How and why has microfinance reached the New Zealand policy agenda?
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The New Zealand government’s involvement in the provision of microfinance for people on low incomes raises questions about how particular ideas capture the attention of politicians and policymakers, and why governments choose particular policies over others. This policy analysis uses a multiple streams framework to explore how and why this microfinance policy reached the government’s agenda. The research findings support the general theoretical idea proposed by multiple streams - that a problem, a policy and a political stream converge in order for an idea to reach the policy agenda. It finds that for a National government cognisant of the issues caused by problem debt and poverty, microfinance presented itself as a quick, easy solution. This thesis contributes to the understanding of applied policy research in New Zealand. It shows that academic theories can be usefully applied to real world examples. It also provides insights for people wishing to further understand the policy process, and potential actions for those wishing to influence it.