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Poverty in Prosperity?

2 August 2006

Poverty in Prosperity?

Is there really poverty in prosperous NZ?

A respected group of Social Service organisations say they’re sick of the continual propaganda that we live in good times!

Ministry of Social Development Living Standards figures released last month substantiate their claims with 250,000 New Zealanders now living in severe hardship.

Social Services Waikato, Anglican Action, Methodist Action and the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services are so concerned about the lack of discussion on the issues of poverty; they’ve designed a one day national forum. Their aim - to find ways to ensure poverty issues are not forgotten.

“Beneath the prosperous radar screen is a growing population struggling with unimaginable debt, homelessness, addictions and isolation,” says Jane Stevens from Social Services Waikato.

“This won’t be a forum filled with idle rhetoric,” adds Karen Morrison-Hume from Anglican Action. “We’ll hear from those facing the daily realities of poverty and find tangible ways to give an ongoing voice to this systemic issue.”

The Poverty in Prosperity forum takes place on August 11th at the Hamilton Gardens. Those wishing to attend should contact Anglican Action on (07) 856 5820.

Speakers Include:

Stephanie Mcintyre
Director of Downtown Ministry, Wellington-a social service agency that has a current emphasis on addressing and preventing homelessness. Stephanie came to DCM from the role of Social Justice Commissioner for the Anglican Church.

Di Landy
Social Worker at Downtown Ministry, Wellington. She coordinates ‘Project Margin’, the agencies programme to address homelessness in Wellington City.

Graham Anderson
Works in Downtown Ministry Foodbank and has personal history of homelessness and addictions.

Assoc. Professor Mike O’Brien
Dip Soc Work (Wgtn), BA (Cant), MA (York), PhD (Massey)

Mike O’Brien is Associate Professor in Social Policy and Social Work at Massey University’s Albany campus. His major research work and interests revolve around social security, poverty (especially child poverty) and social services. He has recently completed work on child poverty in New Zealand

Major Campbell Roberts BTheol, PG Dip. Soc. Ser.,
Director, Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit

Campbell Roberts has 30 years experience relating the work of The Salvation Army to social policy. He is a trusted media spokesperson on issues of poverty and housing in New Zealand and has contributed to enquiries, commissions and policy forums on social issues.

Nancy Squire
Nancy is a Social Worker, Nurse and Pastor, and is currently employed as Manager of Thames Baptist Community Ministries by the Ebenezer Community Trust.

Desmond Cooper
Desmond is a Methodist Presbyter currently serving at Trinity Union Church in and at Wesley Taranaki St in Wellington. He is a member of the Housing and Poverty committee of the NZCCSS with special interests in theology, philosophy and Industrial/ Organisational psychology.


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