Productivity Commission press release – Inquiry confirmed into breaking the cycle of persistent disadvantage

Inquiry confirmed into breaking the cycle of persistent disadvantage

The Government has asked the New Zealand Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa to investigate the drivers and dynamics of persistent disadvantage.

“Persistent disadvantage is a complex, multi-faceted issue, which can have significant impacts on those involved, their communities and the New Zealand economy”, says Commission Chair Dr. Ganesh Nana.

The Commission has received the Terms of Reference from the Minister of Finance which outlines the context and scope of its new inquiry.

“We are excited to accept this wero and look forward to breaking the cycle of disadvantage to empower rangatahi, families, whānau and communities to thrive.”

“This inquiry will develop recommendations to help whānau and communities realise their potential, and enhance their mana and wellbeing. This includes exploring ways to better support Māori-led and Pacific-led solutions.”

The Commission has been asked to draw on Te Ao Māori approaches, including applying a collective as well as an individual lens to research and analysis, and the principles of mana motuhake (collective/self-reliance), rangatiratanga (independence) and mātauranga Māori (Māori-specific knowledge).

The focus of this inquiry was developed after engagement with over 1,000 people, including representatives of more than 60 organisations, to help ensure the Commission adds value where it is most needed.

The Terms of Reference are available here and anyone interested in the inquiry can subscribe to receive updates.

The Commission will start the inquiry by conducting in-depth research and analysis to address the issues posed in the Terms of Reference. This will include engagement with a broad range of people, groups and organisations across the country to help inform and ground its analysis.

The Commission’s final report to Government is due in March 2023.


For further information, please contact Louise Winspear, Communications, on 021 511 140 or

Attached – an image of kids running for the A fair chance for all inquiry

Notes for editors

<![if !supportLists]>1.      <![endif]>A video of Commission Chair Dr. Ganesh Nana, thanking the public for their input into the development of the Terms of Reference for this inquiry is available at:

<![if !supportLists]>2.      <![endif]>A report summarising the public input received into where this inquiry should focus is available at:

  1. Inquiries are comprehensive pieces of analysis, generally taking 12 -18 months to allow time for the Commission to engage extensively and effectively with interested parties and develop policy recommendations to Government.
  2. To date, the Productivity Commissions has completed fifteen inquiries. The range of inquiries undertaken encompasses a broad range of issues, all critical to the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Find out more at:

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Louise Winspear | Communications
New Zealand Productivity Commission
| Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa
M +64 21 511 140 | P +64 4 903 5160 |

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