2003 Conference Papers

"Skills, credentials and social networks: older multiple job holders in the Christchurch labour market"
- Michelle Girvan

Paper presented at the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA) Emerging Researchers Symposium on Ageing and the Well-being of Older People in New Zealand, Wellington, 21-22 October 2003.

In recent years, the labour market structure in New Zealand has become highly fragmented and increasingly competitive, with lifetime careers no longer a certainty. Policies that encourage skill development and lifelong learning aim to create a highly flexible and skilled work force, making credentials increasingly necessary for employment. Changing demographics, indicating an ageing of New Zealand's workforce, create a need for researchers and policymakers to address the impact of these changes on older workers to ensure the wellbeing of both the economy and New Zealand society. As workers adapt to changing labour market structures, multiple job holding, as a form of employment previously considered non-standard, is increasingly adopted. This paper focuses on the 35 to 64 age cohort, as a group exhibiting higher than average levels of multiple job holding. Drawing on qualitative interviews with multiple job holders in the Christchurch labour market, it elaborates on New Zealand and Christchurch statistical data, providing a deeper insight into the situation of multiple job holders in a local labour market and the extent to which their age has influenced their position in the labour market. The paper discusses motivations behind holding more than one job, and the contribution that various skills, qualifications and social networks make to labour market situations.

"Assessing the social impacts of irrigation - a framework based on New Zealand cases"
- Nick Taylor, Wayne McClintock and Heather McCrostie Little

Paper presented to the International Association for Impact Assessment Annual Meeting, Marrakech, Morocco, 17-20 June, 2003.

Irrigation can transform society as well as land and landscapes. This paper uses ex-post and ex-ante studies of irrigation projects in New Zealand to develop a framework for assessing the social impacts of irrigation. A model of social changes in areas transformed by irrigation identified how waves of land-use change are accompanied by changes in farm ownership, and changes in workforce and demography. Several quantitative measures are used to identify social changes in two irrigated areas. Most of the data are obtained from specialised analysis of the Census of Population and Dwellings. The parameters include total population, children under 15 years, presence of young farmers and farm workers, levels of education, and school rolls. The data complement information from community research, which identifies issues for community change, workforces and business planning. In addition to social and economic impacts of land use change, the case studies identify other variables to consider, such as the impacts of constructing reservoirs and canals on host communities, visual impacts, changes in water quality and impacts on water based recreation. Furthermore, social impacts will vary over the life cycle of an irrigation project, including planning, construction and operation. While proponents argue irrigation projects will bring economic and social benefits, the social-impact framework utilises a broader analysis of benefits and costs, with ongoing social monitoring, active participation of interested and affected parties, and management of change from a community perspective.

"Multiple job holding of farmers in New Zealand"
- Nick Taylor, Heather McCrostie Little, James Baines and James Newell

Paper presented at the Agrifoods X Conference, Akaroa, 21-24 April 2003.

A body of research conducted in the 1990s confirmed and extended evidence within New Zealand of farm family pluriactivity, including multiple job holding through off farm employment, and non agricultural enterprises run by farm men and women. The 1990s research showed that multiple job holding is a key part of the strategy used by farm households to support their household incomes, and therefore their farm incomes. Furthermore, there was evidence of farm women in particular developing career paths in their chosen occupations, in addition to their important contribution to farm work. Pluriactivity is also important in the process of farm succession. National profiling of multiple job holding from the 2001 Census shows that farmer occupational groups rate highly for their level of multiple job holding, as do people in rural areas. However, there are important limitations posed by the questions asked about work in the census. Analysis of farm industry groups by factors such as sex, work status, age, ethnicity, and hours of work will provide further insights into multiple job holders verses non-multiple job holders. The national statistical profile is interpreted against the previous, in-depth research and scoping analysis based on a small number of in-depth interviews. The drive for many farm women and men to work off the farm, and/or develop alternative enterprises, may be stronger than ever, despite relatively high levels of farm income in recent years. Off farm employment is also driven by personal fulfilment, and the entrepreneurial ethos of farm families to fully utilise farm and household resources and labour.