She'll be Right: State of the Nation 2013
The 2013 State of the Nation Report identifies a mixture of success and failure in New Zealand’s social progress over the past twelve months. While the report identifies significant positive progress in areas of pre-school education and crime and punishment, the performance in the areas of housing, child poverty and youth employment have been less than satisfactory.
‘She’ll be right’ is a somewhat sceptical reference to what appears to The Salvation Army to be a making-do, getting-by sentiment in some vital areas of social policy and human need. While we welcome the adaptability and inventiveness of a No 8 wire approach to many things, a ‘she’ll be right’ approach to social policy as a long-term strategy fails to sufficiently value the people of this country and to change the lives of those falling into poverty. Additionally, it can lead to complacency amongst those New Zealanders who are doing ‘okay’ in their attitude toward some of the desperate challenges confronting some of their fellow Kiwis.
This report raises some of these challenges, and through reference to social and economic data it identifies how little has been achieved over the past five years in at least three areas of serious social need. The Salvation Army believes it is time to stop a ‘she’ll be right’ approach in the areas of child poverty, youth unemployment and affordable housing and to attack these problems with the same leadership vigour and drive that has recently brought success in other areas of New Zealand’s public policy.