This report by New Zealander Mike O'Brien is an account of the changes to social security provisions made by the fourth Labour government (1984-1990) in New Zealand. It describes not only the changes which were put into place, but those which were planned for enactment at the time that the Labour government lost office. The changes effected by the National government which came to power in 1990 are also described. The changes themselves affect benefit levels and taxation, and have an impact on all aspects of social security, on income distribution (though this is not a central theme of this report) and on poverty levels. Although the report refers to New Zealand legislation and social security structure, these issues are of very general concern and interest. Alterations to a system are better understood in a context of the development of that system, and this report presents such an historical background before proceeding to an analysis of the more recent changes. In addition there is an account of the consultative processes which were undertaken before the changes were made. An analysis of the submissions made to the various task forces and review bodies indicates which were successful in having their suggestions accepted and those that were not. This analysis provides some basis for understanding the influences on government and on the process of decision making.