign challenging the In Work Tax Credit (part of the Working for Families package) as discriminatory and aptly she will talk on Welfare and family.

CPAG Social security spokesperson Associate Professor Michael O'Brien will chair the event. Mike has written extensively on poverty and social security issues in addition to having held numerous roles in the area including CPAG Convenor and being a board member of the Auckland City Mission and Impact Research - meaningful outcomes for social services.  Mike chaired the Alternative Welfare Working Group in 2010-2011 which of Paul Dalziel was also a member of.

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"Our guiding principle is the right of every child in New Zealand to security, food, shelter, education and health care" - Child Poverty Action Group

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