A fair chance for all

Breaking the cycle of persistent disadvantage


The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into economic inclusion and social mobility – A fair chance for all – with a focus on helping those experiencing persistent disadvantage.  

We have published our interim findings on this wide-ranging and complex topic and seek your comment and feedback on a way forward. 

A fair chance for all


  • Scoping
    15 June 2021
  • Public engagement
    Feedback and submissions due by 27 August 2021
  • Terms of Reference
    December 2021
  • Preliminary findings and recommendations
    29 September 2022
  • Submissions welcome on preliminary findings until 11 November 2022
  • Final report
    March 2023

The Commission is releasing its preliminary findings and recommendations so the final report can benefit from review and critique by a wide range of stakeholders.  

The inquiry focuses on the overall settings of the “public management system”. The Commission has deliberately taken this whole of system view, rather than assessing policies and services in one or two government sectors. 

The Commission has looked across the whole public management system to understand what is creating the inequities in people's lives in the first place, why certain groups are more vulnerable to persistent disadvantage in New Zealand, and how the public management system contributes to that. The Commission developed this report based on evidence and research we carried out or commissioned, which you can access below 'Research'.

Public webinar on 6 October

We will be hosting a free webinar on our preliminary findings and recommendations on Thursday 6 October from 10.30-11.30am, with presentation followed by an audience Q&A. 


  • Dr Ganesh Nana, Chair of the New Zealand Productivity Commission 
  • Catherine Proffitt, Inquiry Director 

Sign up for the webinar.

Have your say

We want the findings and recommendations in this interim report to open the conversation about what change is needed, and the Commission welcomes feedback from individuals and organisations. The submissions period is open until 11 November. 

 You can share your views with us in the following ways: 

Growing up in New Zealand – Family resources and how they influence children’s development in Aotearoa New Zealand

A child’s development is shaped by their family, their community, and the environment they live in. Poverty has been identified as an important force in shaping children’s lives – alongside other factors like poor housing, living in areas of socioeconomic deprivation, and having parents disconnected from work, their community and their support networks. 

We have commissioned research as part of this inquiry, to use the Growing Up in New Zealand study to tease out these relationships and better understand the long term effects. 

 The report authors are also holding a free seminar speaking to the results of this. Register to attend the seminar.