Much of the history of social policy in New Zealand has been one of tension between rising expectations of state, or state-funded, services and attempts to contain the costs. Here political journalist Colin James argues that it is time for the word 'welfare' to be rehabilitated; while it now equates with indigence and failure, it should represent 'wellbeing'. In this way, the opportunity state can replace the welfare state, and New Zealand can invest in the 'infrastructure' of society to generate returns in the form of productive members of the workforce who pay taxes and incur less expense to the rest of society in health, mental health, drug dependency and crime.
These Occasional Papers are jointly published by ANZSOG and the New Zealand State Services Commission.
James, C. (2010). The Opportunity State. SSC/ANZSOG Occasional Paper. Melbourne: ANZSOG.