A Fair Chance for All – breaking the cycle of persisent disadavantage

~ Catherine Proffitt, Inquiry Director

1:30-2:30pm, Tues 8.08.23

In this webinar, Director of Inquiry Catherine Proffitt discussed some key findings of the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s recently released report, ‘A Fair Chance for All’.

As Productivity Commission Chair Dr Ganesh Nana points out, “while ‘a fair chance for all’ is a concept that most – if not all – New Zealanders would buy into, this concept remains disturbingly illusory for many. the numbers not getting a fair chance are sobering.”

So, how do we achieve wellbeing for all, in Aotearoa New Zealand?

The report highlights the need to stop doing what’s not working, and accept the challenge to try things that might.  We need to build a system that enables us to test, learn, and adapt our responses as understanding and circumstances change.

The report finds that effective approaches to persistent disadvantage need to be:
– centrally enabled by national-level policy and investment decisions based on what matters to individuals, families, whānau and communities
– locally-led
– Whānau-centred.

The report makes 20 key findings, which cover:

– Barriers
– Wellbeing, assumptions and voice of future generations
– Accountability and learning systems
– Build on system change already underway
– Cross-party agreement on long-term wellbeing objectives
– Legislation and institutions to accelerate system shifts
– Adapt, evaluate, listen, learn, and innovate
– Collect better information


About Catherine Proffitt

Catherine has a background in policy and strategy, with over 14 years’ experience working in and consulting to the public sector. Immediately prior to joining the Commission, Catherine was Head of Policy at FrankAdvice, where she led a range of policy consulting work across different areas including health, education, working conditions, pay equity and local government. Before that, Catherine led the strategic planning and performance function at Pharmac.

Catherine holds a Masters in English Literature (first class Honours), Bachelors of Arts and of Business, Commerce and Administration, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Management, all from Victoria University of Wellington.


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