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Maharey Launches Work And Income Regional Job Plan

Maharey Launches Work And Income Regional Job Plans

Regionalisation of the Department of Work and Income (DWI) will deliver more jobs and better tailor employment support to needs of local labour markets, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey today launched the 2000/2001 regional plans for each of DWI's 13 regions, accompanied by DWI Chief Executive Christine Rankin and DWI's thirteen Regional Comissioners.

Increased local flexibility was the principal recommendation of the Hunn Report ordered by the Government earlier this year to refocus DWI and improve its services. As an initial response, each of DWI's 13 thirteen regions were asked to prepare regional plans summarising the alternate employment approaches they intend to pursue to get more beneficiaries into paid work.

"The Government wants to marry the employment expertise of DWI with the skill needs of our regions to get more beneficiaries off benefits and into real jobs and independence.

"Around the country regionalisation of the Department has seen some quite innovative local employment initiatives. Examples include:
 building on the successful Lumsden-Queenstown worker bus which takes workers to the southern tourism capital with the establishment of a new bus service, the Fruitloop, to bring horticulture workers into the Alexandra region;
 the establishment of a One More Worker scheme in Porirua with the Porirua Business Development Society; and,
 the development a Residential Motivational Programme run by the Ngati Hine utilising the resources of the Waitangi National Trust.

"Regionalisation of DWI is a further and significant step for this Department. Over the past year we have worked hard to turn DWI around to the point where it is now widely acknowledged to be back on track.

"Getting more people into real paying jobs is DWI's biggest challenge. These plans give us the confidence that the Department is fully focused on an issue which is a central concern to all New Zealanders," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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