July 19, 2021
Society hurt by persistent disadvantage
Productivity Commissioner Ganesh Nana says intergenerational disadvantage is holding back not just the individuals and families affected but the whole economy and society.
The commission is drawing up terms of reference for an inquiry into persistent disadvantage, which Dr Nana says is a huge opportunity to shift the dial.
He says while some people may be able to overcome accidents of birth, family dysfunction, loss of work, ill health or other life blows, others aren’t able to pick themselves up.
That can be passed down generations.
"That persistent disadvantage hurts all of us. It hurts our collective well being. It hurts our ability to be productive. It hurts our ability to create good, high-paying jobs. It hurts our ability to look after whānau, to look after Papatūānuku. It's all wrapped up together. This is a huge opportunity for us to look at it," Dr Nana says.
The Productivity Commission can look across government silos and identify service gaps or possible new ways to address disadvantage, as well as listen directly to iwi, whānau, community groups and individuals.
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