The State of the Nation report this year is the tenth annual report The Salvation Army’s Social Policy Parliamentary Unit has completed.
New Zealand as a nation has changed in many ways over this time and each of these reports have served as markers along the way. In this report, we have analysed the 2017 year, measuring the key social indicators, as previously, but we have also endeavoured to look back over 10 years to provide an indicator of social progress over a more extended period of time.
This report has the key theme ‘Kei a Tātou’, or in English—‘It is us’. For many of us the statistical information provided can seem somewhat technical, theoretical and separated from our lived realities. However, behind these statistics are people—women, men, children, families and communities—sometimes thriving and in rude health, while on other occasions they are isolated, living with extreme levels of stress, in poverty and highly marginalised.
The story that emerges out of these reports is not something abstract and external to us—it is us, Kei a Tātou. As a society, a nation, we are intimately connected to each other in a relationship of belonging, so those that stumble or fall outside the margins are part of us. We are not isolated individuals, and collectively we can impact on the maladies that afflict our society and we can affect positive social progress.