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Social Investment lifting Better Public Services Results

Hon Bill English

Minister of Finance

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister of State Services

31 October 2016

Social Investment lifting Better Public Services Results

Targeted early intervention and a Social Investment approach is being reflected in the steadily improving Better Public Services (BPS) Results, Ministers Bill English and Paula Bennett say.

The Government has released the BPS mid-year report which outlines the progress being made against the 10 challenging Results set by the Prime Minister in 2012.

The Results have targets aimed at reducing long-term welfare dependence, reducing assaults on children, increasing infant immunisation, increasing educational participation and achievement, reducing recidivist and violent crime, and improving interaction with government.

Finance Minister Bill English says good progress continues to be made in difficult areas and, four years after the targets were first set, a lower number of hard-core issues are left to be resolved.

“These outcomes have been achieved by some long-term changes in the behaviour and approach of the public service.

“The Social Investment approach uses integrated data to identify and understand the issues that drive, for example, long-term welfare dependence, low rates of early childhood education and low rates of immunisation.

“When you look behind the headline numbers of some of the results such as Result 4 (reducing assaults on children), a trend is emerging which shows that while incidences are up slightly due to increased reporting, agencies are starting to connect with the hardest to reach children and families.

“Some BPS results, such as Result 2 (increasing participation in ECE) and Result 3 (increasing infant immunisations), get harder to achieve the closer you get to them. To get to the core of these problems, agencies now need to develop complex interventions with intensive wraparound services,” Mr English says.

State Services Minister Paula Bennett says the Government is working to make sure agency funding is aligned to priorities, is well-targeted and based on evidence of effectiveness.

“By continuing our aspirational, targeted focus, these latest results show we are making a difference in the areas that matter to New Zealanders, including pleasing achievements in the number of children in early childhood education and the two child health targets,” Mrs Bennett says.

“We know that agencies need to be relentless in pursuing all available opportunities to reduce the effort for business dealing with government, and while a lot has been achieved, there is still more to do.

“This report shows a slightly widening gap in the costs of business interactions with government. We know this is due in large part to the recently introduced health and safety legislation changes which was initially challenging to some businesses, but who are now in a far better place.

“We will continue to work to narrow that gap via new initiatives such as Inland Revenue and ACC transformation work,” Mrs Bennett says.

All targets have improved since they were introduced:

• The number of people on a main benefit is down from 295,320 at the end of March 2014 to 279,769 at the end of March 2016, a fall of 5.3% and a savings of $3.6 billion

• Participation in early childhood education is up from 94.7% in 2011 to 96.6% in 2016

• Achievement in NCEA level 2 is up from 74.3% in 2011 to 83.3% in 2015

• The number of 25-34 year olds with NZQF level four or above has increased from 51.9% in 2011 to 56.5% in 2016

• More children are being immunised up from 84% in 2012 to 92.8%

• Rheumatic fever cases have dropped from 177 cases in 2012 to 112 cases in 2016

• The number of people completing transactions with the Government online is up from 29% in 2012 to more than 49%

Because most targets are due to mature next year, Cabinet will decide in the next few months which Results will be refreshed, and which will be mainstreamed.

The latest Better Public Services Results update can be found here:


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