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Update on review

12 August 2004

Update on review

Co-ordinating Minister, Race Relations Trevor Mallard today released the first phase of work for the government’s review of targeted policies and programmes.

"Chief executives of the relevant departments will generally undertake the reviews, with assistance from the Ministerial Review Unit and Treasury experts where necessary," Trevor Mallard said.

“The first stage involves department reviews of policies and programmes at the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Education Review Office and the Department of Labour and Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

"The review is aimed at giving ministers and the public an assurance that policies and programmes are targeted on the basis of need, not race.

" I want to make it clear that the government is absolutely committed to a fair go for everyone. Unlike the National party, we are committed to lifting Maori and Pacific Island educational achievement, health and welfare.

"In order to do so, we will continue to use targeted programmes and policies that are effective for these groups, just as we do for other groups of New Zealanders who have specific needs such as the elderly or those in rural communities.

"Inclusion in the attached list does not mean these programmes will be dropped -as they may be working very well. The reviews will confirm this or otherwise.

"Maori and Pacific Island peoples lag so far behind the rest of the population in these areas that if we don't act to reduce these inequalities, the resulting cost to society, and to New Zealand taxpayers will continue.

"These initiatives have not been selected because of any concerns about their content. Rather, a mix of initiatives of varying complexity and from differing types of agencies was chosen,” Trevor Mallard said.

The reviews will be expected to address the following indicative questions: How is targeting on ethnicity consistent with the objective of the policy? When ethnicity is being used as a basis for targeting, what evidence exists that this is both appropriate and the best strategy to achieve the government outcome sought? How are the programmes being implemented to ensure that targeting on ethnicity is being aligned as much as possible with the outcomes sought and the underlying policy? How are the policies and programmes being monitored to ensure that they are effective at achieving the outcomes sought?

“This exercise will enable a critical evaluation of these policies and programmes to be carried out. I expect to receive a report on this review work before the end of the year.

"Until final decisions are made, no other information will be released in relation to these reviews, as it is important this process is not compromised in any way,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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