Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Social exclusion a threat to social cohesion

The key focus of the New Zealand government’s social policy is to address social exclusion, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

“Without attention, social exclusion could lead to the long-term disengagement of parts of society and threaten social cohesion,” he said in a paper presented to the New Zealand-Australia Community Services Ministers’Council (CSMC).

The Council is an annual meeting of the New Zealand Social Services Minister and his Australian Federal and State equivalents. The council met this year for the first time in Wellington.

Outlining the government’s new direction in social policy, Mr Maharey said elements of its approach towards promoting social participation were:

 Promoting sustainable regional economic development
 Lifting the capability of people to take advantage of the opportunities presented
 Building community capacity
 Closing the gaps between Maori and Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders.

Mr Maharey said central to social progress was a thriving and sustainable economy in which all New Zealanders had the opportunity to participate.

“Sound economic management and policies are being pursued to encourage and support the business sector, where opportunities for participation and sustainable social outcomes are created.

“Active social policies to lift the capability of people to take up those opportunities are being pursued, to ensure that all areas of the country benefit and that ultimately, all feel that they belong to, and can actively participate in, society.”

Mr Maharey said refocussing social assistance was a key part of lifting people’s capability. This sought to move towards:

 A simpler and more responsive social assistance system
 Individualised service delivery
 Provision of opportunities
 Incentives to encourage economic and social participation
 Social partnerships with interest groups.

The first step from July next year was a return to separate unemployment and sickness benefits, together with from December this year a move away from the existing mandatory community work scheme to make work in the community voluntary.

Mr Maharey also outlined other aspects of the Government’s social agenda, including work underway on a compact with the community and voluntary sectors.

He also briefed the council on the Government’s Closing the Gaps strategy and outlined how it aimed to strengthen the capacity of Maori and Pacific communities through education, better health, housing and employment.

The council today dealt with a variety of social issues, including how to prevent family violence, child protection issues, the social impact of gambling, welfare reform and positive ageing.

“This has been a positive exchange of views and it was interesting and helpful to hear how the Australian Federal and State Governments are in their different ways tackling problems that are common to us all,” said Mr Maharey.

Contact: Michael Gibbs, Press Secretary, (04) 471 9154 or (025) 270 9115.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels