Transforming the Welfare State

Transforming the Welfare State

Towards a New Social Contract

‘Eighty years ago, New Zealand’s welfare state was envied by many social reformers around the world. Today it stands in need of urgent repair and renewal.’

One of our leading public policy thinkers asks: What might the contours of a revitalised ‘social contract’ for New Zealand look like?

Packed full of analysis, Jonathan Boston’s latest BWB Text directs us towards nothing less than a new political settlement. Wide-ranging reform of the welfare state is needed, Boston argues, if we are to address the challenges presented by economic, social and technological upheaval.

This quest is made all the more demanding – and pressing – by alarming ecological crises and the need for ‘the good society’ to place intergenerational responsibilities at its heart.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

All recently published BWB Texts can be purchased in print and digital formats using the ‘Buy’ or ‘Preorder’ buttons on this page. You can also subscribe to the series – a great gift idea! Find more information about subscription offers here.

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Table of contents

  • 1. Transforming the welfare state: a summary of the argument
  • 2. Welfare state reform – acknowledging challenges, dreaming dreams
  • 3. The evolving contours of New Zealand’s welfare state
  • 4. The critical policy challenges
  • 5. Recent welfare state reforms
  • 6. Values, principles and goals
  • 7. Reforming the welfare state – paths to avoid or tread warily
  • 8. A transformative social policy agenda
  • 9. Conclusion
Print publication:
Ebook publication: Feb 2020
Pages: 264
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9781988545738
DOI: 10.7810/9781988545738

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'Bigger payouts for Covid beneficiaries could end up benefitting everyone', Max Rashbrooke, The Spinoff, 26 May 2020.

'We need a step change to transform the welfare state', Jonathan Boston, Stuff, 12 December 2019.