Article excerpt

Welcome to the 18th issue of the Social Policy Journal of New Zealand. The papers presented here cover a wide range of social policy issues, with an emphasis on three major themes: children, older people and the evidence base for social policy.

The papers on children focus on their experience as beneficiaries and their transition to adulthood. Deborah Ball and Moira Wilson further the analysis of Benefit Dynamics data, which has featured in previous issues, turning now to the experience of children, and finding that over half of New Zealand children will spend part of their childhood supported by welfare benefits. Vasantha Krishnan, John Jensen and Mike Rochford examine the living standards of children in families living below the poverty line: they compare those on welfare benefits with those supported by market incomes, using the HEDY poverty measure developed in Issue 16. Looking at a slightly older age group, Jane Higgins analyses the conceptualisations and research that underpin transitions policies for young people.

The papers on older people include two pieces of research: one, by Judy McGregor and Lance Gray explores stereotypes about older workers, and the other, by Judith Davey, is a survey of mid-life and older students at Victoria University of Wellington and how they finance their studies. Jenni Nana, leader of New Zealand's official delegation to the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing, reports on the outcomes of the event, including New Zealand's statement to the assembly.

Several contributions address general issues concerning our capacity to generate high-quality policy work. Nell Lunt and Carl Davidson suggest ways that the public sector can encourage tertiary institutions to produce graduates with the ability to do policy-relevant research. …