Margaret McKenzie's contributions to social work have been recognised.
New Zealand has made some innovative changes in social work for the protection of children, which have attracted great international interest. But the statistics show that we must do better because too many children still suffer abuse.
Margaret McKenzie, a Social Services lecturer at Otago Polytechnic, has been working with a team of collaborators in other institutions, here and overseas, to research child protection theories and principles, particularly as applied in New Zealand. Over her long career in social work, Margaret has seen the pendulum swing from one theory to another. The research team developed a blended model, drawing on the team members' combined experience of best possible outcomes for children and families, and combining elements of other theories into a coherent framework. This research has a focus on the rights of the child, and has been published and presented internationally.
Margaret is teaching her students, both in New Zealand and on an international Masters programme in Norway, to be critically reflective, rather than simply applying the theory that is currently in vogue. Her teaching, research and leadership in the profession have been recognised recently with life membership of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers.