Panel on Poverty: Structural Causes and Structural Responses

Tackling poverty is an ever increasingly pressing problem in Aotearoa New Zealand. The impact falls disproportionately on Māori and other groups affected by structural disadvantage. This situation does not live up to our national self-image, nor to our obligations under Te Tiriti. Our panellists have both a wealth of knowledge and ideas about the causes and solutions, and a depth of practical experience in working with those affected and working for structural change. They will start by outlining the situation: the levels and kinds of poverty and who is most affected by it; and why poverty is a Te Tiriti issue. They will then share and discuss their thoughts on the structural causes and on possible structural solutions.

About the Speakers

Tania Pouwhare

Tania is Kaiwhakahaere Matua / General Manager – Community and Social Innovation at Auckland Council. She is Ngāi Tūhoe on her father’s side and has Swedish, Irish, English and Scottish whakapapa from her mother.

Tania is passionate about equity for women and girls and has a Master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Auckland. Prior to working at Auckland Council, she lived and worked in Dublin before settling in London for a decade where she was head of policy and campaigns at the Women’s Resource Centre – the UK’s leading umbrella organisation for the women’s NGO sector and one of Britain’s most admired charities. She started her career with the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges here in Aotearoa in a policy role.

Tania is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Fellowship for Social Equity, an honorary fellow of Engineering NZ and member of Global Women. She is also co-chair of the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board, a member of Te Kāhu Mātai WorkSafe Partners Council as the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s delegated representative and is a labour market pūkenga for Ngā Toki Whakarururanga.

Dr Max Harris

Max studied law and arts at the University of Auckland before clerking for Chief Justice Elias at the Supreme Court. Since then, he has worked in academia (and has a PhD from the University of Oxford), parliamentary politics, campaigns, and legal practice. He is a barrister at Thorndon Chambers and campaigner at ActionStation, and author of the book The New Zealand Project.

Harry Toleafoa

Hailing from Samoa, Harry was born and raised in West Auckland. He holds an LLM (Hons)/BA with a specialised focus on Pacific peoples. In 2019, he was elected onto the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board which has one of the highest concentrations of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa. He also works as a legal educator and community advocate for the Mangere Community Law Centre and serves on the boards of The Fono and the Oceania Careers Academy. Understanding income inequality is important to him, as he is constantly confronted with its effects in the communities he works alongside.

Emmy Rākete

Emmy is the press spokesperson for the prison abolitionist organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa, which she helped to found in 2015. For her day job, she works at the University of Auckland teaching social science and studying the role of the criminal justice system in capitalist society. Emmy's Ngāpuhi ancestors fought the Crown under Hone Heke and Te Ruki Kāwiti.

Date: Thursday 10 August 2023
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Lecture
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM Coffee and tea

Stone Lecture Theatre (801-316, Auckland Law School, 9 Eden Crescent Auckland, 1010)