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

 

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>

ALSO:

Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>

ALSO:

Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels