Predictive modelling "abuses and brutalises" New Zealand benefits recipients


In 2016, when Australia was planning to introduce a new welfare system based on data collection, experts from New Zealand, where a similar system was set up in 2012, warned that experience showed that the most vulnerable people were checking out of any relationship with the state. They warned, for example, that the New Zealand welfare changes, which used data collected on welfare recipients to predict their future cost to the state, treated beneficiaries as a threat to society and were unproven. While the government claimed the use of predictive modelling techniques saved the welfare system $12 billion, experts in sociology and criminology said the system was overwhelming social workers with administrative duties and forcing the most desperate people to give up trying to get what they need.

Writer: Eleanor Ainge Roy
Publication: Guardian

Related learning resources