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Better Public Services - December 2013

John Key, Bill English

3 December, 2013

Better Public Services

Delivering better public services is one of the National-led Government’s four key priorities for this term. We understand that New Zealand families expect the Government to be spending their hard-earned taxes on the things that matter, and this is why we are bringing a newly-sharpened focus to the public service.

We want our public service to be more innovative, enterprising, driven, and focused on results. We’re delivering improved frontline services, better value for money, and better results for you and your family.

To do this, we’ve set specific targets that we expect our public service to achieve over the next four to five years. They’re set across the following five result areas:

• Reducing long-term welfare dependence

• Supporting vulnerable children

• Boosting skills and employment

• Reducing crime

• Improving interaction with Government

The targets we’ve set recognise the demand for improvements in addressing complex, long-term issues that affect New Zealanders. Some of them are very challenging. We’ve deliberately set the bar high.

In July 2013, we issued the first report on progress against these targets and the results are promising.

Reducing long-term welfare dependence

Our aim

• Reduce the number of people continuously receiving working age benefits for more than 12 months by 30 per cent – from 78,000 to 55,000 by 2017.

Our progress

• In the year to June 2013, the number of beneficiaries had dropped from 78,154 to 74,559.

Supporting vulnerable children

Our aim

• Increase participation in early childhood education so that in 2016, 98% of children starting school will have participated in quality early childhood education (ECE).

• Increase infant immunisation rates so that 95 percent of eight-month-olds are fully immunised by December 2014 and this is maintained through to 30 June 2017, and reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two thirds to 1.4 cases per 100,000 people by June 2017.

• Halt the 10-year rise in children experiencing physical abuse and reduce current numbers by 5% by 2017.

Our progress

• As at September 2013, the participation rate of children in ECE was up to 95.8% –showing that 1,640 more children are participating in ECE than at the same time in 2012.

• As at September 2013, 91% of eight-month-olds are fully immunised – exceeding the June 2014 target of 90%. And data for 2012 shows the incidence rate for acute rheumatic fever initial hospitalisations is lower than in 2011. In 2012 there were 171 initial hospitalisations (3.9 per 100,000), compared with 197 (4.2 per 100,000) in 2011.

• In the year to June 2013, physical abuse was substantiated for 3,031 children, compared to the 3,108 in the year to June 2012.

Boosting skills and employment

Our aim

• 85% of 18-year-olds will have achieved NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification in 2017.

• 55% of 25 to 34-year-olds will have a qualification at Level 4 or above in 2017.

Our progress

• Data for the 2012 year shows that 77.2% of 18-year-olds achieved NCEA level 2 in 2012, compared with 74.3% in 2011. This is an increase of 2.9 per cent.

• In 2012, 52.6% of 25 to 34-year olds had higher qualifications, up from 51.8% in 2011.

Reducing crime

Our aim

• By June 2017, reduce the crime rate by 15%, reduce the violent crime rate by 20%, and reduce the youth crime rate by 25%.

• By June 2017, reduce the re-offending rate by 25%.

Our progress

• As at June 2013, the crime rate had dropped by 12%, the violent crime rate had dropped by 8%, and the youth crime rate had dropped by 19% since June 2011.

• For the year ended June 2013, the re-offending rate reduced by 11%.

Improving interaction with Government

Our aim

• Business costs from dealing with government will reduce by 25% by 2017, through a year-on-year reduction in effort required to work with agencies.

• Government services to business will have similar key performance ratings as leading private sector firms by July 2017, and businesses will be able to contribute to this through an online feedback system from July 2013.

• An average of 70% of New Zealanders' most common transactions with government will be completed in a digital environment by 2017.

Our progress

• Currently, work is underway to create a shared 'front door' for government services, increase digital delivery of services and collect information and share it so businesses only have to tell government once. We’re working on three key areas to improve business services: create services that are designed for business, deliver faster online services and achieve better integration in how services are delivered across government.

• Data for the year ending June 2013 showed an average digital uptake of 37.3%. This shows a 6.9% rise in digital uptake measured year-on-year, from an average of 30.4% for the year ending June 2012.

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