Defining Poverty Of New Zealand

728 Words May 16th, 2016 3 Pages
Defining poverty in New Zealand
New Zealand lacks an ‘official’ definition of poverty and internationally, is not alone in its failure to do so. However, there is in certain OECD countries, definitions that could be adjusted and refined to define poverty within a New Zealand context, and we should in the first instance, adopt Ireland’s model for that purpose.

Defining poverty is a consensual and contextual process difficult to achieve from the subjective view alone as everyone has their own ideas on what characterises poverty. Objective empirical analysis is useful only if the correct markers are identified and these can still be subjective because we can arbitrarily choose which markers to focus on. Furthermore, the importance or relevance of certain social conditions and social interactions will vary across groups and sub-groups and between individuals within those groups. Also, traditional use of income as the sole measure of poverty, at least in developed countries, no longer provides a definitive answer as the focus on equality and other social values become part of the formula. If we can’t define and measure poverty, we can’t fix it.

‘Poverty, the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. Poverty is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs. In this context, the identification of poor people first requires a determination of what constitutes basic needs.’ Encyclopaedia…

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