Annual Report cover 2013

Organisational health and capability

We are finding better, smarter ways of delivering services for our clients and staff. Our success depends on technology coupled with people with the right skills, abilities and commitment to promote better service. We are committed to continual improvement so New Zealanders will keep getting the help they need in the most simple and effective way possible.

Our People

We employ over 9,500 people – just over 20 per cent of the public service. Our network of 300 locations means we are present in nearly every community in New Zealand.

Our culture

We are committed to an organisational culture that puts people first and supports staff to thrive and do their best work. This year we looked at how well we are achieving this.

In May 2013, more than 7,000 of our staff members completed the Gallup Q12 survey. This was the fourth time we have undertaken this survey. Our overall score as an organisation was 3.74 out of a possible 5.0. In the last survey in 2012, the overall score was 3.68. The survey helped our Leadership Team understand how our staff members feel about their work and working environment.

To develop our culture, we began the transition to the Human Synergistics culture survey and tools in June 2013. We started with an in-depth survey asking a sample of 1,000 staff members what a great culture would look and feel like at the Ministry. All our other staff members had the opportunity to complete a survey on our current actual culture, what lies behind it, and what effect it has on us and our work. This gives us a comprehensive assessment of our work culture, highlighting where to focus our efforts.

The Human Synergistics survey looked at what culture we want compared to what we have. When we know that, we will work to bridge the gap.


We aim to have a diverse workforce that reflects the whole community. The table below shows our diversity compared to the public service as a whole.
Diversity of staff at MSD and across public sector.

Positive and stable industrial relations

Our relationship with the Public Service Association (PSA) through the Modern, Innovative and Productive Public Services Agreement provides a vital and stable industrial relations platform.

In 2012/2013, we successfully renegotiated and settled three of our five collective agreements. These are:

  • the PSA Child, Youth and Family Collective Agreement
  • the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) Child, Youth and Family Collective Agreement
  • the PSA Work and Income, and Students, Seniors and Integrity Services Collective Agreement.

Negotiations for the PSA National Office and Ministry of Youth Development Collective Agreement were under way as the 2012/2013 year ended. This Collective Agreement was settled in August 2013.

A key feature of the settlements is they all have terms of three years. This creates a stable platform for the Ministry to introduce and embed government initiatives for better public services and other significant programmes involving changes in the way we work.

We made steady progress throughout the year on a number of working parties and work programmes in which we partnered with the unions. Some programmes were completed and as a result of the various settlements some terms of reference have been enhanced.

In 2012/2013, we successfully renegotiated and settled three collective agreements.

Developing our leaders

In 2012/2013, the Ministry offered a number of leadership development opportunities:

  • Emerging Leaders is designed for high-performing people with the potential and aspiration to move into their first management or leadership role. Since the launch of the Ministry-wide programme in 2009, 140 employees have taken part in Emerging Leaders.
  • Te Aratiatia supports Māori and Pacific high-performers to move into their first management or leadership role. Since its launch in 2002, more than 125 Māori and Pacific staff members have graduated from Te Aratiatia.
  • Te Aka Matua currently supports five Māori and Pacific managers who will complete Master’s Degrees in Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington in 2013. A further intake will take place in late 2013.
  • MSD Study Awards fund staff and managers to do university study, leadership programmes or fact-finding visits to other authorities. Up to 10 awards are available each year.
  • The Team Leader Programme is a suite of five workshops providing first-time team leaders with core management and leadership skills.

We build our leadership capability and succession planning using a range of development opportunities.

Developing specialist expertise

Child, Youth and Family social workers

At 30 June 2013, 1,162 of our staff members were registered social workers, an increase of 123 from the previous year. A further 42 social workers achieved competency, a pre-requisite to registration. We had 145 social workers working towards competency, and 28 staff members working towards a Bachelor’s or higher degree in social work.

We introduced a new graduate programme pilot which better supports social workers in their first year of social work practice. As at 30 June 2013, 52 new graduates were enrolled on this programme.

In 2012/2013, we ran 533 in-house workshops for Child, Youth and Family staff, including workshops related to the Advanced Safe Strong Practice programme. We had 6,374 participants attend these workshops, including 101 from non-government organisations.

This year, we ran 162 workshops for Child, Youth and Family caregivers. A total of 1,480 participants attended, including 758 from non-government organisations.

Our goal is for 100 per cent of our frontline social work staff to be registered social workers.

Case management development

At 30 June 2013, 364 Work and Income staff members were enrolled in a qualification programme, including 55 candidates in the new Level 5 Public Sector Services qualification. We also employed 30 new cadets in Work and Income sites.

Advanced analytics data hub

In 2012/2013, we established a single data analysis hub that will position us to be a centre of expertise for advanced analytics. The Knowledge and Insights Data Hub will:

  • help to achieve the Government’s ICT strategy
  • give us insights into policy and operational delivery
  • contribute to innovation, evaluation and continuous improvement
  • give us a more integrated and comprehensive view of our clients.

Greater and smarter use of administrative data will help give us sustained efficiencies and contribute to achieving better policy and service delivery outcomes.

Tapping into innovation

The Ministry has a strong track record of finding efficiencies. Our Value for Money (VfM) programme has been in place since 2007. It helps us to manage departmental cost pressures through productivity and efficiency gains while improving the quality of services to clients.

In 2012/2013, we started to apply an investment-based approach to departmental expenditure, reviewing our back-office processes to ensure we are as efficient as possible.

We looked at how clients can receive a high-quality service that meets their individual needs through the most efficient channel. By offering online self- service options to clients who suit that level of interaction, we can free up resources for staff to meet clients face-to-face for more intensive support.

We have begun to look at automated transactions and centralised processing to save client and staff time on routine transactions.

Efficiency savings are expected to be generated by:

  • using more digital/automated services
  • re-engineering processes to make them more efficient and effective
  • getting better value from procurement.

Procurement opportunities

In 2012/2013, we began to investigate procurement options to reduce costs and to increase the quality of goods and services purchased by clients through hardship assistance and the Disability Allowance.

Under the second phase of Welfare Reform legislation which took effect from 15 July 2013, we can introduce preferred supplier arrangements. This means we can get the best deal for clients who need extra benefit assistance to purchase items such as whiteware and optical equipment.

In September 2013, a contract for whiteware was signed with Fisher & Paykel. The deal makes new appliances available at competitive prices for our clients accessing hardship assistance to purchase these goods.

Annual Report cover 2013

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