Annual Report 2012

Chief Executive's foreword

This year has seen the start of fundamental change for the Ministry – for our clients and the organisations we work with. As the changes span most of our work, we have positioned ourselves to be innovative in our approach and ready to adapt to these changes.

The Government has established a clear direction for the state sector. Of the 10 Delivering Better Public Services results for New Zealanders we lead the cross-agency effort for four areas and contribute effort to deliver another four.

We have started work on substantial welfare reforms that change the way we work with our clients and service providers. We are thinking differently about the system and how we operate, invest and innovate to make the biggest difference for people. The reforms put a clear emphasis on people being available to work and thinking about what they can do, rather than what they can’t. There will be a focus on doing more for those at risk of remaining on a benefit long term and less intensive services for those who can help themselves. We are supported by the Work and Income Board, which provides us with specialist advice as we work towards delivery on the Government’s expectations for welfare reform.

Fundamental change has also been signalled through the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children. It was important that people had the opportunity to have their say on how children can be better protected. We brought the Green Paper to them through a campervan tour, national champions, social media and the traditional submissions process. We received nearly 10,000 submissions from groups and individuals to feed into the Government’s strategy and action plan through the White Paper for Vulnerable Children. The plan will detail practical solutions to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

Significant change also surrounds the way we work with non-government organisations. Investing in Services for Outcomes will provide a consistent approach to contracting so that investment in Ministry-funded service providers can focus on the best outcomes for the people who need support.

Integrity is at the core of how we work and it is vital that the people of New Zealand have confidence in the integrity of our staff and the welfare system. We are trusted to prevent, detect and investigate internal and external fraud and we will continue to enhance our systems so that taxpayer money is paid only to those who are entitled to it.

Through such a time of change I am very conscious of the fact that we are dealing with real people in difficult situations. It is more important than ever that we maintain a strong focus on service delivery and put our clients at the centre of all that we do. The one thing that will stay the same is our commitment to doing the best for our clients, staff, and partner organisations.

I would like to acknowledge all Ministry staff and our partner organisations who continue to work hard to deliver social services to those who need them, often going above and beyond what is expected of them. I am extremely proud of our achievements over the past year and look forward to the opportunities ahead.

Brendan Boyle

Chief Executive

Annual Report 2012

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