This history of 150 years of social welfare focuses on the public servants who helped make policy, and those who implemented it. Across multiple rebrandings and restructures, changing political agendas and managerial fashions, this book tells the story of the constant struggle of officials in the Ministry of Social Development and its predecessors to chart a course through abiding issues and enduring tensions.
Covering contentious policy areas such as child welfare, income support and employment assistance, Social Developments describes major changes in social policy and welfare delivery in the context of epochs of public management. The book’s primary focus is on the past 40 years. It examines the legacy of New Zealand’s world-famous state sector reforms, the rise of managerialism in the welfare sector, and the revolution in social policy that redefined the relationship between citizen and state. It then covers the more recent struggle of managers to lift their sights from concrete ‘outputs’ to more nebulous ‘outcomes’.