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    Views on the Code of Social Responsibility

    from The Jobs Letter No.74 / 6 March 1998

    "The questionnaire is nothing more than a propaganda exercise masquerading as public consultation. If the government is serious about dealing with the causes of unemployment then it ought to act in a socially responsible way to encourage an environment where there are real jobs with decent wages this is what is needed to provide a secure future for all NZ'ers "

    Margaret Crook, the Wellington People's Centre

    "The speech screams it : Ask not what your government can do for the people of NZ, but ask what the people of NZ can do for the government" _ Jim Anderton, Leader of the Alliance, on the PM's 17 February speech

    "The real importance of this speech was the promotion of the Business Round Table agenda "

    Helen Clark, Leader of the Opposition

    "Taxpayers are entitled to expect that unemployed beneficiaries do their best to find work now what's wrong with that?"

    Treasurer Winston Peters.

    "This is what society expects of parents and individuals but what might individuals and parents expect from the state?"

    Lesley Max, Children's advocate

    "A definition of an MP is a person who abandons his family to go to Parliament to talk about the importance of families "

    ACT leader Richard Prebble

    "Jenny Shipley's speech very effectively maps out the big picture for National's agenda. It is a great PR effort because what it does is brand National for the first time. Shipley got the job because Bolger was seen as having no action, and she's trying to give the image that they are in action at last"

    Bill Ralston, editor of Metro

    "It signals the reanimation of the uncompromising project launched by Ruth Richardson in her 1991 mother of all budgets _ the project put on hold by a chastened Jim Bolger in the aftermath of the 1993 general election.

    "It will be interesting to see whether the results of the survey bestow a form of democratic validation upon the coalition's plans. If a majority of the electorate is ready to embrace a new, minimalist approach to welfare, then Shipley can start from where Richardson left off "

    Chris Trotter, editor of NZ Political Review

    "It takes more than a post-paid envelope to ensure that everyone can participate. The response forms demand a high level of literacy, creating the risk that the exercise will become a platform for the educated to pass judgement on the uneducated, the "respectable" on the "riff-raff". If that happens, there will be no confidence in the result "

    Patricia Herbert, NZ Herald political columnist

    "Attempts by central government agencies to improve the economy by the promotion of social cohesion and collective social outcomes, utilising individualist, autocratic strategies developed in Wellington, without ownership from other parts of NZ, are doomed to fail []

    "There is an inherent contradiction in placing responsibility on to others and seeking partnerships when other sectors, communities, population groups and citizens do not have the opportunity or capacity to influence the development of policies and strategies. Central government agencies have failed to understand the real meaning of partnerships and joint responsibility, and hence have failed to put in place processes by which these can be achieved"

    Jennifer Pitcher, Senior Policy Analyst, Christchurch City Council, from her paper "Taking Responsibility" presented to the Social Responsibility conference at Massey Albany.

    "What can we do? As the conference proceeded, this question became a puzzle to me. For as more and more people spoke, and as the workshops and the seminars unfolded, it became very obvious that people are already doing a hell of a lot. One person in my focus group spoke of how she felt "bulldozed" by the demands placed on her in her work, and this is an image that has stayed with me. People have done, and are doing, huge amounts of work in the face of what at times seem irresistible forces creating poverty, isolation and exclusion"

    Paul Dalziel, of Lincoln University Economics Department, speaking at the closing session of the Massey Albany conference.

    "I think its good that politicians are finally asking us .normally you vote somebody in and then they do whatever they want."

    Mike Byrne, interviewed by the Holmes programme in the Griffins biscuit factory cafeteria in Lower Hutt

    "I suspect that behind this thing there is an agenda to cut Social Welfare even further so I haven't decided whether I will write rude things on it or ignore it completely."

    Christine Beresford, interviewed in the Griffins biscuit factory cafeteria

    All the money we have spent on over one hundred and fifty different employment programmes and schemes over the last decade has not produced the result that New Zealand Employment Policy should have sought - specifically, a reduction in the number of job seekers long-term unemployed.

    Internet Bookmarks. The Birmingham Conference has an official website at

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