Title 5:

[Cover photograph: Luke King / Cover image: fern sculpture by Virginia King]

A Third Term?
Evaluating the Policy Legacy of the Labour-led Government, 1999-2005

by Mike O'Brien, Jennifer Lawn, Fiona Te Momo & Neil Lunt

Introduction by Eleanor Rimoldi

Social and Cultural Studies 5
(August 2005)
ISSN: 1175-7132

from the Introduction:

As I was born a citizen of a free State, and a member of the Sovereign, I feel that however feeble the influence my voice can have on public affairs, the right of voting on them makes it my duty to study them ...

- Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1762
The Social Contract, Book 1

This collection of essays by four academics in the School of Social and Cultural Studies goes beyond the usual brief of the School's monograph series in that it is not only directed at "scholars and students in the hu­manities and social sciences" but to the wider public in the tradition of the academic responsibility to act as critic and conscience of society. Put together on the eve of the 2005 New Zealand national election, they constitute both a record of recent history in four significant policy areas and a critical analysis of the effect of these policies on New Zealand society. The overall theme of the essays might be seen as one of social justice and each essay focuses on policy areas that affect those who could be seen as representative in one way or another of minorities in our society – the poor, creative artists, Māori, and people with disabilities.

Mike O'Brien's essay is an evaluation of social policies that can have the effect of excluding groups of people from full participation in society on the basis of economic disadvantage.

Jennifer Lawn's essay reviews Labour Party policy on the creative arts, which has seen an increase in financial support in many areas. How­ever, the accompanying closer integration with the economic interests of the state is viewed with some unease.

Fiono Te Momo sees the various political parties as divided between two "camps" - those who see the Treaty of Waitangi as divisive, and those who see the Treaty as uniting the nation. She analyses policy statements on the website of each of the political parties in order to assess whether these policies seek the development or the annihilation of Māori culture.

In the final essay Neil Lunt takes up the issues of government policy that affects disabled people and their opportunity to take part in New Zealand society as full citizens. ...

- Eleanor Rimoldi

Notes on Contributors:

Dr Jennifer Lawn lectures in the School's English and Media Studies programmes. Her teaching and research interests include contemporary New Zealand cultural studies, women's writing (particularly Janet Frame and Margaret Atwood), and Gothic literature and film. She has co­authored further articles on recent New Zealand cultural policy, forth­coming in the film journal PostScript, the Rodopi volume Global Fissures: Postcolonial Fusions, and the Columbia University Press volume The Lord of the Rings Text in Context. Email:

Dr Neil Lunt teaches social policy studies and research methods in the School. His research interests include welfare reform, the policy process, disability, and the role of evidence in policy and practice. Email:

A/Prof Mike O'Brien is Head of the School of Social and Cultural Studies on Massey's Auckland campus. He teaches in the social work and social policy programmes at Massey where he has been a staff member since 1980. He has undertaken research and written extensively 011 a range of areas in social work and social policy. Recent work includes a review of the research on the effect of workfare on children and a third edition of the co-authored text Social Policy in Aotearoa/New Zealand. He is currently engaged in research on social exclusion and social work, the not-for-profit sector, and accommodating the needs of mental health service users. Email:

Dr Fiona Te Momo lectures in the School's Māori Studies and Social Work programmes. Her discipline is Development Studies and she lec­tures in Community Development, Māori Development, and Social Ser­vices. Current research activities include exploring Māori perspectives on biotechnology and work-life balance. She affiliates to Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Porou, and Ngati Konohi tribes and has worked with political groups in the Tai Rawhiti Region. Email:

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