Journal of European Social Policy

Institutions, interests and ideas: explaining social policy change in welfare states incorporating an indigenous population
Louise Humpage Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20: 235 DOI: 10.1177/0958928710364433 The online version of this article can be found at:

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welfare states There is a well-developed literature documenting the significant social policy change occurring in advanced economy welfare states over the past 30 years (see Pierson. 2005). This article proposes a tentative framework for qualitatively analysing these divergences in indigenous social policy cross-nationally. even with significant indigenous recognition and indigenous involvement in designing and delivering social services in recent years. It is argued that. Furthermore. self-government. 2010. cultural and customary law rights and treaties. Banting et al. Key words indigenous peoples. Reprints and permissions: indigenous socioeconomic outcomes are notoriously poor in the liberal welfare states.] © The Author(s). Auckland. 2004). New Zealand Summary The last 30 years has seen significant change in social policy regarding indigenous peoples living in advanced welfare states. testing whether support for the welfare state is eroded by strong multicultural policies. by popovici ana on October 7. 2010 . with devolution of funding and control to indigenous communities (where there is ‘cultural match’ between self-governing institutions and the relevant indigenous political culture) regarded as the only real way to improve socioeconomic outcomes (Cornell.1177/0958928710364433 http://esp. [email: l. 0958-9287. interests and ideas. which offer ‘modest’ (Finland and Norway) or ‘weak’ (Sweden) social policy change. however. the United States and New Zealand) demonstrate a ‘strong’ commitment to indigenous recognition. (2006) compared 16 welfare states between 1980 and 2000.humpage@auckland. University of Auckland. Recently. guarantees of representation/ consultation. Department of Sociology.Article Institutions. in social democratic *Author to whom correspondence should be sent: Louise Humpage. New Downloaded from esp. Denmark’s ‘strong’ ranking stands apart from other ‘social democratic’ welfare states. using the example of indigenous capacity building initiatives from New Zealand and Australia to demonstrate its utility. However the welfare state literature has rarely considered the intersection between policy change and the recognitive justice claims accompanying recent growth in ethnic diversity (Myles and St-Arnaud. and constitutional or legislative affirmation. 2006). Meanwhile. DOI:10. This raises the age-old question – does regime type matter? – when it comes to policy change relating to indigenous peoples. Castles. with the exception of Australia (ranked as ‘modest’). Private Bag 92019. Yet.nav Journal of European Social Policy. recognition. 2001. 20(3): 235–247. Evidence from the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development indicates that the kind of indigenous recognition gained is important. the framework may offer a way to answer both traditional welfare questions – do welfare regimes matter? – as well as recent ones emerging in many European countries about the best balance between recognition and redistribution. redistribution. interests and ideas: explaining social policy change in welfare states incorporating an indigenous population Louise Humpage* University of Auckland. their analysis considers the impact of indigenous political claims on welfare states through nine indicators of indigenous recognition relating to land. Importantly for this article. in combining an emphasis on institutions. such change has not been uniform even in ‘liberal’ welfare states where the recognitive claims of indigenous peoples have been most widely endorsed by governments. Their ranking system finds that ‘liberal’ welfare states (Canada.

through shifts in public opinion (e. 2010 . Kangas and Rostgaard. 2007). political interests and alliances in understanding both redress campaigns and policies recognising indigenous rights (e. interests and ideas interrelate. 2007).. and recognition versus redistribution issues have relevance to all countries incorporating significant immigrant or sub-state national populations. allowing us to see how institutions. including policy structures. 2002. Increasingly.g. New Zealand and Australia have historically differed with regards to their recognition of indigenous claims.. 2004. However. qualitative framework for such analysis based on a case study of indigenous capacity building initiatives in New Zealand and Australia. centralized wage bargaining ensured a high standard of living for most Australians and New Zealanders during the post-war period (Castles. Yet. 1996. thus missing the dynamic interplay between them. Rowse and Goot. In offering a tentative. 2007. such as neoliberalism and the Third Way. deliberating and/or legitimizing new or existing ideas about political action (e.g. Finland and Norway – ranked ‘modest’ in regards to indigenous recognition and with far less indigenous control over social service delivery – Sami appear to have outcomes more similar to their non-indigenous counterparts (Hicks and Somby.. as Banting et al. Vis. 2007. van Cott. Ma were also able to gain ¯ori more benefit from the ‘wage earner’s’ welfare state in the post-war period than Indigenous Australians. First. and political ideologies... Hall and Thelen. Both countries also took the neoliberal route of welfare adaptation during the 1980s and 1990s. 1985. 2002). Skocpol. 1996.g. 2006).g.. Downloaded from esp.g. however. 2002. However these factors are rarely analyzed in relation to each other. 2009). and constitutional and legislative frameworks (e. Indigenous affairs scholars have already highlighted the importance of: institutional factors. 1996). The third concentrates on the discourses that policy actors engage in the process of generating.236 Humpage recognition of sovereignty and the existence of treaties. Béland and De Chantal. this article draws on a substantial literature about social policy change. Humpage. 2006). Brush. a dynamic synthesis of these approaches is favoured. Cornell. even if New Zealand’s process of economic liberalisation went faster and further and Australia maintained more generous social programmes (Esping-Andersen.g. given four European Union members have indigenous populations. Schmidt. This literature has highlighted at least three overlapping and often competing approaches. This begs a more controversial question: are policies of redistribution more important than those of recognition for improving the socioeconomic status of indigenous peoples? These queries are of interest to European readers. White. Yet Ma ¯ori rights to political self-determination were officially recognised by the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi and the Ma ¯ori electorate seats established in Parliament from 1867. Papillon and Consentino. Uniquely. 2005). 2005. 2005).g.g.. 2004). James. Esping-Andersen. in offering opportunities for indigenous peoples given their language often overlaps with that of indigenous claims to selfdetermination (e.’s (2006) rankings indicate. Vis. complement and contradict each other (e. Both countries are British-settler societies where colonisation left indigenous peoples dislocated from traditional homelands and struggling to keep their languages and cultures alive. political institutions and models. Clasen and Siegel. such as colonial experiences. when comparing indigenous policy in different countries (e. The second focuses on interests in terms of the way different policy and political actors pursue their own preferences. there has been no systematic framework for investigating how these multiple factors have similarly or differently shaped social policy for indigenous peoples cross-nationally. 2007).. shaping policy both directly and indirectly. residual welfare systems (Esping-Andersen. The first stresses the role of institutions. electoral objectives and political agendas (e.sagepub.g. Sweden. much of it emerging from European scholars or case studies (e. Second. it is difficult to provide answers without first identifying what factors are important when analyzing policy change in welfare states incorporating an indigenous population. 1996).com by popovici ana on October 7. discourse in positioning indigenous peoples as problematic subjects. Hicks and Somby. Korpi and Palme. 2005. the welfare state literature identifies them both as liberal welfare states that developed only discretionary.. Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) The two cases: Australia and New Zealand Australia and New Zealand provide a good basis for such an initial exploration of this interplay for four reasons. 2003).

Fourth. Indigenous Australians have called for a ‘nation-tonation’ relationship with the state. These may potentially facilitate the kind of ‘cultural match’ Cornell (2005) suggests is crucial to successful indigenous self-determination. but became focused on ‘practical’ issues of Indigenous socioeconomic disadvantage under Liberal-coalition governments from 1996. support and technical assistance from the Ministry of Ma ¯ori Development (known as Te Puni Ko ¯kiri or TPK) to strengthen weaknesses identified in their strategies.Institutions. In Australia. 2009. 2006. Although still aiming to reduce socioeconomic gaps between indigenous and nonindigenous peoples. the fiction of ‘terra nullius’ denied the existence of Indigenous occupants prior to colonisation. initiated at the highest levels of government and focused on improving ‘whole of government’ coordination. 2003: 59) finding many recipients ‘frustrated by TPK’s apparent Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Downloaded from esp. but their current priority is to obtain a national representative political institution followed by a modern treaty recognising indigenous rights (Calma. governments in both countries have been similarly reluctant to view social policy (as opposed to property rights issues) within an indigenous rights framework. a key component of the new Clark Labourcoalition Government’s flagship social policy strategy ‘Closing the Gaps’. meaning Indigenous Australians were not able to vote or benefit from Commonwealth income support legislation and wage bargaining mechanisms until the 1960s (Altman. despite these differences. This shaped further Ma ¯ori claims for parallel political institutions through a Ma Parliament or bicultural leg¯ori islatures in the existing Parliament. They then received information. In both countries this indigenous-focused but purely redistributive approach has seen only limited improvement in the relative socioeconomic status of indigenous peoples. Capacity building. However. 2005). 2006). It also offered Ma communities excluded from gov¯ori ernment monies because they were not yet service providers a degree of freedom in determining what aspects of their capacity they felt needed building: in some cases new business initiatives or legal structures were by popovici ana on October 7. given this context. especially in Australia: in 2006 there was still a gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous males of 9 years in New Zealand and 12 years in Australia. 2008). This is more obvious in Australia. was rolled out in three months and allocated NZ$48 million over three years to provide funding for Ma ¯ori communities to assess their own ‘capacity’. With other ethnic minorities holding greater electoral power than Indigenous Australians. establish databases or provide training in governance roles and skills (TPK.sagepub. 2009). interests and ideas although criticism of institutional discrimination within welfare institutions was a major factor behind an official policy of biculturalism from the 1980s (Fleras and Spoonley. preferring a focus on the socioeconomic gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples articulated in terms of ‘needs’ rather than ‘rights’. systems. 2010 . conduct project feasibility studies or evaluations. But there was no direct devolution of funds. resulting in an evaluation (TPK. 1999). a multiculturalism discourse also dominated public thought. structures. in others cultural knowledge and practices improved. Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision [SCRGSP]. it was significant that both countries introduced a social policy strategy in 237 2000 that was promoted as a ‘new era’ of indigenous policy-making and included indigenous capacitybuilding programmes. The capacity building initiative was also developed ‘on the run’ in response to a political directive. I was initially concerned with ‘symbolic’ issues (recognition of native title and cultural rights). these strategies were framed by references to indigenous self-determination. business or financial plans. For example. Given the Harvard Project’s findings (Cornell. 2003). Third. where a process of ‘Reconciliation’ in the 1990s. with Ma ¯ori communities instead required to meet substantial accountability and monitoring requirements as part of their contracts although 87% received NZ$2000 or less. Like Ma ¯ori. Ma were more than twice and Indigenous ¯ori Australians about four times as likely to be unemployed than their non-indigenous counterparts (Statistics New Zealand. funding was used to develop strategic. skills and communications that prohibited them from tendering for government contracts. Capacity building was promoted by Ma Labour ¯ori politicians as responding to desires for greater Ma ¯ori autonomy and developed within a government department led by a predominantly Ma ¯ori staff. Ma ¯ori capacity building appeared to be the more modest and state-centred of the two. as well as devolved authority across multiple policy jurisdictions (see Walker. there were significant differences between the two indigenous capacity building initiatives. 1999). Similarly.

family violence. As the trials became the ‘face’ for the new arrangements in Indigenous Affairs from 2004. this practice was extended to non-Indigenous but ‘negligent’ parents in Western Australia in 2008 (Peating et al. 2007). Wadeye’s (Northern Territory) enormous success with such ‘no school. welfare quarantining was used to shift ‘unacceptable’ social behaviours. such as petrol pumps. they are difficult to summarise. no one paid attention to the continued roll out of capacity building (Humpage. State and Local government agencies. Often the links between intended behaviours and the funded activity were also tenuous. As part of this ‘emergency response’.238 Humpage did not specify the relationship between funding inputs. 2006). 2005.. the name of the agreements changed but many continued to promote ‘mutual obligation’ as a means for dealing with ‘passive welfare’ in Indigenous communities. This desire to change Indigenous behaviour through SRA-based financial incentives. however. With the details of many SRAs not publicised. foreshadowed the Howard Government’s more coercive move to use the military to take control of many Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory following a new report on Indigenous sexual abuse (see Schubert et al. 2010 . when the Clark Government responded to political opposition portraying the ‘Closing the Gaps’ strategy as a form of ‘apartheid’ by abandoning this slogan and refocusing the strategy on ‘reducing inequalities’ more generally. As such. appearing to offer recognition of local decisionmaking and community management. was allocated AU$30. the SRAs were superseded by a Community Participation Agreement process that was part of the Howard Government’s 2001 welfare reform package. they gained funds for infrastructure or services other Australian citizens take for granted. 2005). requiring the former to fulfil a specific obligation that aimed to improve Indigenous outcomes in return for a set amount of discretionary funding (ranging from thousands to millions of dollars). Unlike standard service agreements.sagepub. initially in remote areas but eventually with one trial in each State or Territory. such as the Mulan community’s agreement to wash their children’s faces (associated with lower trachoma rates) in return for the installation of local petrol pumps (McCausland. adequate housing and childcare or sporting centres. several communities gained funds for a community swimming pool if they tied access to this resource to school attendance.5 million over four years to support the development of more specific Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs). Although the trials emerged from the Council of Australian Government’s (2002) ‘Reconciliation Framework’.com by popovici ana on October 7. Ma capacity building aimed simply ¯ori to improve the corporate governance of Ma ¯ori organizations so they could engage with the contractual system developed during the 1990s (see Humpage. Hunt. service activity or outputs and outcomes. including two urban areas. public safety and justice. 2005. cultural identity. 2002). 2008). Although this initiative appears to have laid the ground for a subtle shifting of the boundaries of responsibility for indigenous outcomes towards Ma that was consolidated by the Ma Potential ¯ori ¯ori Framework in 2004 (see Humpage. Australia’s capacity building programme was a much grander affair involving eight whole-of-government trials developed over several years in the early 2000s. 2006). education. and capacity building/governance) identified in trial areas have been recognised as largely unachievable given funding levels and timeframes (Morgan Disney and Associates. More importantly. Hunt. infrastructure development. 2006). For instance. In contrast. 2008). 2005). highlighted chronic underfunding of the local education system: there was insufficient space or teachers for the sudden increase in school attendance (McCausland. they provided ‘discretionary’ monies unavailable elsewhere for much-needed social and economic activities (Smith. Rowse (2006) further argues that inability either to understand the nature and scope of their needs for assistance or to meet those needs within the time frame needed …to access immediate business opportunities’. These were negotiated between selected Indigenous communities and relevant Federal. With no significant public backlash in an Indigenous context. SRAs Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Downloaded from esp.. only by agreeing to such ‘obligations’. But the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). without devolution of jurisdictional control and funds it remained an inherently conservative and thus uncontroversial form of policy change. In many cases. Ultimately. however. The macro-level objectives (economic and employment development. established in 1990 with a unique combination of elected Indigenous politicians and an administration staffed by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous public servants. no pool’ rules.

This article focuses on divisions based on geographical location in Australia and tribal/urban Ma ¯ori identities in the New Zealand.. with ATSIC functioning not only as a government department making policy and funding Indigenous-focused programmes across the country. the latter figure being thirteen times higher than for other Australians. the most obvious explanation is that ‘institutions matter’. Finally.g. the third column of the framework indicates that we need to consider ideas and discourse when analyzing social policy change relating to indigenous peoples. justifying not only the ‘emergency response’ but also the abolition of ATSIC in 2004 (see Altman. In explaining these differences and their significance for future debates about redistribution versus recognition. 239 A tentative framework As a means to analyse the differing trajectories of the two indigenous capacity building initiatives. 2003). A tentative framework for this analysis is provided below. Other dominant narratives such as welfare dependency or cultural nationalism have also shaped indigenous/ welfare state relations both today and in the past. interests and ideas the Howard Government’s emphasis on Indigenous communities taking shared responsibility readied the public for the ‘failure’ of its ‘practical reconciliation’ approach. interests and ideas. place-based devolution of funding to select Indigenous communities suggested that the Australian capacity-building trials held more potential than New Zealand’s ‘more-of-the-same’ initiative. other institutional factors – such as the importance of gaming to the economies of indigenous nations in the United States and Canada – may need to be taken into account in specific countries (see Cornell. only 32% of Indigenous people lived in major cities. guarantees of democratic representation and access to citizenship rights as potentially shaping policy change in indigenous affairs. capacity building in Australia also provided an opportunity for the Howard Government to radically and detrimentally shift Indigenous Affairs and welfare policy in a way not seen in New Zealand. In summary. Although more Indigenous Australians live in urban than remote areas. as well as how these relationships are shaped both by policy and by demographic factors such as the proportion of the population indigenous peoples constitute in each country. 2010 . 2005). EspingAndersen. political and discursive context that shaped indigenous capacity building first in Australia and then in New Zealand. as well as recognitive debates about bi/multiculturalism and indigenous self-determination. This includes political ideologies. this article argues that we need to analyze the dynamic relationship between institutions. The second column of the framework draws upon the work of ‘power resource’ theorists (e. with 43% in regional and 24% in remote or very remote areas. 2007). Australia In explaining why the Australian capacity-building trials experimented with place-based devolution of funding and responsibility to Indigenous communities and Ma ¯ori capacity building did not. the influence of particular policy actors or interest-based groups such as business or unions. Korpi and Palme. but this category could include a number of other significant intra-group differences. Table 1 indicates that to understand social policy change relating to indigenous populations we first need to look at institutions. almost Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Downloaded from esp. such as neo-liberalism and the Third Way. Since at least 1990. there has been a strong regional focus to Indigenous Affairs by popovici ana on October 7. Although not relevant for New Zealand and Australia. levels of constitutional or legislative recognition. 1996.Institutions.sagepub. The remainder of this section uses this threepronged framework to explore the institutional. 2003) in considering electoral and party politics. in that they seemed to move in the direction of the kind of indigenous self-determination that has been associated with improved socioeconomic outcomes elsewhere (Cornell. Yet. despite a greater level of indigenous recognition in that country. The last category in the ‘interests’ column indicates that unequal power relations within indigenous populations can also shape policy. 2005). the political alliances indigenous peoples have with such groups and amongst themselves. The initial column of the framework identifies political model. but also as an Indigenous representative structure with councils elected in 35 regions grouped into zones to elect 17 national commissioners (Pratt. The geographic reality of the Indigenous population encouraged this unique combination of bureaucratic and elected powers. In 2006. differing colonial experiences.

Furthermore. indigenous experts or specific government departments) Strength of by popovici ana on October 7. the earliest trials and SRAs were established in remote and regional parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory (McCausland.. At the same time. 2002). gender) Other factors (e. federalism. this means remoteness and Indigeneity are intimately associated with each other (Smith.g. Along with extremely localised traditional practices of Indigenous governance.. leading to huge Indigenous unemployment there (Altman. 2009). 2002]). 2007). leading to contemporary claims that there was a systematic policy of ‘stolen wages’ through which welfare state apparatuses facilitated the establishment of lucrative industries such as beef cattle and pearling (Reynolds. business) Political model (e.. Ability to develop a pan-indigenous Importance of racialized discourses proportional representation) identity as a basis for claims-making (e. 2005).. unions.g. tribal/reservation affiliations. as ‘welfare dependent’) Existence and type of bi/multicultural discourses Party politics Influential policy actors (e. 2006)...g. these limits on movement and wealth accumulation help explain why Indigenous Australians have not urbanized to the same degree as Ma (although this is less true ¯ori for Torres Strait Islanders [Rowse. State and Territory governments controlled Indigenous movement and managed people’s pensions and wages.g. liberalism or social democracy) Dominant discourses of indigenous self-determination Dominant discursive representations of indigenous peoples (e. 2000. This demographic reality has been at least partly shaped by an historical policy legacy that included welfare policies which ‘rescued’ mixed-descent Indigenous children from their families and locked them in dormitory compounds in remote/regional areas for training as domestic/manual labourers or to await adoption into white households. Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) In combination with removal policies.. 2007). 2010 . with mainstream political parties. class.g. what entities Intra-group inequalities provide social services) (e. Kidd...g.g..e. Not surprisingly.. in part due to a policy initiative influenced by indigenous and non-indigenous ‘interest’ groups. UN or World Bank) Dominant political ideology (e.sagepub. indigenous/non-indigenous socioeconomic status) Welfare mix (i. award wages were introduced for workers in remote regions. business and other ‘mainstream’ interests Indigenous political alliances (e.g. ‘urban’ vs. age. This spatiality did not change radically after Indigenous Australians were finally included in citizenship and welfare provisions in the 1960s. in determining indigenous rights) Timing and type of access to citizenship and democracy Interests Electoral politics Ideas/discourses Policy or rights discourses promoted by international organizations (e. creating semi-permanent communities comprising 20–100 people in areas with few or no services (Altman.g.. Following union lobbying in the early 1970s. Social Darwinism) Welfare institutional model/ Inter-group inequalities/divisions regime type (e. the outstation movement – a deliberate political stance aiming to address the loss and disconnection resulting from removal policies – saw many Indigenous peoples return to traditional lands. Influenced by these shifts. political % of population that indigenous economy of gambling) peoples represent half of the remote population is Indigenous (SCRGSP.g. the Liberal-National Government introduced the Community Development Employment Projects Downloaded from esp.240 Humpage Table 1 Factors shaping social policy change for indigenous peoples in advanced welfare states Institutions Colonial experiences/ recognition Legislative recognition of land/cultural/economic/ self-determination rights Guaranteed representation/ consultation in government Influence of courts/tribunals/ commissions (e.g.

2006). 2006). Although Indigenous and labour interests helped shape not only CDEP but the Indigenous geographical spatiality to which the capacity building trials responded. 2002. the trials themselves heavily reflected the Howard Government’s political interests. Rowse. finances and operations than many unitary. Significant internal linguistic and cultural differences have constrained a cohesive pan-Indigenous voice to counteract Pearson’s (2009) arguments. As such. while still being assured a basic income from the welfare system. but with native title almost becoming an election issue in 1998. non-federal systems of government and became more so under the Howard Government. The Howard Government’s welfare reform agenda through the 1990s and 2000s was shaped by American conservatism. officials and hand-picked interest groups (Brown. notably Mead’s (1992) ‘new paternalism’ discourse and its association of moral decline with welfare dependency. Notably. ATSIC’s very centralised bureaucratic structure and governmentappointed chair (until 1999) also hampered its ability to advocate for greater recognition of indigenous rights (Pratt. This discourse builds on the poor-relief tradition that has long stigmatized welfare recipients in liberal welfare states (see Esping-Andersen. as well as existing ideas about Indigenous peoples already present in Australia (see White. allowing unemployed Indigenous people to receive the equivalent of an unemployment payment from a local community organization in return for work. Smith. it chose to slowly undermine ATSIC’s authority and legitimacy before restructuring it out of existence. centralized state governments. Assimilation policies are now officially condemned. This supports Béland and De Chantal’s (2004) claim that references to decentralization and federalism can act as an ideological frame justifying retrenchment while diminishing the potential electoral costs of harsh social policy reforms. A discourse of ‘welfare dependency’ was employed to a similar end. Distinguished from Australia’s current work-for-the-dole scheme by its Indigenousspecific and community development focus. notably Noel Pearson (2009). ATSIC had never been considered to adequately represent these varied concerns (Rowse. For all the talk of Indigenous communities taking responsibility. interests and ideas (CDEP) in 1977. Pearson. capacity building is a good example of how it used the rhetoric of regional devolution while actually furthering federal centralization agendas. Brown (2007) argues that Australia’s federal system is more centralized in its politics.sagepub. given that a diverse range of Indigenous organizational structures constitute Indigenous polity at the local and regional level. 2003. but ‘race’ continues to provide a backdrop to political concern about welfare dependency and the dysfunctional behaviours said to result from it.5% of all Australians) has meant virtually no Indigenous presence in Federal politics and only relatively weak Indigenous alliances with mainstream interest groups such as unions. endorsed the Howard Government’s framing of the problem in terms of welfare dependency. Indeed. 2002. CDEP offered a significant level of what Esping-Andersen (1996) would call ‘decommodification’ by allowing Indigenous artists. 2007). a new Office of Indigenous 241 Policy Coordination (OIPC) was introduced to oversee a network of 30 Indigenous Coordination Centres which centralized local control over service delivery to Indigenous communities through an unelected bureaucracy (Morgan Disney and Associates. 2010 . wildlife rangers and others to undertake unpredictable and part-time work. his view has been Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Downloaded from esp. 2006.Institutions. 2002).com by popovici ana on October 7. It did not help that some Indigenous policy actors. enabled by the ‘fit’ between it and the political ideology of the Howard Government. 2007). The abolition of ATSIC had been a long-term goal of the Liberal-coalition Government. these concerns about ATSIC compounded broader public concerns about weak local government and large. 2002). It helped that. continuing a history of Australian governments sponsoring Aboriginal representative structures and relying heavily on experts. 1996). Altman. It had its share of critics. 2009). That the SRAs targeted only Indigenous Australians and required some communities to bargain for citizenship entitlements (such as education or health services) that other Australians take for granted simply reinforced the common belief that Indigenous choices are uniquely flawed and special efforts were required to develop Indigenous senses of responsibility (Hunt. But in New Zealand and Australia it intersects with a Social Darwinistic interest in ‘civilising’ and assimilating indigenous peoples into the dominant culture. while the historical disenfranchisement of Australia’s small Indigenous population (2. but CDEP offered a legitimate choice about remaining in remote areas until it began to be phased out under Howard’s reforms in 2007 (Rowse.

the Iwi Transition Agency abolished and TPK was left with only a policy and monitoring role. ¯ori The National government elected in 1990 used this as an excuse to redirect Ma ¯ori Affairs policy away from references to devolution and self-determination. with 84% of Ma urbanised (Statistics New ¯ori Zealand. Ma ¯ori Affairs was regarded as a test-case for a neoliberal decentralisation of social service delivery when the fourth Labour Government established the Iwi Transition Agency in anticipation of greater iwi (tribal) control in the delivery of government programmes and services (Maaka. this was because the process of recentralising indigenous affairs institutions seen in Australia had already occurred in New Zealand in the early 1990s. Back in 1988. control. identity. over 15. there was also no need for a regional focus for representative purposes. it defined ‘iwi’ in legislation to control who could enter into formal contracts. but there was no major outcry about the current Labor Government’s plan to continue phasing out CDEP and to maintain ‘emergency response’ welfare quarantining. There exists a significant social distance between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians due to the geographical remoteness of many Indigenous peoples. snuffing out earlier hope for greater devolution of funding and responsibility to Ma ¯ori Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Downloaded from esp. However the significant accountability requirements of the contractual model keeps Ma ¯ori organizations focused on service delivery rather than more political endeavours. New Zealand Although similarly influenced by a global discourse promoting ‘whole of government’ initiatives. Aside from occasional calls from Tamihere (2003). 2000). even if it maintained some regional offices. why did Ma ¯ori capacity building not promote placebased devolution but instead further embedded the contractual model that dominated social policy for Ma ¯ori? In part. 1999). to better case-manage individual economic and social needs by giving Ma organizations control over the social security ¯ori payments of Ma ¯ori using its services. 2010 . ‘Mainstreaming’ did not stop the contracting out of social services. Given Ma have long had political ¯ori representation through Ma electorate seats estab¯ori lished in 1867. an urban Ma ¯ori leader. Moreover. rather than the type of jurisdictional devolution seen in the United States or by popovici ana on October 7. 2009). Responsibility for all social service delivery was ‘mainstreamed’. Community Services. This makes it hard for Indigenous Australians to meet the five deservingness criteria – need. This move fitted with an emerging discourse of biculturalism which officially recognised indigenous and Treaty rights in the policymaking process. Having framed major changes to the welfare system within a wider ‘race’ debate about Indigenous dysfunction. 2007). This is problematic given that media shapes the views of most non-Indigenous Australians about their Indigenous counterparts. 1999). with some Ma ¯ori organizations becoming major players in the social provision arena during the 1990s (Fleras and Spoonley. causing huge opposition from Ma (Fleras and Spoonley. attitude and reciprocity – that van Oorschot (2000) says must be achieved before citizens will support particular groups of welfare recipients.sagepub. the legal fallacy that the Australian continent was uninhabited when colonists arrived. ¯ori It is now clear that the Labour Government really only intended a limited degree of self-management. Unlike ATSIC. This suggests that the links between welfare reform and Indigenous Affairs are more than a matter of political ideology but are increasingly institutionalised within Australian public culture.000 Australians are now subject to this form of income management where half of a social security benefit can be spent only on essential items and expenses (Department of Families. Housing. This demography was shaped both by the significant land loss experienced by Ma ¯ori (left with only 5–6% of all lands) and New Zealand welfare and labour market policies: greater colonial the dominant one widely reported in the media (see Reynolds. following two decades of protest action by Ma (and their union and feminist allies).242 Humpage organizations. 2000). Most Ma ¯ori organizations are also urban-based. Recent support for Indigenous recognition (such as ‘Sorry Day’ events and Prime Minister Rudd’s ‘stolen generation’ apology) might suggest otherwise. reflecting the demography of the indigenous population. devolution is consequently not widely discussed in New Zealand. thus diminishing the potential of the place-based focus evident in the Indigenous capacity building trials. TPK had no real delivery arm by 2000. as well as poor historical recognition of Indigenous social and political organizations (Reynolds. 2009).

as exemplified by the 2007 Social Security Amendment Act’s revision of the principles of social security (Humpage and Craig. These facts give some weight to van Cott’s (2006) suggestion that it may be easier to gain acceptance for indigenous rights when the indigenous population is small and does not represent much of a threat to the majority population. This explains why accusations that the Closing the Gaps strategy was a form of ‘apartheid’ led the Clark Government to immediately abandon the slogan and conduct an audit ensuring initiatives targeting Ma ¯ori and Pacific peoples were justified (Humpage. When the shift to Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) made the number of Ma seats proportional to Ma elec¯ori ¯ori toral roll registrants in 1996. Ma ¯ori gained the balance of power because all five seats swung to the newly-formed New Zealand First party in the first MMP Government. The Australian case has highlighted that political discourses and interests were important factors in shaping the very strong connection between neoconservative welfare reform and Indigenous capacity building. Similarly. the Ma urban population jumped from 10% to 76% ¯ori (Poata-Smith. 2005). see a mass Ma ¯ori exodus from cities. Ma ¯ori have had considerably more political influence than their Australian counterparts. despite the significant political power of Ma ¯ori. Nor did the cultural renaissance. the Labour-led coalition was elected in part because of returning electoral support from Ma ¯ori. 2004). the Clark Government also needed to maintain the support of a rather fickle ‘middle New Zealand’. whose broader conservative agenda was popular enough to keep it in power for 14 years. Yet these changes were framed by a Third Way language of ‘social inclusion’ and an emphasis on case-management. 2005). although Maori are disproportion¯ ately ‘welfare dependent’ and there was some tightening of welfare eligibility and levels for all New Zealanders during the early 2000s. which from the 1970s encouraged Ma ¯ori to identify and maintain contacts with the (often rural) tribal groups from whom they descend. With guaranteed parliamentary representation and 243 a strong political alliance between Labour and the Ratana movement (established by a Ma religious ¯ori prophet) from 1936. Unlike the Howard Government. Thus. progressive changes further embedded ‘work’ as the first form of welfare. Yet in a global context where ideological differences between Left and Right have weakened. As the Closing the Gaps strategy was one means of rewarding this support. while those living rurally do face some disadvantages in terms of employment and access to social services (Statistics New Zealand. 2008). while New Zealand was led by a Labour-Alliance coalition heavily influenced by Tony Blair’s ‘Third Way’. moralistic interest in encouraging greater ‘individual responsibility’ (Humpage. In the 40 years from 1936. their numbers are insufficient to make a CDEP-type programme or place-based devolution politically viable in New Zealand. it is not surprising it contained no explicit focus on Ma ¯ori ‘welfare dependency’. rather than a neo-conservative. Under the Labour-coalition. the seemingly unlikely agreement negotiated between the National-led government and the Ma Party (formed after Turia left Labour) following ¯ori Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Downloaded from by popovici ana on October 7. showing little evidence of their being capable of caucusing across party lines. The particular electoral realities facing the newly-elected Clark Government also discouraged connections being made between capacity building and welfare dependency. Maaka (2007) notes that Ma may now be at the centre of New ¯ori Zealand’s political system but to be effective they must work within the party structures. 2010 .Institutions. but from the 1940s welfare initiatives actively encouraged Ma to migrate from rural areas to meet the ¯ori needs of capitalist production in cities through relocation programmes (including access to state housing rentals) and redirection of economic assistance from rural to urban areas. One explanation is ideological: Australia was governed by a conservative government. from the party when her government extinguished Ma ¯ori title to the foreshore and seabed in 2004 shows the limits of working within the party system. because most Ma politicians were affil¯ori iated with the Labour Party and bound by the principle of ‘collective responsibility’. interests and ideas recognition meant that removals and ‘stolen wages’ were never institutionalized in New Zealand. This link did not exist to the same degree in New Zealand. Indeed. Increases to the Ma popula¯ori tion (to 15% of New Zealanders) meant that by 1999 there were seven Ma ¯ori electorate seats and Labour actively campaigned to regain Ma ¯ori support for their party in the election of that year (Maaka. the resignation of Tariana Turia. 2006).sagepub. one of Labour’s Ma ¯ori Affairs Ministers. 2007). This rather obvious political back-stepping was also possible.

political and discursive factors may also have saved Ma from the type of coercive and militant ¯ori Journal of European Social Policy 2010 20 (3) Conclusions This article has explored one example of social policy change – the emergence of indigenous capacity building initiatives – in two countries. heavily outweighing claims for indigenous recognition. even though urban. class divisions between them increase. Both Australia and New Zealand demonstrate a certain path dependency emerging from past policies which in turn have been shaped by the local indigenous geographical spatiality and political strength that resulted from differing experiences of colonialism. Béland and Lecours (2008) argue that sub-national movements can affect the structure of welfare states: certainly with ‘cultural nationalism’. Yet. the greater political incorporation of Ma and their alliances with other ¯ori Downloaded from esp. 2010 . New Zealand’s greater level of indigenous recognition – in particular. the dominant discourse framing Ma Affairs policy. This encouraged both governments to favour a redistributive. these same institutional. The favouring of iwi-based organizations as service providers to Ma in the 1990s further marginalized the 25% of ¯ori Ma who choose not to or cannot identify with a ¯ori tribe (Humpage. although it must be noted that labour relations reform in the early 1990s diminished the strength and ability of unions to form alliances generally (Humpage and Craig. working-class Ma ¯ori were disproportionately affected by de-industrialization. needs-based discourse about closing indigenous socioeconomic disparities over support for the more politicized – and ultimately more electorally dangerous – types of indigenous self-determination said most likely to improve the socioeconomic status of indigenous peoples (see Cornell. Poata-Smith (2004) argues that cultural nationalism presents the interests of Ma ¯ori in contemporary capitalist society as by popovici ana on October 7. the 2008 election indicates that even ‘radicals’ must forge allies within an MMP environment. democratic representation and access to citizenship rights. the case studies have highlighted the enduring importance of institutional factors. this discourse has been promoted by tribal leaders and favoured by New Zealand governments desperate to pacify a surge in Ma militancy in the 1970s.244 Humpage policies implemented in Australia under the name of reforming both Indigenous affairs and welfare. ¯ori However. However. Indeed. Portraying cultural marginalisation and institutional racism as the explanation for the persistence of ‘ethnic’ inequality. However. Australia and New Zealand. In doing so. tribal corporations and commercial interests directly benefited from the pro-business.sagepub. A focus on cultural nationalism also weakened Ma linkages with union¯ori based interests. 2005) These findings would seem to confirm EspingAndersen’s (1996) hypothesis that as minority groups become more fully integrated into the prevailing class culture in liberal welfare states. neoliberal agenda. dissatisfaction with this country’s unique federal model appears to have encouraged greater government rhetoric about regionalism. as well as the state’s recognition of historical grievances of iwi and hapu through a ¯ Treaty claims settlement process. In both cases. and with the political ¯ori constraints placed on Ma ¯ori working from ‘within the system’. Although the considerable diversity evident within one particular welfare regime type questions whether traditional ways of categorizing welfare states are useful when analyzing indigenous peoples–welfare state relations. In contrast. legislative recognition. but the centralizing tendencies of Indigenous capacity building indicate that policy rhetoric and reality do not always match. It is less clear whether Australian federalism was a crucial institutional factor. A further reason ‘welfare dependency’ did not frame the development of Ma ¯ori capacity building relates to the ‘cultural nationalism’ discourse already dominating social policy for Ma ¯ori. the ideological and electoral interests of government were important shapers of policy. that both governments used the rhetoric of self-determination to promote their policies makes it difficult to theorize about the best balance between policies of recognition and redistribution in ethnically diverse societies from the two cases studied. such divisions are not simply class-based but inter-linked with tribal/non-tribal identities and internal debates about the value of cultural nationalism compared to other forms of self-determination. 2008). 2005). economic liberalization and privatization in the late 1980s and 1990s. it has illustrated that any framework for cross-nationally comparing change in policy for indigenous peoples must be multi-faceted and dynamic. capacity building could never be a radical initiative that offered greater jurisdictional devolution of funds.

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