Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


DPB changes backed by international experience

19 December 2001 Media Statement

DPB changes backed by international experience

New changes to actively assist sole parents on the domestic purposes and widows benefits to move back into the workforce when family responsibilities allow are backed by international experience, says Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

The changes are contained in the Social Security (Working Towards Employment) Amendment Bill which is to receive its first reading in Parliament today.

Steve Maharey today released a suite of papers which detail the rationale for more intensive and personalised case management of sole parent beneficiaries and international evidence showing that the approach works. A number of the Treasury briefing papers in the suite have already been publicly released.

“The changes in the Bill now before Parliament start to reform our social security system to respond better to the needs of individuals and their families. In particular, international evidence shows that more regular and personalised case management increases the likelihood that sole parents will move into and stay in real jobs, earning real wages.

“Around the world many countries have reformed their approach to sole parent beneficiaries, while others are in the process of doing so now.

“A common feature of these changes has been a move away from the kind of ‘work first’ approach National introduced to New Zealand in 1999 towards the facilitative approach contained in the Bill. International examples of this approach include the British New Deal for Lone Parents, the Australian JET programme and the highly successful New Zealand COMPASS scheme.

“Overseas research clearly shows that forcing sole parents off welfare and into any job, regardless of their personal family circumstances and responsibilities, leads to an increase in poverty for them and their children.

“It is also clear from officials’ advice that the changes to the administration of both benefits contained in the Bill will not slow a return to the workforce. An increasing number of sole parent beneficiaries have had success in finding work in recent times, but as the report notes there is no established link between work-testing and greater rates of employment. Other factors have also had an impact, including an improvement in labour market conditions and a decline in the growth of sole parent families.

“As the evaluation report which I released last month on National’s 1999 changes showed, DPB and widows beneficiaries are highly motivated to get back into the workforce. There were significant barriers that worked against sole parents entering and retaining employment. The move to intensive case management contained in the Bill will see sole parent beneficiaries sitting down at least every year with Work and Income staff to identify and remove those barriers.

“Replacing the current ineffective work test with improved and more flexible case management was a commitment made by both Labour and the Alliance in their pre-election policies. We have honoured that commitment.

“As the papers I have released today show the changes bring New Zealand in to line with other OECD countries and better support sole parent beneficiaries to get into paid employment and stay there,” Steve Maharey said.


A backgrounder on the key provisions of the bill is available.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Epic Fails Of Kris Faafoi

Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither been kind nor just, especially to the migrants whose skills New Zealand will need to get us through Covid, and grow the economy into the future... More>>

Covid-19 & Government: Government Green Lights Rapid Antigen Testing

Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall... More>>



Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>


Government: Books Show Resilient And Strong Economy
The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast... More>>

Healthcare: Health System Is Ready For Assisted-dying Law
The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>

Children's Commissioner: Call For Mandatory Vaccination Of Children’s Workforce
The Children’s Commissioner and Assistant Māori Commissioner are calling for a plan for the mandatory vaccination of teachers and the entire children’s workforce in New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels