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Heartland Services helping rural communities

12 November 2004

Heartland Services helping rural communities

New Zealanders in rural areas are receiving high-quality help from Heartland Services, according to a report on the “one stop shop” centres.

Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said it was clear that Heartland Services was doing a great job in connecting rural communities with government services.

“Heartland centres provide “one-stop shops” in 30 rural areas where local people can receive face-to-face access to a range of government and other related services. Heartland Services has succeeded in bringing government services back to rural communities and supporting local volunteer groups.

“I’m pleased that the government’s vision for Heartlands has proved to be so successful. The report makes it clear that we have delivered for rural communities.”

The Ministry of Social Development evaluation report found:

Rural New Zealanders’ access to government services has improved in service centre areas. Improved interagency collaboration between many government departments, including Housing New Zealand Corporation, Inland Revenue and Work and Income, has meant a better service to communities. The personal commitment and resourcefulness of local co-ordinators in helping members of the public is a major factor in the success of the initiative.

Following the success of the rural Heartland Service centres, two urban Heartland Service centres have been developed for Christchurch and Whangarei by the Ministry of Social Development.

The evaluation report is available on the Heartland Services website: www.heartlands.govt.nz.

ENDS

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