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From job creation to training, 1840-1990 : a descriptive analysis of the development and demise of job creation policy as the mainstay of state responses to unemployment in New Zealand : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Policy at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
New Zealand, for much of the present century has been regarded by other English speaking nations as boldly experimenting in the development of social policy; but is currently taking the dismantling of the welfare state further than most western countries. This thesis provides a historical analysis of job creation for the unemployed, which was provided by the state on a relatively large scale (relative to the size of the New Zealand population), from the earliest days of colonisation in the 1840s until it was virtually phased out inthe mid-1980s. The thesis examines the competing ideas and interests which conditioned the adoption, growth, fluctuations in the eventual demise of job creation as the mainstay of the New Zealand state's responses to unemployment. In particular, it examines the impact of the various sets of ideas about work and human nature which were brought to New Zealand in the course of colonisation by the British; and the extent to which the colonisers were able to recreate patterns of work and dependency from Britain. The study of job creation in New Zealand is a history of conflict based on class interests. One task of the thesis is to show how the state has responded in different periods to demands from working men for the 'right to work'. However, it is also a history of the reinforcing of ancient divisions of labour along lines of gender and ethnicity, and of the relative privileging of 'pakeha' (white, European) men in terms of their access to paid work provided by the state. Job creation for the unemployed has been a site of both conflict and compromise between (mainly male) labour and capital throughout the post-colonisation period in New Zealand. This thesis provides an in-depth study of the ways in which such conflict and compromise contributed to the development, form and eventual demise of job creation in New Zealand.