Pre 2006 articles

1996-2005: articles, letters, presentations, addresses, papers, submissions, booklets, debates, book reviews, speeches.

    2005

  • Women and child poverty, Address to International Women's Day Forum, 7 March 2005.
  • What is government doing to assist low income families? MSPowerpoint presentation to Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC), 19 March 2005.
  • A single core benefit: the brave new dawn, Comments published as "Smoke and Mirrors", relating to Working for Families, The Independent, 6 April 2005.
  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), Post-Budget Breakfast Address, 20 May 2005.
  • Don't ignore the poorest children, Article in the NZ Herald, 17 June 2005.
  • Grey taxpayers hit by tax anomaly : a snag in tax law that's penalising pensioners, Article published as "Tax anomaly penalises pensioners" in The Independent. "Many older people who supplement their NZ Super with paid work or interest income are falling victim to an unintended tax burden." 13 July 2005.

  • 2004

  • Is New Zealand Superannuation sustainable? MS PowerPoint presentation to Grey Power Conference, Waipuna Lodge Auckland, 5 April 2004.
  • Assessing the options for the drawdown phase, Address to 5th Annual SuperFunds Summit 2004 "Debating the policy initiatives and investment strategies for the savings industry", Wellington, 6-7 April 2004.
  • Submission on Social security (Long-term Residential Care), Amendment Bill Submission to the social services select committee, 23 April 2004.
  • Welcome first steps for poor but much more to be done, Article in NZ Herald, 28 May 2004.
  • Cullen has done well in evening things up, Responding to Bruce Logan's view that the Budget failed to move New Zealand from a dependency mindset towards a low-taxation, high-productivity culture. Comment article in NZ Herald 4 Jun 2004.
  • Without long-term plans we'll have super problems, Article in NZ Herald, 24 Jun 2004.
  • Planning for the drawdown phase of retirement saving in New Zealand, Address to the 12th Australian Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers: "Shortchanged? Pension Fund Governance and Retirement Provision", UNSW Sydney, 12-13 July 2004.
  • Are we wasting our children? How can the economic position of children be improved? Notes on 20 July 2004, University of Auckland, 2004 Winter lecture series.
  • How can the economic position of children be improved? MS PowerPoint presentation to Winter Lecture (Public Lecture) series, University of Auckland, 20 Jul 2004.
  • Financial Assistance for the young: (1986-2003), Paper to "Social Policy Research and Evaluation Conference 2003." Ministry of Social Development Wellington, 29-30 April 2003. "This draft discussion paper draws on, and updates working papers (St John, 1994, 2001a; St John & Rankin, 1998, 2002) It represents work in progress." Discussion Paper #25, University of Auckland, Department of Economics, August 2004.
  • Submission 2004 New Zealand Superannuation Amendment Bill, Government Bill 2004 No 1191, Submission to the Select Committee. "The purpose of this bill is to get rid of the inconvenience of the legislative status of the Accord, so laboriously crafted and appended to the Retirement Income Act 1993. The reasons cited relate the non-observance of the Accord, the passage of the New Zealand Superannuation Act, and recommendations made by the Periodic Report Group 2003 (the PRG). I consider this bill is ill-advised and not in the best interests of sensible planning for the fiscal pressures in pensions and healthcare expected to emerge during the retirement of the baby-boom generation from 2010." 2004.

  • 2003

  • Culture of neglect stunts our growth, Article on child poverty in NZ Herald, 22 April 2003.
  • Helping low and middle-income people in retirement Draft paper to Savings and Fund Management "Signposting the future for the savings industry in NZ in an age of volatile international markets." Wellington, 29-30 April 2003.
  • Looking back at Accident Compensation: finding lessons for the future. A Summary for the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 34 (2), 443-447, 2003.
  • Crumbs or commitment? What's on the menu for children? Address to CPAG Child Poverty Action Group Post-Budget Breakfast, University of Auckland, 16 May 2003.
  • Submission to the Periodic Report Group on Superannuation, "Since the final report of the 1997 PRG Building Stability, there has been only minor progress on retirement policy issues. A number of unilateral changes have been made with some of these reversed, demonstrating, yet again, the necessity for a multiparty agreement and a proper process for making changes. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is the latest unilateral reform with far reaching economic and political implications. It is most concerning that ....." 30 May 2003.
  • The removal of asset testing and its implications. MS PowerPoint presentation to the Residential Care Association, Rotorua, 17 June 2003.
  • What is wrong with the New Zealand model for pensions? Paper to the 11th Australian Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers: Retirement provision in scary markets. UNSW Sydney, 7-8 July 2003.
  • The role of annuities in the New Zealand retirement incomes policy mix. Paper prepared for the Periodic Report Group PRG, August 2003.
  • Oz wins hands down on income support for families. Article in The Independent, 24 September 2003.

  • 2002

  • Rejoinders to Kerr by SSJ in The Independent (23 Jan 2002; 27 Feb 2002; 2 Apr 2002) and the Business Herald (24 Jan 2002). Refer to August-December 2001 (below) for letters, responses, debate in The Independent which preceded these rejoinders.
  • Saving for the future. What women should be concerned about in an election year and beyond. Address to Women and Superannuation AGM, Auckland, 26 February 2002, Wellington 17 April 2002.
  • Making children visible, CPAG address to the Greens Party conference, 2 June 2002.
  • Pensions and Annuities in New Zealand: Have we lost the plot? Paper presented to "Superannuation and retirement incomes: back to the future", the 10th Annual Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers, UNSW, Sydney, 8-9 July 2002.
  • Good Intentions Are Not Enough- what does income splitting really mean? Web-based Scoop column  "United Future's family policies deserve thorough and critical scrutiny. It is not enough to have good intentions. We need a proper cost benefit analysis of the new Commission for the Family and a wide discussion of the purpose or the need for it before it proceeds." 13 August 2002.
  • Child Poverty, Address to the Global Peace and Justice Forum, 2 September 2002.
  • Book review. Published in New Zealand Books: Volume 12 Number 4 October 2002 . "Rewarding Service; A history of the Government Superannuation Fund" by Neil Atkinson, University of Otago Press 2002, $39.95 , ISBN 1 877276227 October 2002.
  • Children are Still the Main Casualties. Article in NZ Herald ,23 December 2002 (with Innes Asher and Diane Robertson). Excerpt "After three years of a Labour-led Government, the problem has at least been acknowledged. A string of papers from the Ministry of Social Development confirms that three out of 10 New Zealand children live at unacceptable low levels of income. " 23 December 2002.
  • Entrenching the Welfare Mess. Paper with Keith Rankin. "This working paper updates and expands earlier working papers. It incorporates modelling, undertaken by Keith Rankin, of the effective marginal tax rates faced by different family types. The material is intended to inform public debate and is not a manual on WINZ rules, nor is it to be taken as a guide to the exact entitlement of any individual applicant." Policy Discussion Paper #24, University of Auckland, Department of Economics, December 2002.

  • 2001

  • OUR CHILDREN: the priority for policy. 52 page booklet for CPAG NZ with Claire Dale, Mike O'Brien, Alison Blaiklock, Sharon Milne. ISBN 0-9582263-1-X © January 2001, Child Poverty Action Group Inc, PO Box 56150 Mt Eden, Auckland, January 2001.
  • Submission 2001. To the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, The New Zealand Superannuation Bill, 9 February 2001.
  • Children have been the Losers. Letter to The Listener, 12 March 2001.
  • Next Budget should put children first, not last. Article published NZ Herald, 14 May 2001.
  • Children and The Budget. Published as 'Assistance Regime keeps poor families poor' in The Independent on 13 June 2001.
  • New Zealand goes it alone in superannuation policy. Paper to "Reform of Superannuation and Pensions" The 9th Annual Colloquium of Superannuation Researchers, University of New South Wales,  Sydney, 9-10 July 2001.
  • Time to revisit benefit as well as tax regimes. Article in The Independent, 25 July 2001.
  • Economist's perspective: Prospects for equality. Address to "The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 Spotlight Seminar", Butterworths Professional Education, Wellington Tuesday 14 and Auckland Wednesday 22 August 2001.
  • Simplistic view of Govt spending. Article in The Independent 12 September 2001. "The simplistic notions about government spending and taxes in the latest Business Roundtable (BRT) report do not give credibility to your byline ' govt spending could be slashed' (29th August). While it may suit the ideology of the BRT to portray a bloated state the figures simply don't support it...." 12 September 2001.
  • NZ Government Spending: Simplistic Views. Debate in The Independent with contributions from by Jenni McManus (The Independent) 29 August 2001, Roger Kerr (NZBRT) 12 September 2001, Winton Bates (Canberra) 19 September 2001 and Susan St John (University of Auckland) 3 October 2001.
  • Redesigning the Welfare State in New Zealand. Paper for the "Promoting Social Inclusion in the Commonwealth: the UK, Asia, Australia and New Zealand" conference, School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 4-5 October 2001.
  • NZ Government Spending below OECD Average. Letter to The Independent "Once again the Business Round Table have been given space to repeat their mantra that NZ suffers from 'excessive public spending and a disproportionate tax take from top income earners' (Hagen 21st November). ..." 5 December 2001.
  • Restoring NZ to the OECD's top half. Roger Kerr (NZBRT) response to SSJ "New Zealand government spending below OECD average", in The Independent 5 December 2001, in The Independent 19 December 2001.
  • Children the silent needy as poverty casts its blight. Dialogue article in NZ Herald , 27 December 2001, with Innes Asher and Diane Robertson.
  • Financial Assistance for the young: New Zealand's incoherent welfare state. Policy Discussion Paper. "This discussion paper draws on, and updates working papers (St John, 1994, 2001a; St John & Rankin, 1998). It represents work in progress." December 2001.

  • 2000

  • Can we Afford to Age? PowerPoint presentation to the 2nd National Gerontology Conference, 2000.
  • Two legs are better than three: New Zealand as a model for old age pensions. Paper to the Year 2000 International Research Conference on Social Security, Helsinki, 'Social Security in the Global Village', 25-27 September 2000.
  • The new fund announced last week is in danger of being grossly oversold. Article in The Independent, 18 October 2000.

  • 1999

  • TransTasman Contrasts: Kerr. Letter by Roger Kerr published in NZ Herald, 1 February 1999.
  • Transtasman contrasts. Letter by Susan St John published in NZ Herald, 1 February 1999.
  • New Zealand's Unique Approach to Retirement Income. Paper to the 6th Asia/Oceania Regional Congress of the International Association of Gerontology, 7-11 June 1999, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • Retirement Policy Issues We Are Not Talking About. Paper to the New Zealand Association of Economists (Inc) Annual Conference, Rotorua 30 June- 2 July 1999.
  • Community Responsibility. Paper to the CTU Conference 'Rebuilding ACC Beyond 2000', Wellington, 23 July 1999.
  • Retirement Income Policy Stability Options: Commentary on the Stability Paper. Paper to the Retirement Income Policy Stability Options seminar, conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies in association with the Super 2000 Taskforce, Wellington, 1 October 1999.
  • Social and Economic Policy. A CPAG Child Poverty Action Group address to the conference "The First Decade:  marking  the 10th anniversary of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child", University of Auckland, 25 November 1999.
  • Economic Claims, Letter in NZ Herald 28 July 1999. Regarding Bill Birch misleading when talking about budget surpluses and debt, when he is only talking about the government surpluses and public debt.
  • In the Poverty Trap. Redundant workers lose their entitlements to weekly Child Tax Credit payments. Letter published in NZ Herald on 23 October 1999.
  • Social and Economic issues. Speech to a Vigil at Auckland Methodist Mission, 14 November 1999.
  • Parties must strive to take wobbles out of super farce. Article published in NZ Herald, 7 December 1999.

  • 1998

  • Taxes at 20% GDP the solution? 17 July 1998. Published as "The fallacy of low tax as a boost to economic growth." NZ Herald, 23 July. Reads: Patrick Caragata's book "Why are Your Taxes so High?", with some skilful packaging by editor Simon Carr, popularises the extensive work done by IRD's consultants on taxes in New Zealand. Most people think the last hundred years have seen some momentous advances but the backcover eulogies: "This book contains the most important discovery of the 20th century. There is a rate of tax that will create the most economic growth, the most jobs, the most wealth for all. And it is much, much lower than today's rate." Really? The magical figure that delivers untold affluence is just 20%. Time and again in different contexts, this shibboleth of the optimal tax/GDP ratio is raised. The Business Roundtable alludes to it whenever possible, with Roger Kerr's article (Herald 15th July), the latest example. Most people would agree with the Business Roundtable that government spending should be carefully scrutinised. But this goes much further. An inspection of the government's budget shows that in today's terms, to achieve a 20% tax ratio about 10 billion dollars of government spending must be sacrificed. The only candidates that would yield sufficient revenue are social welfare, health and education. The first two items have already been trimmed to the bone and further cuts will affect the poor the most, especially the elderly, while pruning further the last item raises big issues of intergenerational equity. ..... " NZ Herald, 23 July 1998.
  • Where to from Here? Superannuation Policy in New Zealand Paper to the New Zealand Association of Economists (Inc.) Annual Conference. Wellington, 2-4 September 1998.
  • Superannuation Fragments Must be Stuck Together. Article in NZ Herald, "These are testing times. Like a curious rerun of the 1991 'mother of all budgets' superannuation fiasco and the 1997 referendum disaster, politicians have again ventured into the superannuation minefield. In 1997, the Accord so painstakingly crafted in 1993 was seriously fractured by the coalition decisions, especially on the removal of the surcharge. This week, the Accord's fragile eggshell received a further shattering blow. But, unlike the fate of Humpty Dumpty ..." 2 October 1998.
  • Inland Revenue TV advert could be type of child abuse. Article with Vivienne Adair in NZ Herald. "The latest advertisement from the Department of Inland Revenue about child support is, itself, a form of abuse. While the official justification emphasises the need to make all separated parents financially responsible for their children, it may be also judged to exploit the pain of children for ideologically-inspired ends." NZ Herald, 3 November 1998.
  • Looking into the Issues Superannuation and Funds Management Today and Tomorrow. Paper to Institute for International Research IIR 7th Annual Superfunds and Funds Management Conference Wellington, 9-10 November 1998.
  • Review of David Thomson, A world without Welfare and Margaret McClure, A Civilised Community in New Zealand Books, December 1998.
  • Quantifying the Welfare Mess 1998. Working Paper with Keith Rankin, 1998.

  • 1996

  • Winners and Losers, Gains and Losses. Paper to the 1996 Foodbanks Conference, republished in The Jobs Letter, August 1996.
  • The Quest for Social Responsibility. Paper with Jonathan Boston and Bob Stephens in the Social Policy Journal, December 1996". A major focus of New Zealand's recent economic reforms has been .... macroeconomic... The goals of low inflation and prudent fiscal management are not, of course, simply ends in themselves. Rather they are primarily means: their ultimate purpose is to enhance the welfare of New Zealand citizens through improvements in the country's economic performance. Higher rates of economic growth, lower levels of inflation, reductions in public debt as a proportion of GDP and fiscal surpluses have been well documented as indicators of New Zealand's recent economic recovery. However, the concentration by governments over the past decade on allocative and productive efficiency has not been matched by a similar emphasis on improving various social outcomes such as lower levels of relative poverty..." December 1996.
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