People facing persistent disadvantage see their opportunities shrink and can end up trapped in a vicious cycle. When people are trapped in disadvantage, it is not only bad for them, but all of society loses out.
For example, New Zealand has some of the largest gaps in the educational performance between children growing up in disadvantaged households and the rest in the world. The OECD has indicated many times that the low skills of that group is an issue holding back the whole of New Zealand. Lower skills lead to lower productivity, lower taxation revenues, higher welfare costs and lower wellbeing for everyone.
This inquiry is about finding effective ways to mitigate and eventually break the cycle of long-term disadvantage to help ensure that all Kiwis get a fair chance in life. There are three main purposes to this inquiry:
- creating a clear, coherent and accessible summary of the trends in economic inclusion and social mobility in New Zealand, including the links between reducing persistent disadvantage and higher productivity, economic performance and wellbeing;
- undertaking significant research to generate new insights about people facing persistent disadvantage in New Zealand; and
- assessing what works and developing policy recommendations for breaking the cycle of that disadvantage.
For further information, read our consultation paper.