Sir Owen Woodhouse Memorial Lecture

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Small Lecture Theatre (803-210)

17 Eden Crescent

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

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The Auckland Law School invites you to the 2019 Sir Owen Woodhouse Memorial Lecture presented by Susan St. John.

About this Event

The Sir Owen Woodhouse legacy has been a ‘paradigm shift’ in the thinking around compensation for accidents, prevention and rehabilitation. The 1967 report provided a no-fault compensation benchmark blueprint for New Zealand, and the subsequent ACC legislation has been much admired, if not fully adopted by other countries. A paradigm shift has been described as "a disjunctive process associated with periodic discontinuities in policy” (Hall 1993: 279). It requires the world is viewed in a different way and thus paradigm changes are painful, resisted, and often subject to reversionary changes. Nevertheless, they are the way in which progress is made.

Enduringly today, the Woodhouse principles and thinking are relevant to the next paradigm shift in welfare. The necessary widespread welfare reforms require relinquishing 19th century thinking to embrace a modern inclusive wellbeing-focused welfare state fit for the evolving role of women, work, and uncertainty in the 21st century. The lesson since the ACC scheme began is that old thinking dies hard. Clear guiding principles can be easily lost. To see the Owen Woodhouse vision embodied in a new unified welfare system will require eternal vigilance, deep education of policy makers and the public, and a resolve not to slip back into habitual thinking.

The pre-lecture reception will begin at 5:30pm in the Law Staff Common Room.

About the speaker

Susan St John, CNZM is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Economics Department. She is the current Director of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre and founding Member of Child Poverty Action Group. She has had a lifetime research interest in ACC, social insurance, tax and welfare schemes. She has actively promoted the Woodhouse principles in various forums since the late 1970s.

Sir Owen Woodhouse

This lecture commemorates the life of one of our most distinguished judges and citizens, Sir Owen Woodhouse. His compassion, generosity of spirit and social conscience were reflected in his work as President of the Court of Appeal, President of the Law Commission, and Chairman of the Royal Commission on Compensation for Injury that recommended a no-fault accident compensation scheme and laid the foundations for ACC. He made an immense contribution to New Zealand’s law and society.

The purpose of this annual lecture in Sir Owen Woodhouse's memory is to take a broad view, as he would have wished, at some of the ways in which safety, especially in situations of peril, may be promoted. The lecture will touch on the roles of brave and visionary individuals, of courts, of legislators, of treaty makers and of the scholarly community.

Date and Time

Location

Small Lecture Theatre (803-210)

17 Eden Crescent

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

View Map

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