Annual Report cover 2013

Chief Executive's foreword

Our Ministry is working towards aspirational goals for a large number of New Zealand people, families, children and communities. Our Annual Report is an important opportunity to reflect on progress during the past year towards the strategic priorities in our Statement of Intent.

In this Annual Report, we reflect on a year where we delivered the final phase of the Government’s welfare reforms, progressed work on the Children’s Action Plan and advanced towards our Better Public Services targets.

In May, we received our Performance Improvement Framework Follow-up Review which gave independent feedback on how we have performed since the initial review in 2011. The review noted that the challenges facing the Ministry are unprecedented, but that we are in a strong position to deliver. It concluded that the strength of our leadership and the commitment of our people give confidence that we’ll achieve our goals. The review also gave insight on how we can achieve excellence in the next four years.

As outlined in our Statement of Intent, we are delivering an extensive Government reform programme including:

  • the Investment Approach to Welfare Reform
  • the Vulnerable Children’s Strategy to improve the safety of children
  • Investing in Services for Outcomes to improve our work with community providers
  • strengthening the ways we can investigate and recover benefit fraud.

During the year the Government added the Social Housing strategy to this reform agenda.

The scale and scope of the reforms affect every part of the Ministry, as well as our partner agencies and providers. It is a credit to all that we have made steady progress across the reforms as well as delivering business as usual. I am heartened that we are seeing improved results for clients as a result.

As sector leader, we are charged with leading four Better Public Services results, the Social Sector Trials and the Children’s Action Plan. We provide cross-government functional leadership in property management and the social sector response in Christchurch. With our partners across the public service and social sector, we are trying new and better ways of cross-sectoral working, from leadership to community level.

Like all Government departments, we face increasing operational cost pressures on top of the cost of delivering our key priorities. These can no longer be managed without far-reaching changes to our business. We have committed to a Ministry-wide programme of business transformation and simplification, making the most of technology, online and self-service transactions. We are also moving to apply investment approach principles to all we do, so that we deliver Government priorities and business as usual as effectively as possible.

To gain the benefits of innovation we must also manage the risks. Public confidence in the work we do and the information we hold is critical to our success. During 2012, we suffered a security breach of Work and Income kiosks. This was a difficult time, but we have used it as a catalyst to integrate best practice management of privacy and information security into everything we do. Our clients deserve no less.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the contribution of our people and partners. Ministry staff on the frontline and behind the scenes went above and beyond to support the complex work of our large Ministry this year. I would also like to highlight the enormous contribution of our partners across government and in communities. This year has given me confidence in our collective ability to achieve our goals and help New Zealanders to help themselves be safe, strong and independent.

Brendan Boyle
Chief Executive

Annual Report cover 2013

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