Two older men walking dogs on the beach.

Our responsibilities

At some point in their lives, most New Zealanders will have contact with us. We work closely with partner agencies and service providers to help people get the support they need, when they need it, no matter where it has to be found.

Our responsibilities and functions are:

  • providing income support and superannuation services
  • providing employment services and support
  • designing and delivering community services in conjunction with others
  • allocating funding to community service providers
  • providing student allowances and loans
  • providing public housing assistance and services
  • being the primary provider of social policy and advice to Government
  • monitoring three Crown entities and providing advice to the responsible Minister
  • hosting Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People, Te Kāhui Kāhu (Social Services Accreditation), the Office for Seniors, the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) and the Independent Children’s Monitor
  • ensuring the legislation we administer is effective and fit-for-purpose
  • working with other agencies and the wider social sector to support Government priorities and improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Tauākī Whakamaunga Atu | Statement of Intent

The Ministry of Social Development’s Tauākī Whakamaunga Atu | Statement of Intent sets out our strategic objectives for the next four years.

In September 2022 we published our Tauākī Whakamaunga Atu | Statement of Intent 2022-2026 (SOI). In this SOI, we reinforce our commitment to MSD’s strategic direction, Te Pae Tawhiti – Our Future, which remains our pathway forward. This SOI emphasises the need for change and sets out how we plan to make that change through Te Pae Tawhiti Programme and the continued development of our organisational foundations.

Matching Programmes and responsibilities

All matching is designed to identify circumstances where a client’s entitlement to Ministry products or services may be affected.

Business Partners and Contractors Health and Safety Policy

The Health and Safety at Work Act came into effect on 4 April 2016. The Act replaced the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, and is a key part of a reform package to New Zealand’s health and safety system.

The main purpose of the Act is to provide a balanced framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. The Act recognises that a well-functioning health and safety system relies on leadership, participation and accountability of government, business and workers.