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Social development programme will continue

8 September 2002 Media Statement

Social development programme will continue, says Maharey

The social development programmes begun by the Government during its last term will continue over the next three years, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Steve Maharey today released two post-election briefings by the Ministry of Social Development, Improving Wellbeing for all New Zealanders and Building Leadership for Social Development. They detail the gaps which still remain in our society and identify ways to open opportunities for all New Zealanders.

Steve Maharey said the government will continue to invest in people so that they can secure a job, build a better life for their children and participate more fully in their communities.

“Labour has worked hard to transform the social landscape of New Zealand. Significant achievements since 1999 include record low levels of unemployment, access to quality and affordable state housing, increased superannuation payments and improved health and education services.

“Nevertheless, as these papers reveal, there remains more work to do to reduce inequality in our society.

“Over the coming three years the government will continue to focus investment on ensuring children and families get better support. In line with our manifesto promises we intend:
- boosting family incomes with reviews of Family Support and Family Tax Credit rates and thresholds;
- providing more support to beneficiaries to find and keep paid employment, including extra help with childcare and a fairer benefit abatement regime;
- improving the public housing stock; and
- introducing an Education and Training Leaving Age to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are in education, training or work.

“Other priortities include the establishment of a Commission for the Family, active backing for local communities to tackle local issues and continued development of social reporting so that the government can better assess the impact of our social development programmes,” Steve Maharey said.

Copies of Improving Wellbeing for all New Zealanders and Building Leadership for Social Development have been posted to Steve Maharey’s website at www.beehive.govt.nz/maharey.

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