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Marilyn Waring, Susan Guthrie talk about productivity

Being Productive
A conversation with Marilyn Waring, Susan Guthrie and Mark Harvey
Free entry. Wednesday March 14th, 1-2pm, Festival Club, Odlins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront
Part of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts sculpture series The Active City


Why do we use markets to define human value? What are the alternative ways to value time, energy, creative contribution and original ideas? A free talk entitled Being Productive this Wednesday lunchtime as part of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts discusses these questions. Artist Mark Harvey, whose performance work on Monday Productive Bodies, has seen the unemployed and those with experience of redundancy trying to be of service around the city, is joined by leading academic and former MP Marilyn Waring and economist Susan Guthrie of The Morgan Foundation.

"There continues to be the assumption," Marilyn Waring has written, "that the only way in which work can be visible or valuable is if you treat it as if it were a market commodity or a market service and you attribute a value to it."

Over many years Waring has questioned the economic model by which we value human productivity and our environment. Susan Guthrie meanwhile is well-known for her writing with Gareth Morgan about how wealth disparity is threatening the social fabric and how comprehensive tax reform is required to deal with this. Chaired by co-director of Letting Space Sophie Jerram the talk will also consider what role an artwork like Harvey's Productive Bodies plays in exploring some of these issues.

In Mark Harvey's Productive Bodies, a group of people with experience of redundancy and unemployment are brought together as a community to explore and perform ideas of usefulness and productivity. For more information about the work go to

Marilyn Waring: feminist activist and political economist:
Marilyn's work, Counting for Nothing/ If Women Counted is an international economics classic. She has been a Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and is Professor of Public Policy at AUT University in Auckland.
During her nine-year career in politics, Professor Waring never shied from confrontation. She become National MP for Raglan in 1975 at the age of 22, but was soon at odds with Prime Minister Rob Muldoon. When she crossed the floor to support a Labour bill to ban nuclear-armed ships in 1984, Sir Robert called a snap selection, which he lost.

Susan Guthrie, economist:
Prior to joining the Morgan Foundation in August 2010, Susan was the economist and finance writer for Consumer NZ, reporting on business practices which hurt consumers and investors. This followed an earlier career as a senior economist in the New Zealand, and Hong Kong finance industries. Susan has also held positions at NZ Treasury and the Reserve Bank of NZ.

Mark Harvey, performer:
Mark is a lecturer in Creative Arts and Industries at The University of Auckland and like most artists has been on the unemployment benefit for periods of his life. Harvey’s performance practices are conceptually driven and test out notions of endurance with constructions of idiocy, seriousness and deadpan humour, and draw from his visual arts and contemporary dance training.


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