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Opportunity for all New Zealanders

16 December 2004

Opportunity for all New Zealanders

A new approach to cross-government action for social progress – Opportunity for All New Zealanders - was announced today by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

"A lot of money – 78% of core government spending – goes into the social sector, mainly through education, health, and social development budgets," Steve Maharey said. "I'm proud that we are the first government to explain how this total investment fits with our overall goals for the future of New Zealand.

“Opportunity for All spells out the vision of an inclusive New Zealand where all people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, prosper as individuals and as families, and participate in the social, economic, political and cultural life of their communities and nation.

"It pulls together more than 70 key social sector strategies, representing the work of more than 30 government agencies."

Opportunity for All New Zealanders is the government’s response to the state of social wellbeing, reflected in The Social Report 2004. It identifies five critical social issues as priorities for interagency action over the next three to five years: improving educational achievement among low socio-economic groups increasing opportunities for people to participate in sustainable employment promoting healthy eating and healthy action reducing tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse minimising family violence and abuse and neglect of children and older persons.

Opportunity for All will provide direction for social policy and will contribute to the discussion on what kind of society we want for ourselves and our children," Steve Maharey said.

The document can be downloaded from the Ministry of Social Development’s website at http://www.msd.govt.nz/opportunity-for-all. Hard copies can be obtained by emailing the Ministry of Social Development at info@msd.govt.nz.

ENDS

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