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Key Notes

Key Notes

Families want to know that we are not throwing their tax dollars around, but that we are targeting their money to achieve real results that make a meaningful difference to their lives.

That is why it is very important to me, as Prime Minister, to lead a Government that delivers better public services. This is one of the National-led Government's four main priorities for this term in office.

The Better Public Services programme sets specific targets that we expect the public service to achieve over the next four to five years.

Some of the targets are very challenging and we have deliberately set the bar high.

Some of those tougher challenges include reducing long-term welfare dependency, reducing crime, and increasing infant immunisation.

Last week we delivered the second progress report on the Better Public Services programme.

I'm pleased to say that we are making progress in a lot of areas and, in some areas, we are ahead of where we need to be to meet targets.

More children are now protected from preventable diseases. The latest results show 91 per cent of eight-month-olds are fully immunised - ahead of the June 2014 target of 90 per cent.

Crime is at a 33-year low. Since June 2011, total crime has fallen 13 per cent, and violent crime has fallen 9 per cent, the youth crime rate is down 22 per cent, and the reoffending rate down 11.4 per cent.

This means we are well on-track to meet the targets of reducing crime by June 2017 and, more importantly, families can feel safer in their own homes.

In terms of welfare, there are fewer people on benefits, with the number of beneficiaries having dropped from 78,154 to 74,559 in the year to June 2013.

More 18-year-olds are achieving NCEA Level 2 and more children are participating in early childhood education.

Visit the National website for more information on our Better Public Services programme, or watch my latest video "My Preferred Headline".

More school leavers with NCEA Level 2

I believe every child deserves the best education we can give them. That's why I was particularly excited by the news that more students are leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2.

Provisional results for 2013 show that 76.8 per cent of students left school with at least NCEA Level 2, compared with 74.3 per cent in 2012 - that's up 10.3 per cent since 2008.

The rates of Māori and Pasifika school-leavers achieving NCEA Level 2 have also increased. Read more about the latest NCEA results here.


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