Governing the poor in New Zealand

Crawford School of Public Policy | Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
Image sourced from flickr by Chris Fort

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 27 June 2017


Acton Theatre, Level 1, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Associate Professor Lisa Marriott, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.


Diane Paul
02 61259318

Additional links

This seminar will discuss recent developments in welfare and tax systems that have resulted in increased discriminatory treatment of those who are least privileged in New Zealand. These developments include different meanings of ‘income’ for tax and welfare purposes; the introduction of market logics, such as an investment approach and the use of social bonds for funding new welfare programs; and increased use of surveillance and other obligations associated with welfare assistance, including the justice system treatment of those who engage in tax evasion contrasted with welfare fraud; different treatments of debtors to the Crown (taxpayers and welfare recipients); a new law that provides for the partners of welfare fraudsters to be prosecuted and be liable for the debt generated by their partner; and the preferential treatment of the wealthy in the tax system. This seminar highlights the punitive outcomes that arise form modern-day governance of the poor. In doing so, it extends this view to emphasise how governance of the poor privileges the wealthy.

Lisa Marriott PhD, MBA, BSc, BCA (Hons), CA, is an Associate Professor/Honours Programme Director at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington. For the past eight years, Lisa has worked in academia. She has previously worked in industry as a Financial Controller and Accountant in the private sector in the United Kingdom; and in internal audit in the New Zealand public sector. Lisa researches in the area of taxation and social policy. Recent publications include numerous articles on tax and welfare enforcement and fraud; a book, book chapters and journal articles on the taxation of retirement savings; analysis of experimental taxation research methodologies, and tax incentives for the arts and social justice. Lisa was awarded a $300,000 Marsden grant to investigate the different treatments of tax evasion and welfare fraud in the New Zealand justice system.

Updated:  8 October 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team