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About this blog

This blog is all about the voice of social work students in Aotearoa. These are the views of  a group of final year social work students at the University of Auckland. This year this assignment was to write a post on one of the big social work issues of the moment.

I’m delighted to publish blog posts on a variety of topics which incorporate some great links to resources.

All comments will be moderated. Please note: Many bloggers have chosen to be anonymous and have used a pseudonym.

Liz Beddoe e.beddoe@auckland.ac.nz

Creative social work

post by A Social Work Student 

It is without a doubt the topic of social work in the media has been biased. Even though it is one of the most passionate occupations in New Zealand, social work is constantly portrayed in the media as baby snatchers. This is a trend that also occurs in the UK. It has been reported that particular media outlets in England has again “misinterpreted the system that seeks to protect children” (Mason, 2018). According to Stanfield and Beddoe (2016), the relationship between social work and the media has been edgy and full of apprehension. They have also realized the importance of learning and engaging in social media which serves as a platform to influence and advocate for social justice and social change.
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New Zealand is not as fair as it used to be: Wealth inequality

post by Gracey 

One of the reasons I want to be a social worker is because I want New Zealand to be a fairer society. New Zealand is not the equal society it once was. There are families who are trying to make a living out of minimum wage, people without homes sitting on the streets we pass and children living in poverty. These kinds of issues are the ones I want to tackle because it highlights that New Zealand’s current system desperately needs to change.

Continue reading “New Zealand is not as fair as it used to be: Wealth inequality”

The New Zealand Prison system: Who are the real criminals?

post by Hollie Oswald

Another year has gone by and the New Zealand prison population continues to rise at a devastatingly fast rate. With one of the fastest growing prison numbers in the world the ‘tough on crime’ attitude Aotearoa has adopted seems to be failing us. Contrary to popular belief, prison does little towards rehabilitating inmates and instead rates of re-offending increase after being incarcerated (Corrections, 2017). We currently have 10,695 citizens sitting in prison cells, which not only has astronomical costs on society, but also inhibits individual’s opportunities to contribute to communities (Corrections, 2017). The prison crisis facing the nation is a longstanding problem that has seen similar punitive solutions throughout the different governments. Yet we seem to invite the wool to be pulled over our eyes so we can continue to ignore the structural and circumstantial drivers of crime. Continue reading “The New Zealand Prison system: Who are the real criminals?”

Coercive Control – Like Walking on Eggshells

a post by The Survivor

I came across an interesting article called Beyond “Witnessing”: Children’s Experiences of Coercive Control in Domestic Violence and Abuse (Callaghan,  Alexander, Sixsmith, & Fellin, 2015). This article introduced me to the concept ‘coercive control’ which I thought was intriguing. Academically, these words were new to me, but personally I found they were affiliated with my childhood experience. Helen Walmsley-Johnson on This Morning shared her experience on coercive control. Helen’s story seemed familiar to my mum’s story. The common factor they had was that they both did not recognise they were being emotionally battered by their husbands. I did not recognise it either. Helen’s story left me in a state of epiphany.

Continue reading “Coercive Control – Like Walking on Eggshells”

New Zealanders’ perspectives on tax

post by Emily Lawrence

A core value position of the social work profession is “the development and just allocation of the resources which enable everyone to achieve their full potential” (ANZASW, 2013,p.5). Most funding for social work services comes from revenue the government collects in tax, in the 2016/17 financial year tax revenue totalled over 75 billion dollars (Treasury, 2018). We know that policy, including tax policy, is influenced by public discourse which is often (mis)informed by mainstream media discourses (Wilson, 2013). So what do New Zealanders think about tax, the allocation of tax money and its spending?

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Who’s telling our stories?

post by Rachel Wallis

In recent times, barely a week has gone by without media coverage of the teacher shortage or poor working conditions of nurses. The public are well-informed about the low salaries, high workloads and extra duties that are driving teachers and nurses out of the cities, and the profession. Representatives from the Principles Association, or the New Zealand Nurses Association are regularly interviewed regarding their concerns for their profession and it appears they are backed up by the general public.
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Drug user liberation: A cause for social work

a post by James Tiptree Sr.

In January this year, the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill had its first reading in Parliament. It now sits in front of the Select Committee, from whom a report is due by the end of July 2018. The Bill calls for an exception to the 1975 Misuse of Drugs Act by offering a statutory defence for people to use cannabis as long as they are sufficiently close to death (that is, terminally ill with 12 months left to live). This proposal has prompted a range of submissions – from professional bodies mainly concerned with regulation and with having a firm line  drawn between medical and recreational cannabis ; from organisations for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities who will remain unable to legally access  medical marijuana under this bill; and from groups that seek either the total legalisation of marijuana …or the total legalisation of all drugs.

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Work place harassment: the smoking gun paradigm

post by ‘Ellie Clearwater’

Semira Davis, an employee at New Zealand’s ASB bank, laid a formal complaint against her boss for harassment. Her allegations included unwelcome physical contact and the fact that he was ‘sketching’ her at work – the response? HR replied that he had a ‘knack for it’ (Anthony, 2018).

This, frankly shocking, response sums up the New Zealand attitude towards as very real social issue: Workplace harassment.

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Gross Domestic Product, Feminism and Sanction 70a

Post by: On_this_rock

Sole Parent Benefits have recently come under fire because of a sanction on those parents that do not name the other parent for child support payments. Specifically, sanction 70a of the sections 176, 177 and 178 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill, enforces weekly reductions of benefits of $22 per child, and then an additional $6 if no action to name the other parent has been taken during first 13 weeks (AAAP, 2018). Those sanctioned are predominately mothers: 13298 women vs 318 men and approximately 17000 children (Auckland Action Against Poverty).

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Being NZ born Pacific Islander : dealing with two cultures

Post by Llat010

“Fie Palangi” (wanting to be like a European) is something I always heard my Mum say to my siblings and I growing up. I am one of seven girls and four boys and majority of us were all born and raised here in New Zealand. Both my parents were born and raised in the small island of Tonga, and migrated to New Zealand in the 1960’s. We grew up in between two different cultures, the New Zealand culture and the Tongan culture.  Growing up it was difficult living in two separate worlds that contradicted each other.

Continue reading “Being NZ born Pacific Islander : dealing with two cultures”