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$9m for trials to support people into work

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

Hon Anne Tolley

Minister for Social Development

21 October 2016

Media Statement

$9m for trials to support people into work

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley say a collaboration between MSD and four DHBs will trial different ways to support people with health conditions and disabilities into work.

“Across government, Ministries are exploring ways they can work more collaboratively with the aim of improving the overall life outcomes of New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.

“It’s important to ensure patients with complex or long term health conditions or disabilities are receiving coordinated care which supports them to achieve their long term goals. For many, having the fulfilment of being in appropriate paid work is one of these goals.”

Budget 2016 committed $9 million over three years into the Oranga Mahi programme, under which a range of trials will work to break the pattern of welfare dependency by improving service delivery and investment decisions.

With the support of Work and Income this programme is being trialled with volunteer patients from Canterbury, Northland, Waikato and Waitemata DHBs.

“We know that work gives people confidence and connects them to their communities. Individuals have different needs and comfort levels and we need to ensure we have a flexible system which can support them,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Supporting people back into paid employment involves many sectors coming together. These trials put the individual at the centre and helps to co-ordinate the relevant services.

“As part of the programme, the University of Auckland will also analyse anonymous data from a range of government agencies to help identify groups of people who would benefit from this type of support.”

The Oranga Mahi programme feeds into the Better Public Services target of reducing the number of people receiving benefit by 25 per cent by June 2018.

The first trial under the programme got underway at Waikato DHB this week. REACH involves living well coaches working closely with people with health conditions and disabilities who have been receiving a benefit for between six and 36 months.

During the three month programme participants will receive a range of support, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

There will be up to six trials across the four DHBs. Implementation planning is underway for another two trials and a further three are still being developed.


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