Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Need for more culturally relevant social policy

Need for more culturally relevant social policy and services for families in New Zealand’s growing diversity


Released recently, 'Families: universal functions, culturally diverse values' brings together research from across Superu’s Families and Whānau Status Reports about how cultural values influence family functioning.

New Zealand’s society is increasingly diverse. Between the 1996 and 2013 Population Censuses the Asian population grew from 5 percent to 12 percent of the total New Zealand population and the Pacific population grew from 6 percent to 8 percent.

This growing cultural diversity means there must be more consideration given to understanding the needs of end users (families, whänau and communities) of social policy and social services if they are to be relevant, inclusive and useful.

This research has chosen to focus on pan-Asian and pan-Pacific cultural groups as they are some of the fastest growing populations in New Zealand, and points to areas where social policy will be required to adapt the most.

Superu’s Families and Whānau research illustrates that essentially there are four core universal functions of a family:

1.provide care, nurturing and support

2.manage resources such as money, and skills

3.provide social networks and guidance

4.provide a sense of identity and belonging.

What families value and what wellbeing means to them is a far more diverse picture.

At one end of the spectrum there are families who value the wants and needs of the individual and at the other end are families who value the wants and needs of the group. The research cited extends this concept of a spectrum, with two key dimensions for thinking about culturally diverse values when thinking about families: individualism-collectivism and independent-interdependent.

Deputy Chief Executive Vasantha Krishnan says "For social policy and services to be effective they must be relevant to those who they are directed at, for example be ‘customer-centric'."

Ms

Krishnan adds, "Where, for example, social policy is made around families managing resources, households deal with this in significantly different ways. This has a direct impact when considering providing services such a financial literacy and budgeting services to families."

A research response from the collectivistic cultural spectrum explains "…owing things was not a concept Samoans are familiar with and so we lack skills to repay debts…I remember when we were growing up that, if we did not have any salt, you could send someone next door to get salt…it was the concept of sharing rather than borrowing".

Another key family value that takes on different forms across cultures is respect for parents. Another collectivistic cultural research response from an Asian father illustrates: "In every aspect of life we always guide them".

Respect for parents can be considered to be important for all families, although it has very specific meanings particularly for some Asian families. Specifically, children are obligated to obey, respect, support and care for parents all throughout their life and defer to their wants and needs above their own.

"The delivery of social services such as elder support programmes and facilities would benefit from understanding these nuances in socialisation and care and support for elderly," says Ms Krishnan.

Superu is helping to support the evidence-base on the topic of designing social services for families. This information helps decision-makers to form better social policy for families and whānau in our increasingly diverse multi-cultural society.

- Ends -


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election