The Morgan Foundation: Still Here and Still Thinking for the Future

Jessi MorganMorgan Foundation5 Comments

With the announcement of Gareth Morgan’s new political project: The Opportunities Party (TOP), there may be some of you wondering what now for the Morgan Foundation? Well in many ways nothing changes, it is business as usual for the foundation, just with a new chief in charge.

In his announcement of The Opportunities Party Gareth said

“I have resigned as a trustee of Morgan Foundation to focus on this political campaign. MF will continue the work on the public policy research, environmental projects and projects as it has been since its establishment in 2006.”

I have stepped into Gareth’s former role and will head the Foundations work stream.

Is the Foundation independent from The Opportunities Party?

Having resigned from the Morgan Foundation, Gareth will no longer direct any work or funds of the Foundation; his legal position in relation to the Foundation is about the same as the person on the street (that is to say he has no legal position).

That is not to say that The Opportunities Party or any other political party cannot use our work. The Morgan Foundation’s work is for the public good and we place it in a public forum for this reason.

We encourage all political parties to engage with our research and consider the evidence-based policies we have developed. Given we have been researching many of these topics for ten years, we would be delighted for them to get real political traction and do not mind who picks them up. That is the benefit of evidenced based policy – ideology takes a back seat.

What can you expect from the Morgan Foundation in 2017? 

In the coming months you can expect to see a book “Money Works’ by Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw. The book covers the research on ‘what works’ to ensure children from low income families get a fair go. The book addresses the role of unconditional cash assistance for low-income parents. Jess will continue to speak and write on social and some health issues (though with less regularity than Geoff Simmons did). Jess will also start a project on affordable and social housing in 2017.

Paul Young will continue his strong focus on the environment and climate change, following up his three reports on the Governments behaviour with regard to our climate change and fresh water policies.

I will continue my work in obesity prevention and conservation and take on the role of managing the day to day of the organisation. We will also continue to take on interns and researchers as needed.

Geoff Simmons and Nick Tansley have taken a leave of absence to join Gareth at The Opportunities Party (TOP). 

How do I follow the Morgan Foundations work?

You can sign up to our newsletter, follow us on our new Morgan Foundation Facebook page, and you can still find us at The Morgan Foundation website.

We will continue to provide thoughtful, engaging content that challenges old ideas and brings new evidence based thinking on how we can create a prosperous society that is fair for all.

The Morgan Foundation: Still Here and Still Thinking for the Future was last modified: November 16th, 2016 by Jessi Morgan
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Jessi Morgan

5 Comments on “The Morgan Foundation: Still Here and Still Thinking for the Future”

  1. I’m personally upset that a rich country like ours can ignore the plight of disadvantaged children in our society. I would like a political party with “balls” enough to establish a policy that makes children paramount. It is not acceptable, in my opinion, to use the old argument that its the parents fault etc etc, simply put children do not ask to be born! So it is the states job to ensure that our replacement stock reaches its maximum potential. I would establish a funding scheme for such disadvantaged children that covered all their expenses up until around 18 years . This would cost the state a lot of money but the return would be huge socially and morally.
    I would ensure accountability by making caregivers take parenting courses and if non compliant then the children would be cared for by suitable community care. I can see a valuable resource of retired caring grandparents of suitable ethnicity and training taking a valuable role in this aspect. Personally we would be happy to pay an additional tax, call it child care tax, and make everyone contribute including businesses and tourists to our shores. Proper loving care and education is the way to break the poverty cycle if the caregivers cant provide this then the community should!

    1. Hi Graeme, the only problem I have with what you have said is that some people don’t to take contraception measures and therefore just keep having children. I would rather think at the top of the hill rather than the ambulance at the bottom. I agree that children need to be nurtured up to the age of 18, then so be it. However, imagine how those children must feel when they have not been brought up by their parents as they watch other children have a nice life with their biological parents. I think its great that children would have an opportunity to grow with an array of support networks (community) however, it still does not solve the problem of children being born to parents who just cant look after them. WHY are these people having children? I hope there is a solution some time soon so we can help the children of today and hopefully reduce the need into the future with birth control options that are not mandatory.

      As for paying more tax, myself as a solo parent where the father just up and left thinking the grass was greener only to find out the grass was sour. I am not even able to pay off my mortgage, I work part time so I can be there for my child and yet just scrape thru to pay my bills. We even give up our home for guests via Airbnb and live in a small section of the rear of the house. I for one, am not supportive of paying more tax because I need that money to help me get by, Council rates will be going up, electricity goes up every year, food just keeps getting more expensive, and the list goes on. The last think I want is to be spat out at the back and and have to sell my home because I cant afford living costs. I chose to only have ONE child for environmental reasons, luckily I did because as it later turned out I became a solo parent not by choice.

      I grew up with a parent who went to prison and I felt as a child “Abandoned” “Not good enough” and so I understand what must be going thru the minds of children who have parents that can’t or don’t meet their children’s needs. The first most is LOVE, then FOOD & SHELTER, then EDUCATION. The only thing schools cant offer is shelter unless they have sleeping quarters. Now if there were places that did offer all this, the community could visit and offer assistance like cook the meals, clean, be a friend, do fun things etc. Please NO RELIGIOUS aspect of the entire situation. We don’t want another stolen generation situation and religion rammed down their throat.

      As for me paying more taxes, I am sorry but I simply cant afford to, as I too am just keeping my head above water treading at a pace that could sink me if I take on more financial burden. I love my home, the place I have created because as a child who moved many many times in my life and all I said was “I just want a home I can call my own”. Now that I have got it, I don’t want to loose it. In life we have many paths that could take us to many different places and scenarios. I chose the path I am on because I wanted a better life, I could visualise what I wanted. Most children would not have a clue what they want and if it was to own their own home in the future, they would not know where to begin or know that that would be impossible because of the money required.

      Its a hard one and I take my hat off to those who take on this challenge politically. There was a time where I went thru the process of adopting my half younger brother and sister (same father, different mother). I was accepted but my family said not to because “you will struggle meeting someone as I would have these children from someone else”. And so I didn’t adopt them. Today, my brother has spent more of his life in a prison than he has out of one. He is now 24 years of age, is now out back on drugs and steeling from his sister. I feel awful that I could have made a difference for the good in his life as he was smart and very bright. There is hardly anything for youth to do, they are not old enough to work full time as they are still at school. The things they would like to do are out of their reach, if they want a skate park people just oppose the idea “Not in my backyard”. If there were venues available, they have to pay and with what money? If I won lotto, I certainly would create MANY MANY spaces for youth.

      Youth need people to show them a way that is possible, to give them fun things to do like skate parks as they are still young and not adults yet. I could go on, but I wont. I just wish the world was filled with love and love and more love for humans, flora and fauna. Then the world would be a better place. Sorry for the long reply 🙂

  2. Offer free vasectomies and contraception to ALL New Zealanders. I am sorry folks, but generally speaking the people who earn their money and are not religious tend to only have the amount of children they can afford and never get a pay rise from work when they have another child. I agree that it is not the fault of children who are born into this world, however it IS the responsibility of the parent to be responsible and if they can’t then they should not be having children. If they keep having children because they cant afford measures to avoid having a child, then I would be happy for my taxes to fund free vasectomies and free contraception to all people living in New Zealand. The children of today and in the future, yes they need nurturing in all aspects. I worry for children who go home from school to a household that is not safe or has no food to feed them. Something needs to shift drastically.

    1. Oh come on. Maybe not per child pay increases from work (though there is all that parental & maternity leave) but what about the horrible complicated WFF tax credit system that reallocates several billion a year. What percentage of NZders are actually not somewhat incentivised to increase family size by additional income. It’s a crazily complex system.


      There’s obviously a joint responsibility between parents and the rest of the nearer and wider community (including the state) for the well-being and upbringing of kids. My little guy is well out of the nest following his amazing life path but does that mean I don’t have any feeling of duty or mutual support or solidarity for other families and folks in our land. Of course not. In fact, we all seem to agree on that point in NZ (except perhaps for David Seymour et al.) which is why we have welfare and tax relief.

      However, it seems to me outcomes would be more just and benefits wider ranging across community and economy if we had higher taxes to pay for better more uniform support that was better attached to the child. So, for example, we could have a kid’s UBI that was partially paid in kind, rather than in money, or in some kind of social services credit.

      And, equally, I would support higher taxes to pay for across the board improvements to social services that would benefit all kids such as school lunches.

      The notion that we have to be on this continual neoliberal trajectory to lower taxes is yesterday’s news, and has been for a long time.

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