Chapter

Values, practices and strategic divestment: Christian social service organisations in New Zealand

David Conradson

in Landscapes of voluntarism

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861346322
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302650 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346322.003.0009
Values, practices and strategic divestment: Christian social service organisations in New Zealand

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This chapter explores the values and service practices of a set of Christian Social Service Organisations (CSSOs) in the South Pacific nation of New Zealand. First, it discusses the shifting involvement of Christian organisations in New Zealand's mixed economy of welfare over time, noting the impact of neoliberal reforms in recent years. Second, it examines the welfare philosophies circulating within four case study CSSOs in Christchurch, i.e. Anglican Care, Methodist Mission, Presbyterian Support, and the Salvation Army. Among the case study CSSOs, a common desire to promote social justice and well-being was evident at this level. The organisations differed in the degree to which Christian influences on these forms of thought and practice were signalled within mission statements. Finally, it examines how these philosophies have been manifest as service practices within the city. The four agencies each expressed an understanding of poverty as having significant structural causes for instance, and this sits uneasily with workfarist approaches that continue to characterise New Zealand's unemployment policy.

Keywords: Christian Social Service Organisations; New Zealand; Anglican Care; Methodist Mission; Presbyterian Support; Salvation Army; welfare philosophies; workfarism; unemployment

Chapter.  7772 words. 

Subjects: Organizations

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