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Social deprivation in New Zealand

The purpose of the thesis was to better understand the phenomenon of social deprivation, world-wide and in particular in New Zealand. Social deprivation has been defined in many ways with multiple surrogates used to ‘measure’ its prevalence. The aim of this research was to provide examples of the lived experiences of social deprivation. Social constructivist and interpretive lenses were used to portray the voices of those living in deprivation, as well as those people tasked to assist them. A narrative case study approach was employed with participants from Whānau Ora. This social and health initiative offered a holistic approach to assistance in contrast to the usual State agencies operating in a silo fashion, with separate agencies providing for different aspects of social deprivation such as housing, employment, mental health and other services. The approach of Whānau Ora is to support clients’ needs holistically and encourage people to develop their own plans for self- improvement. Navigators help people develop their plans and assist in their interactions with the various State agencies whose services they require. This approach allowed a better understanding of ways to overcome people’s feelings of powerlessness and desperation. The findings from the study lead to suggestions for the application of evidence-based, complementary, integrated assistance programmes rather than having segregated public service agencies acting independently. The recommendations are simple yet require profound changes in public service operations when attempting to ameliorate or prevent social deprivation among citizens.
Type of thesis
Harcourt, B. J. (2019). Social deprivation in New Zealand (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12492
The University of Waikato
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