Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) warmly congratulates its co-founder and economics spokesperson Associate Professor Susan St John on becoming Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to social policy.
“We’re thrilled that Susan is to be acknowledged with this high honour, which is extremely well-deserved,” said Janfrie Wakim, St John’s fellow CPAG co-founder.
“The aim of all her economics work is to support and protect some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable and least powerful residents: our children and our elderly. She lives and breathes this important mission, and commits to an almost-fulltime workload as a researcher, the bulk of it unpaid volunteer work.”
“All of New Zealand benefits from Susan’s superb clear-eyed and creative problem-solving, her cogent analysis, and constructive well-researched policy solutions, as well as her willingness to step forward as a public intellectual and explain the issues to a wide audience,” says Wakim.
“The fact she freely shares her expertise speaks to her commitment to service,” said Wakim. “She’s achieved all this while dealing with systemic sexism, as a woman in the overwhelmingly male field of economics. She is truly a remarkable person, and the nation is extremely fortunate to have her.
Her advocacy and courage questioning damaging policies have been inspirational to many and Susan has generously mentored many emerging researchers in this field.”
St John and Wakim founded CPAG Aotearoa in 1994, in response to what St John accurately predicted would be long-term devastating fallout from the welfare cuts of 1991.
St John’s recent social welfare research includes co-authoring a CPAG report on a subsidy that fuels the rental market The Accommodation Supplement: The wrong tool to fix the house (May 2019), and calculating How effective are 2018 policy settings for the worst-off children? (Victoria University of Wellington Institute of Governance and Policy Studies working paper 18/02; 2018). Background from DPMC: https://dpmc.govt.nz/honours/