Bill Dickens and Bryan Caplan argue about poverty and welfare. Just read it all: start here then go here and then go here. The debate is obvious about the U.S. welfare system but but many of the issues carry over to New Zealand.
[Editorial note from Crampton: Please do hit that full series. It’s excellent. Bryan is getting ready to write a book on poverty advancing the hypothesis that poverty is mostly consequent to bad decisions made by poor people; Bill was on Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors during welfare reform in the 90s. Both are thoughtful contributions from opposite sides of the econ spectrum. Strongest recommendation if you’re interested in the economics of poor relief.]