annual report

Chief Executive's foreword

Each year, the Ministry of Social Development sets out our Strategic Intentions - what we will do to improve the outcomes for the more than one million New Zealanders whom we serve.

We work in a dynamic and challenging environment, where we’re required to do more as we deal with some of the most complex social issues our society faces.

This Annual Report is a snapshot of what we’ve achieved in the past 12 months, as we help New Zealanders help themselves to be safe, strong and independent.

In taking the opportunity to look back on our achievements, we’re able to assess if we’re on the right track to be fit for our purpose. We are.

We introduced a new strategic direction at the start of the financial year, to become a single, cohesive organisation, with intelligent service delivery, centred on the public we serve and support.

Of critical importance to how we deliver better results is intelligent service delivery. This means that we’ve started to make better use of client data and analytics to inform our decision-making.

We’ve also re-focussed our systems and processes on what works best for our clients. Data and reports are great but the real value is in the way this information will continue to influence how decisions are made and shape better outcomes for people. This is what has the power to transform lives.

This approach has underpinned much of what we’ve done this year and the way we will continue to work.

We’ve begun to harness technology to get ahead of the curve, to deliver services to our clients where and when they want them. We’ve started doing this by streamlining processes, improving our systems and developing better digital channels so our clients can do more for themselves.

The past year has seen our work expand, as we took over management of the social housing register, following the transfer of a number of social housing activities to us from Housing New Zealand.

While placing greater demands on us, moving into this area means we can integrate housing within the broader assistance we offer to low income and vulnerable New Zealanders. In this way we can make a bigger difference.

Our people are one of our greatest assets. I’m really proud of our staff and the work they have done, and continue to do, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

The tragic events in Ashburton last September, which resulted in the deaths of two staff members, continues to impact on our staff in many different ways.

The Security Review, which followed the Ashburton tragedy, established the Security Response Programme. Through this we are developing enhanced security solutions and delivering a comprehensive approach to health, safety and security.

We also continue to deal with the challenges of being a large organisation, located in multiple sites across the country. We have committed to strengthening our organisational culture and, although it’s a long game, we are making progress and heading in the right direction.

We have been helped this year in our work by our partners across government and the social sector. Part of this challenge has been to look at how we work differently with the sector, as we contribute to targets to boost skills and employment, reduce crime and improve digital interaction. This work continues.

While we may not always get everything right, or have yet to achieve everything we set out to do, there is a lot to be proud of. This is reflected in our Annual Report.

We have a clear plan and a clear purpose to guide our work over the coming year.

In 12 months' time we will once again take stock and share our progress with you.

Brendan Boyle
Chief Executive

Brendan Boyle's signature

Brendan Boyle
Chief Executive
Ministry of Social Development