Everyday injustices of serving time in a penal welfare system in Aotearoa New Zealand


Contemporary socio-economic precarity and associated welfare responses feature considerable psychological and procedural challenges for persons and communities seeking assistance. Adopting a systems perspective that is informed by social practice theory, this article considers issues of injustice in the consumption of the time of low- income community members accessing welfare support in Aotearoa New Zealand. We draw examples of time injustice from two household case exemplars that reflect wider trends within a larger study of 100 households in Auckland. Each case is comprised of 15 consecutive monthly conversations, six recorded recap interviews, and various participant service, employment, food, housing, and relationship maps. Drawing on these materials we document everyday issues of time injustice related to procedural barriers to support from within the Government welfare system that propel the participants into often undignified, time exhausting, and exploitative situations beyond the system. The analysis demonstrates the time dilemmas that arise when welfare and employment organisations become out of sync with the everyday rhythms and needs of low-income community members.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v8i1p60

Keywords: Time; Welfare; Penal; Injustice; Precarity


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