Hon Carmel Sepuloni welcomes new book on 'Social Investment'

Hon Carmel Sepuloni, MInister for Social Development, speaking at book launch
Hon Carmel Sepuloni, the Minister for Social Development, congratulated editors Jonathan Boston and Derek Gill at the launch of their book on February 15.

Speaking at the launch of Social Investment – A New Zealand Policy Experiment, the Minister for Social Development, Hon Carmel Sepuloni, said that the book couldn’t have come at a better time.

A collection of articles from 28 thought-leaders, edited by Jonathan Boston and Derek Gill, the book is Aotearoa’s first independent, critical look at what Social Investment could be – discussing both its potential and its limitations.

Minister Sepuloni said "This book – with its analysis, critique, discussion and observations makes a huge contribution to our Government’s thinking on social investment.

"It’s an exciting resource for us as we look to repackage Social Investment, particularly for the insights and different approaches the Government might take and exploring how social investment might evolve to serve the needs of New Zealanders."

She hoped the book’s publication will generate greater engagement and discussion about Social Investment – both amongst sector specialists and the general public.

"It’s important that we discuss Social Investment more widely than in political circles – in particular amongst those who more often than not may be directly impacted but have very little say."

Minister Sepuloni said that Social Investment had great potential and could be a powerful tool to help New Zealanders, as long as careful, considered steps are taken to determine how and when it is used.

"This Government came into leadership with a distinct set of principles, that these same principles will guide our refinement of the Social Investment Approach.

"We are committed to treating people with dignity and respect – this includes being respectful to their right to privacy; believing in people – focussing on their strengths; and consulting people about decisions that impact them."

While the Minister embraced the potential of Social Investment, she stressed that both analytical and non-analytical information are important.

"People’s real and lived experiences are important to me. So when we are thinking about data and social investment we also need to understand, professional judgement, moral and ethical positions the diverse social and cultural contexts of people’s lives.

"These are all pivotal factors to interrogating data, interpreting insights and understanding how services need to respond on the ground. Data and analytics are important but they cannot be divorced from the human experience of how and why we use them.

"I want to congratulate the editors, Jonathan Boston and Derek Gill, and all the contributors – this book is a credit to all those involved  and I look forward to drawing on their many insights as we travel this road together."


Edited by Professor Jonathan Boston of Victoria University and Derek Gill from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), Social Investment – A New Zealand Policy Experiment is a culmination of a joint project between the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and the NZIER to explore New Zealand’s social investment approach.

The book, published by Bridget Williams Books, brings together thought pieces from a diverse group of contributors’, from professors, economists, advisors, researchers, and chief executives to a former deputy prime minister

  • Jonathan Boston (Editor) – Professor of Public Policy in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, has published widely on public management, social policy, comparative government and New Zealand Politics.
  • Derek Gill (Editor) – Principal Economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), and Senior Associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, has significant experience working in the public and private not-for-profit sectors.

Media contact: Amanda Snow 021 282 0078