Cape Reinga

No further MSD satellite services

07 June 2017.

The Ministry of Social Development can confirm we will not be setting up satellite services again – these services have not been offered for over two years.

Satellite services had operated in locations around New Zealand, providing a limited MSD service, on a part time basis to a small number of clients. These were closed as an immediate security response to events in Ashburton in September 2014.

There didn’t used to be an alternative to face-to-face services but things have changed significantly in the last two years. Today there’s much less need for people to come to our offices to get our help. We’ve made big changes to how we do business and most of the things people used satellite services for are now more conveniently available on the phone or online. These services will continue to expand.

The number of people registered for our online MyMSD service has grown significantly. For a majority of clients, this service is available at little or no cost even if they don’t have data on their phone.

We know that a large proportion of requests for help at satellite services were for help with immediate one-off costs like food grants or dental treatment – assistance that can now, in most cases, be granted over the phone or online.

Demand for face-to-face services is declining as clients opt for the more convenient online channels.

It doesn’t make sense to set up a satellite service again given the reduced demand, huge growth in usage of online services, easy access to a broader range of phone services and the staffing, overhead and security costs that would be needed to run satellite services.

We will of course continue to provide a range of support over the phone for those who don’t feel comfortable using online services and we will work with each community to understand and ensure we continue to meet each community’s needs for access to our services. We’ll always be there when they need us.

As we have done for the past two years, if someone from these areas needs to come and see us we can work with them on any transport issues, and be flexible to allow for appointments to coincide with regular travel where possible.

Cape Reinga
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