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David Liebschutz

Public Service Professor Assistant Dean for Career and Alumni Programs Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy The University of Albany

"My project, 'Taxes and Poverty in New Zealand,' presented a summary of the major issues surrounding the interface between tax and social welfare systems in New Zealand, particularly as they affect those in transition from dependence on the social welfare system to independence from it. Placed at the Treasury Department's Regulatory and Tax Policy Branch, I engaged in discussions with senior government officials at the Treasury, Department of Labour, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Ministry of Women's Affairs. My recommendations for developing new initiatives, which included conducting evaluations of current programs, improving work incentives, and simplifying benefit programs, were well received. I also made a number of presentations to the faculty and students at New Zealand's five major universities, and to members of Parliament, advocacy groups, the faith community, labor unions, the media, and the general public. After returning to the United States, I presented my project and its recommendations to colleagues at the Center for the Study of States and will make a similar presentation to the faculty at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. The Axford Fellowship is a fabulous opportunity to explore policy issues in a foreign country in a way that one cannot in one's own country. The ability to take risks and try new things were the highlights of my experience."[email protected]