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Update on the Future of Social Sector Commissioning work programme

This paper describes work underway across government agencies (jointly led by the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki) to improve the commissioning of social services in New Zealand.

An effective and sustainable social sector is central to improving wellbeing across New Zealand communities. Government agencies, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), philanthropic funders and communities all share the common goal of improving wellbeing and equity of outcomes for individuals, families, whānau and communities.

Government has committed to the ongoing development of strong partnerships; this includes funding services in a way that recognises the ability for communities to successfully design local solutions to local issues.

Government has heard the sector’s perspectives on how to make the system work better to achieve wellbeing and equitable outcomes. This has included feedback around funding, reporting and transparency.

Progress towards a better system has begun. This includes more sustainable funding models, client and whānau-centred design and innovation, supporting community-led initiatives, longer term contracts, simplified contracting and procurement processes and partnering with iwi and Māori communities. However, we know that there is still much more to do.

This document outlines the response to conversations with the social sector so far and the next steps that will be taken towards a better system that supports better outcomes.

To establish a strong foundation for the future, this document proposes a set of principles.

The principles are:

  1. Individuals, families, whānau and communities exercise choice
  2. Māori-Crown partnerships are at the heart of effective commissioning
  3. The sector works together locally, regionally and nationally
  4. The sector is sustainable
  5. Decisions and actions are taken transparently
  6. The sector is always learning and improving