Here is a brief precis. I note,
"New Zealand’s once-humanitarian welfare system genuinely supported those in need, says Professor Darrin Hodgetts."
The thrust of the book is that welfare has become punitive and demeans those who need it.
The welfare system the professor refers to can only be that established in the late 1930s for the very reason that there was little support for the needy prior.
From that time until the 1960-70s it was impossible to get a sickness or invalid benefit if you could not prove you were of good moral character and had not been the active cause of your own misfortune. Specifically, "That incapacity for work was not self—induced or in any way brought about with a view to qualifying for an invalid's benefit."
You could not get a deserted wife benefit if you didn't apply for maintenance from the father of your children. Unmarried mothers frequently felt they had little choice but to give up their child for adoption.
Is this the "once-humanitarian" welfare system referred to?
Or was it the period before the early nineties when sole parents piled onto welfare at an astounding rate. So astounding that after only 2 years of the DPB, a ministerial inquiry was being called.
As a result a stand-down period was established and marriage guidance counselling made effectively compulsory. Solo mothers protested. Is that the "once-humanitarian welfare system" referred to?
It can't be the system post early-1990s because that's after the benefits cuts - the neoliberal policies that the book attacks - along with the current welfare system, those who designed the policies and deliver the services.
I don't believe the "once-humanitarian welfare system" ever existed. But that's not the point. That's just my opinion.
The point is this new book is required reading in course work (along with a plethora of other leftist claptrap).
No doubt the publishers were also well aware of guaranteed sales when accepting the manuscript.