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Maharey Notes

Maharey Notes



New regional statistics from the Ministry of Social Development show that
unemployment numbers have dropped in every region in New Zealand. The
figures were released recently by Social Services and Employment Minister
Steve Maharey with the 2002/2003 regional plans for each of the Ministry's
13 regions.

In some regions the numbers of registered unemployed have dropped by over
60% in the past three years. For example in Marlborough the numbers have
dropped by 76% and in Otago by 62.5%. Unemployment is at its lowest in 14
years, at 5.1 per cent. Despite this, young people and long-term
unemployed are amongst the groups that remain the most difficult job
seekers to place in work. The regional plans detail the particular focus
of Work and Income Regional Commissioners to support these beneficiaries
into paid employment in the coming year.

Regionalisation of the Work and Income service of the Ministry of Social
Development was introduced by the government in 2000 to marry its
employment expertise with the different skill needs of each region. Around
the country regionalisation of the Ministry has seen some innovative local
employment initiatives. Examples include:

an Auckland initiative to prepare long-term unemployed Pacific job
seekers for entry into the NZ Police. To date all participants have passed
the pre-entry exams;

the Jack Links Manukau Factory in Auckland. The Ministry sourced 400
workers who were then trained by Industry New Zealand to work in a factory;

a Northland training programme for the hospitality industry, now
supplying trained staff to local hotels and restaurants.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey travelled to Kawerau
during Parliament's recess to open its new Heartland Services Centre. The
Centre will serve the district and is one of approximately 20 being
established in provincial locations around the country. They restore face
to face access to a range of government services. People in rural areas
can experience significant difficulties accessing government services
because of poor telephone coverage and lack of public transport.

Government services most in demand in the Kawerau area include the Housing
New Zealand Corporation, ACC, Child, Youth and Family and the Inland
Revenue Department. The centre offers a one-stop shop in a convenient
location. $2.27m was provided in the Budget to establish and staff the
Heartland centres over the next four years.

A new report into older Maori living standards will be used to help remedy
social disparities and planning for the future. Living Standards of Older
Maori was commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development and shows a
relatively high rate of material disadvantage amongst older Maori and clear
disparities between the living standards of older Maori and non-Maori. The
prevalence of material hardship was three-four times higher than for
non-Maori and about one in five older Maori faced severe difficulties.

The research team was led by Mason Durie, head of Maori Studies at Massey
University, and the development of the measurement systems and the review
of findings was done in consultation with Maori research groups. It is
expected that the bicultural partnership model used for the research will
be a valuable tool for further research in this field.

While disparities between Maori and non-Maori were well-known the research
provides a strong evidential base for helping to change that. With New
Zealand's population as a whole getting older, the proportion of kaumatua
is expected to increase quite quickly in the next 20-30 years. It is
important that we plan ahead to help boost Maori material well-being and to
have the necessary services in place to help look after them and all New

On the web:

Living Standards of Older Maori,
http:// http://www.msd.govt.nz/publications/recent-publications.html

Education Minister Trevor Mallard is calling for feedback on the proposed
export education levy that will be used to strengthen, develop and promote
the expanding billion-dollar export education industry in New Zealand. A
Ministry of Education consultation document, Developing Export Education -
the Export Industry Development Fund and Levy, looks at options for an
export education levy which will establish a ring-fenced industry
development fund, worth $3.9 million annually.

The export industry development fund would pay for a proposed work
programme encompassing promotional activities in key markets, professional
development, research and quality assurance in both pastoral care of
students and academic qualifications.

It is proposed to set the levy at an initial level of 0.5 percent of the
gross tuition fee income received from foreign fee paying students. This
equals $5 per $1000 of tuition fee. Submissions close on 11 November 2002.

On the web: http:// http://www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/international

The University of Auckland's planned School of Business is to get the first
capital grant under the Government's new 'Partnerships for Excellence'
policy framework. The Government has agreed to a capital contribution of
$25 million towards development of the school, which must be matched by
private sector contributions of another $25 million.

The University of Auckland is aiming to establish a Business School with
additional senior staff recruited who have international standing in
research. The venture will include the establishment of a Graduate School
of Business, the expansion of teaching activities, the building of a
purpose-built facility, building of research activities around a set of
research centres and clusters. A variety of new teaching and research
programmes will be delivered, including initiatives in Maori and Pacific
business development, entrepreneurship and small to medium enterprise
business innovation.

The Government expects to receive additional bids under the Partnerships
for Excellence framework from other tertiary education organisations.

Television New Zealand director Craig Boyce has been appointed acting
chairperson of Television New Zealand Limited following the resignation of
the previous chairperson, Ross Armstrong.

Craig Boyce, a Christchurch-based company director and chairman of Smiths
City Group Ltd and Connexionz Ltd, has been a director of TVNZ since 2000.
Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said he appreciated his willingness to
lead TVNZ during this time of transition. A new chairperson will be
appointed after the passage of the Television New Zealand Bill which is
currently before the House.

The government's new Gateway programme that enables senior school students
to start national qualifications while on work experience is expanding to
38 new schools around the country. A recent Skill New Zealand evaluation
of the first year of the programme showed it has been very successful and
was highly valued by employers, students, and schools. Gateway currently
caters for over 1,000 students in 24 schools, and involves over 200
employers. An additional $1.8m provided in the Budget this year will allow
Gateway to be expanded to a further 38 schools.

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey says
Gateway demonstrates what can be achieved with some fresh thinking and a
collaborative approach to skills issues between Government, business
educators and the community. The programme allows students to incorporate
workplace learning with their school-based studies. The aim is to
strengthen the linkages between schools and business and pave the way for
students into workplace training. It has found a high level of endorsement
for Gateway from the three main participant groups ? employers, students,
and schools. This year the programme is being expanded to a further 38
schools, taking the total number of participating schools to 62. The
government believes that expanding the learning pathways available to young
people is a critical if we are to ensure that we properly prepare all New
Zealanders for an increasingly knowledge-based society and workforce.

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey travels to
Gisborne this Friday for the Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand
Celebrating Diversity: a regional perspective conference.

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