Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

More could have been done to tackle urgent social challenges

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) welcomes many of the measures contained in the government’s budget, but believes that more could have been done to tackle some of the most urgent social challenges in the country.

In particular the Association commends the decision to invest in healthcare, tackle child poverty and homelessness, while doing more to alleviate the crisis in housing. These issues have blighted Aotearoa New Zealand for a long time and all efforts to address them are to be encouraged.

These measures complement the previously-announced Families Package which ANZASW has also welcomed.

ANZASW particularly commends the move to extend free primary healthcare and prescriptions for children; more funds being directed at mental health support, including free counselling, for people under the age of 25. The latter is particularly welcome given the shockingly high rates of youth suicide in Aotearoa New Zealand.

However, we believe that more could have been done on the issue of housing. While plans to ensure widespread insulation and to increase the number of public rental homes by 1600 a year is a step in the right direction, ANZASW believes that that the government should have been more ambitious: for example, aiming to reach the figure of 2000 public rentals that the Salvation Army estimated are needed to end homelessness.

From a social work perspective, we also welcome the increase in funding that has been directed toward Oranga Tamariki and for community-based Family Violence Services. However, we regret that the core community based social services sector has received no additional funding, despite its role in providing indispensable services to many vulnerable New Zealanders.

As regards Oranga Tamariki, we would like to see the extra funds directed toward frontline social work operations; there has long been a need for a reduction in unmanageably heavy caseloads and for more investment in face to face services.

We also welcome a renewed focus on environmental issues which has seen an increase in funds for the department of conservation alongside additional support for sustainable farming.

ANZASW agrees with the government’s statement that it should be “placing the wellbeing of people at the centre of all its work” and that the focus of the budget should not only be in promoting economic growth but the social good. With this in mind, the Association hopes that this budget will be followed by further legislation and future budgets that build on the progressive measures that have already come to pass.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels