Family Violence - Are you ok??

Supporting strong, inclusive communities

Through StudyLink, the Ministry of Youth Development, the Office for Seniors and the Office for Disability Issues, we provide support to students, young adults, seniors and disabled people respectively to enable them to be part of their community.

Assisting students to overcome barriers to higher education

Education leads to more people contributing to their communities and society. Through our StudyLink service line we connect people who are thinking about tertiary study with the information and support they need to make considered decisions and overcome the social and financial barriers to accessing higher education. We provide this support through student allowances and loans and by funding the Student Job Search service.

The Student Job Search scheme helps tertiary students find employment while studying and during study breaks. In 2016/2017 students were placed in nearly 27,000 jobs (0.3 percent above target), generating minimum potential earnings of nearly $83 million (10.6 percent above target). This income helps students to reduce their reliance on other forms of financial assistance.

Supporting young New Zealanders to contribute to communities

Through the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) we provide opportunities for young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need to participate in and contribute to the social and economic growth of New Zealand.

We purchased services from nearly 200 local and national youth development providers in 2016/2017, supporting approximately 500 varied and distinct programmes and services. These included the 2016 Youth Parliament, the Young Enterprise Scheme, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme, and the Youth in Emergency Services and Youth in Civil Defence programmes.

These programmes and services delivered youth development opportunities to achieve positive wellbeing outcomes for young people, including improving their capability and resilience. They enhanced protective factors in young people’s lives by providing opportunities for leadership, mentoring and/or volunteering activities to develop decision-making, team-working and communication competencies. The initiatives also helped to build confidence and self-esteem, and supported youth participants to contribute positively to their communities.

Youth Investment Strategy

In 2016/2017 MYD developed a Youth Investment Strategy with the aim of improving young people’s long-term outcomes through better funding opportunities, programmes and initiatives that build the capability and resilience of young people. The Strategy outlines a focus on working with young people and providers to achieve outcomes through providing leadership, volunteering and mentoring opportunities.

Partnership Fund Board

In mid-2016 the Government committed funding to seed a Partnership Fund overseen by an independent board, to attract investment from business, philanthropic, iwi and other partners to grow youth development opportunities. Since then the Board has approved investment of over $1.2 million of government funding, alongside partner contributions of over $3 million.

Youth Awards

In 2016/2017 we administered and managed the process for the New Zealand Youth Awards and the Minister for Youth’s International Leadership Award.

The New Zealand Youth Awards recognise and celebrate the passion, success and commitment of young people who are leading change, innovating and creating solutions throughout New Zealand. For the 2017 awards the Minister for Youth presented trophies and certificates at Parliament to 50 young people and groups.

Ten young leaders from New Zealand received the Minister for Youth’s International Leadership Award. They visited China as part of a ministerial delegation to increase and deepen their knowledge about innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in a country with a burgeoning start-up scene.

Youth Parliament

We administered the two-day Youth Parliament event in July 2016, in which 121 Youth MPs and 16 Youth Press Gallery members participated in a realistic Parliamentary simulation experience that exposed them to the Parliamentary process. The event was the pinnacle of the Youth MPs’ six-month tenure.

Prime Minister’s Youth Programme

In January 2017 MYD contracted a number of providers to deliver the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP), which is targeted at young people who have faced and are managing significant challenges in their lives. A total of 99 young people from Central, South and West Auckland completed the programme, which included meeting the Prime Minister and the Minister for Youth and participating in a programme of activities designed to support social and community connections. The programme culminated in a celebration dinner and certificate presentation ceremony attended by both the Prime Minister and the Minister for Youth.

Supporting seniors to maintain independence and participate in society

Older people are key contributors to our economy and our communities. We provide services to support the wellbeing of seniors and encourage their participation in their communities.

In the past year we continued to promote the World Health Organization’s age-friendly programme. We have been working with three pilot communities (Kāpiti, New Plymouth and Hamilton) and other communities have also expressed an interest in the approach, as a greater awareness grows of the changing demographics in New Zealand.

In 2016/2017 we continued to administer nine contracts covering 27 specialist elder abuse and neglect prevention services throughout New Zealand. These services helped prevent or reduce the incidence of abuse or neglect by providing education for aged-care workers and raising public awareness about the existence and prevalence of elder abuse, how to identify elder abuse, and how to respond when it is suspected.

Elder Abuse Response Service

We established a new Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) from 1 July 2017 to address the immediate needs of older people experiencing abuse and neglect.

EARS prioritises interventions for older people experiencing or at risk of abuse. A free and confidential 24/7 helpline enables 18 organisations (including a number of consortia) to provide services that focus on intervention. Callers to the helpline will be triaged and referred to appropriate services in their area.

Service providers will need to provide consistent data, both qualitative and quantitative, to help to address gaps in our knowledge, improve our understanding of the issues, and monitor for outcomes.

This work contributes to the following Ministry outcomes:

  • More people are able to participate in and contribute positively to their communities and society
  • Fewer children and people are vulnerable
  • More communities are strong and thriving

During 2016/2017 there were:

220,374 Student Loan applications

19,425 Jobseeker Support Student Hardship applications

712,251 SuperGold Card holders (at 30 June 2017)

Supporting disabled New Zealanders to participate in society

Through our Office for Disability Issues we lead government work to promote better life outcomes for disabled people. We work with government agencies and disability sector organisations to promote the removal of barriers that limit or prevent disabled people from participating in society.

Revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy

In 2016 the Office for Disability Issues led the revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy (NZDS). The Minister for Disability Issues launched the revised NZDS, which will guide the work of government agencies on disability issues from 2016 to 2026.

We began work on developing an outcomes framework for the NZDS. The framework will provide the mechanism to measure whether progress is being made on implementing the revised Strategy.

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)

Through the Office for Disability Issues, and as part of our responsibility for administering the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006, we provide secretariat support and advice for the NZSL Board and the associated NZSL Fund.

Funding from the NZSL Fund supported 27 initiatives in 2016/2017 that promote and maintain the use of NZSL, including community-led activities, one-off projects, and some longer-term initiatives.

Transformation of the disability support system

Enabling Good Lives (EGL) is a joint initiative between the Ministries of Health and Education and MSD to improve the disability support system. The two demonstrations of the EGL approach – in Christchurch and Waikato – have both now concluded and been evaluated. The evaluations found that participants in the demonstrations, and their families and whānau, reported having greater choice, control and flexibility over their disability supports. We have contributed through managing the EGL demonstration in the Waikato, and providing advice to Ministers on the design and development of the EGL initiative.

In March 2017 the Government announced a co-design process with the disability sector to begin a nationwide transformation of the disability support system. The new system will be based on the EGL vision and principles. The co-design process is being informed by lessons from the two EGL demonstrations and by evidence of what works. We will provide support for the system transformation work, which is being led by the Ministry of Health.

Emergency management responses

We responded to a number of emergency events throughout the year, including the Kaikōura earthquake and tropical cyclones Cook and Debbie.

On 14 November 2016 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Kaikōura caused significant damage in the South Island and the lower North Island, significantly impacting our clients and operations, as well as staff.

We quickly mobilised our incident management arrangements and established an Emergency Operations Centre in Wellington to co-ordinate our response to the event.

Demand for our services increased through the need to provide extra emergency funding, including over 1,250 Civil Defence payments to affected people and more than $17 million in the Employment Subsidy Scheme to affected employers. Fortunately payments to clients were not significantly impacted by the earthquake, despite substantial staff interruptions through building closures, and temporary loss of IT in the initial hours following the earthquake. Where we were impacted, we implemented business continuity arrangements to ensure critical services continued to be delivered.

Regionally, our staff were on the ground in Kaikōura to support the local welfare response and to provide services to affected people. Over subsequent weeks we continued to bring in additional staff from across the country on rotation to provide support services to those most affected.

Nationally, we contributed to the all-of-government response that was led by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM). This included running the 0800 Government Helpline (3,832 calls received), leading our welfare responsibilities, and contributing staff to support the work of the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Co-ordination in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

In April 2017 tropical cyclones Debbie and Cook caused significant damage to parts of the North Island. Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty was worst impacted; our staff were quickly on the ground supporting the community, helping ensure that affected people could access the full range of services available to them.

We again activated our Emergency Operations Centre in Wellington to co-ordinate our response. Demand for services increased: to date we have assessed nearly 1,900 applications for Civil Defence payments totalling over $885,000, and taken more than 2,400 calls to the 0800 Government Helpline. The Minister for Social Development approved funding of $1 million for recovery activities via the Enhanced Taskforce Green package, which is still active.

We contributed to collective government response efforts, and our staff were seconded to lead recovery co-ordination in MCDEM’s National Recovery Office.