From the Horse’s Mouth: a focus on bread-and-butter reforms for jobseeker support recipients without dependants


  • Jasmine Freemantle



Jobseeker support-work ready, Jobseeker support–health condition or disability, Poverty, Ministry of Social Development, Beneficiaries without dependants, Policy options


Successive governments have made efforts to reduce poverty amongst some specific population groups, such as children, families and the elderly. However, their focus on poverty alleviation has not been evenly applied across the New Zealand population. Certain groups, notably single and partnered adults without dependants, are yet to receive the same level of attention. This article considers poverty amongst 18–64-year-old beneficiaries, including jobseeker support–work ready (JS–WR) and jobseeker support–health condition or disability (JS–HCD) recipients without dependants. Rather than focusing on big ticket reforms commonly put forward, this article highlights some often overlooked aspects contributing to poverty and other unnecessary hardship amongst this group, and seeks to identify some policy improvements that could be made within existing frameworks. These are discussed with examples primarily from my own experience as a JS–HCD recipient, and informed by others on JS who provided first-hand experience.


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Author Biography

Jasmine Freemantle

Jasmine Freemantle is a JS–HCD recipient. She completed a Master of Public Policy degree at Victoria University of Wellington in 2021. This article is based on aspects of research undertaken in partial fulfilment of that degree.