Thursday, December 23, 2010

20 years of change in the social sector of NZ

Most of us have witnessed the changes in the Public Service Sector of Government over the past 20 years or more.  But we can be forgiven for forgetting the details. Instead it comes down to 'a feeling'. We might remember some highlights or phrases that struck a cord (or discord), at the time the newspapers reported them. For me one of them was Turiana Turia's "browning of New Zealand", in regard to her views on immigration.

But the biggest discordance for me was the 'tick the ethnic box' on Government forms. I rebelled at the time in my mind, thinking it was a backward step in racial harmony and I still believe this to be so. I hate filling in that box to this day and resent the implied sorting like I'm in a packet of M & M's.

The changes have affected each and every one of us and today the Ministry of Social Development is now the largest government department, with almost 10,000 staff. What effect are they having on NZ history and future genealogists?  They have overseen and advised on the dismantling and redefining of families in New Zealand. Instead of a child having a mother and a father, cousins and easily identifiable descendants, we now have families constructed and deconstructed according to their new ideas and all shrouded in privacy laws. It could be a rare and beautiful tree which can identify with any certainty, the members within, in future. 

A report is here on the changes wrought and following is a list of some of the changes by Judy Whitcombe.

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