Seven of the original TacklingPovertyNZ participants came together at the New Zealand Treasury in Wellington on Thursday, 3 March 2016. They shadowed officials from the Treasury and then presented the TacklingPovertyNZ booklet that the 36 participants had produced as a result of the December 2015 workshop. 

Seven participants and Wendy at the Treasury

From left to right: Rayden Horton, Sam Yoon, Lydia Hollister-Jones, Karina Liddicoat, Anna Kurei, Callum Webb, Elaina Lauaki-Vea and Wendy McGuinness at the New Zealand Treasury.

This was a first for the Treasury – the opportunity was created by the management team – each participant spent the day shadowing a Treasury official. This would not have come about if they were not impressed with the 36 talented New Zealanders they met at the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop in December 2015. The Treasury thought of it, then executed it brilliantly – hosting seven young New Zealanders – generously sharing the way they work and think. For the McGuinness Institute, it was an awesome experience, just great to be a small part of it. We would like to thank all of those involved.

In the afternoon, the Treasury officials gathered to hear the participants present the booklet that the 36 young New Zealanders produced as a result of the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop in December 2015. The seven participants introduced the framework of the booklet and went on to discuss what the group of 36 considered to be the roles of the community, employment, education and social services in tackling poverty, as outlined in the booklet. The group thanked the Treasury for their support and the opportunity and they presented the Treasury’s Secretary and Chief Executive, Gabriel Makhlouf, with a baby box as a gift. Providing every new baby with a box full of essentials was one of the groups recommendations in the booklet. The presentation was followed by an insightful Q & A session with the Treasury officials in the audience. The participants were then introduced to the Wharenui in the Treasury which was a special experience. 

Lydia Hollister-Jones presents the  Secretary and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf with the baby box.

Lydia Hollister-Jones presents the Secretary and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf with the baby box.

The Secretary and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, speaks to the audience.

The Secretary and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, speaks to the audience.

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The group in the Wharenui at the New Zealand Treasury with the Treasury official Trevor Moeke (left) and the Deputy Secretary, Financial & Commercial Operations of the Treasury, Brendon Doyle (second from the right).

Next steps
The McGuinness Institute is taking the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop on tour to explore local insights to feed into an ongoing national conversation about how we can tackle poverty at local and national levels. We will take four groups (of the original participants) around New Zealand. With Councils, we will host one-day workshops with those in local communities – preparing a discussion paper showcasing success stories and lessons learnt. Dr Girol Karacaoglu, the Chief Economist at the New Zealand Treasury, will be joining us for the first workshop. The solution to poverty lies in our local communities, and in central government getting a real insight into how to support communities tackle poverty. 

The first workshop is in Queenstown on Tuesday, 29 March, 2016 – everyone is welcome. You can learn more about the TacklingPovertyNZ workshop in Queenstown here. For more information about this initiative see www.tacklingpoverty.org.nz.