Human Rights, The Treaty of Waitangi and Governance | Institute for Governance and Policy Studies | Victoria University Wellington

Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

This Foundation for Research, Science and Technology funded research programme was led by Paul Callister. It was a collaborative project involving Victoria and Waikato Universities and private sector researchers. The core research team consisted of Richard Bedford, Robert Didham, Tahu Kukutai Frances Leather, James Newell, Paul Hamer and Lindy Fursman. Over the 2009/2011 summers, Zoe Lawton, Kate Stone and Holly Waldron also worked on this project.

The project commenced in July 2007 and was completed in September 2011.

Project overview

There were four main strands to this research:

  • Understanding changes in educational participation and attainment, with particular attention paid to the gender gap in schooling and tertiary education
  • Understanding the role of gender in migration flows
  • Understanding how changes in education and migration are flowing through to living arrangements, work-life balance decisions and, ultimately, on the ability to fully participate in society.
  • Understanding how the migration of a large number of M?ori to Australia is impacting on  te reo

Achievement within the education sector is a key determinant of participation in the labour market and many other measures of wellbeing. In New Zealand, as in other industrialised countries, there has been a gendered ‘education transition’ where there is a gap in both participation and achievement between women and men, especially within M?ori and Pacific populations.  This project sought to explain this transition and consider ways of improving educational outcomes for males. To achieve this aim, a number of papers were produced including: a discussion of whether it is useful to talk about male disadvantage in tertiary education, an examination of which tertiary institutions are educating young, low-skill M?ori men a comparison of education trends in Australia and New Zealand, an examination of the occupational distribution of M?ori residents of Australia and New Zealand and a discussion of the appropriateness and effectiveness of two possible solutions to relative male underachievement: recruiting more males teachers and implementing more single-sex schooling.  This part of the study used a range of secondary data, including Ministry of Education data, information from the Census of Population and Dwellings and data from the ‘Youth Connectedness’ project. A workshop on gender and ethnicity in school outcomes was held in 2011.

The issue of educational changes was then linked to labour market participation, gendered migration, and work-life balance. Gender had been a critical, but under-researched, variable when considering issues such as the ‘brain drain’/’brain exchange’, the ongoing connectedness of New Zealand’s Diaspora,  and developing policies that attract high quality immigrants, hold talented New Zealanders within New Zealand and also attract back New Zealand’s most talented expatriates. Completed research has included: a case study of gendered Asian migration into New Zealand, a study of the changing characteristics of New Zealand doctors  and a consideration of the importance of lifestyle in relation to New Zealand expatriates intentions to return to New Zealand. This section of the research drew on a range of data including New Zealand and overseas censuses, Department of Labour migration flow data and a KEA survey of New Zealand expatriates.

Changes in migration, education and participation in employment have important influences on living arrangements and on the ability to fully participate in society. Census data, supplemented by other sources, was used to explore behavioural consequences of changing pathways for women and men as they endeavour to enter and progress in the labour market and as they make choices about living arrangements. This included examining the possible growth of a domestic worker workforce who may increasingly care for the elderly and undertake the domestic work of ‘work rich’ households. A number of papers were produced including: a report on changes in employment and living arrangements for mid-life males; a study of changes in paid work for mid-life couples; a paper on changes in income for mid life individuals and couples and a study of the changing nature of young people’s transitions in New Zealand.

The project also considered the impact on te reo M?ori of trans-Tasman migration, with a particular view to establishing: whether the migration of such a large number of M?ori to Australia inevitably includes the departure of many people skilled in or learning te reo and m?tauranga M?ori, and what if any impact on te reo this is having, how M?ori are faring in maintaining te reo M?ori in Australia, and to what extent return migration to New Zealand is motivated by a desire to learn te reo. This has resulted in a number of papers, including an article on the challenges for counting M?ori in Australia .

Finally, the ‘missing men’ project endeavoured to address wider data quality issues including issues around ethnic classifications in schools and children who may not be officially counted. In addition, a group of young men has been increasingly ‘missing’ in official statistics, often termed the ‘man drought’. The project contributed to work being undertaken by Statistics New Zealand to determine why men have been missing in official statistics. The ultimate aim of this work has been to enhance the collection of reliable data and to improve population estimates. Work in this area included a paper on differing patterns of mortality for women and men and a report considering the effects of migration on the development of odd sex ratios. Finally, in 2010 a workshop considered research and policy issues in relation to male health.

Selected Media Coverage
Working Papers
Other Background Papers
Book Chapters

While the project has officially been completed, ongoing research related to some of these topics will continue in late 2011/early 2012. For further information click