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Plan

Programme of Action

Issue date: 
Thursday, 29 August 2019
Publication category: 
Government strategy/plan

 

Introduction

This Programme of Action sets out the actions - policies, initiatives, programmes and plans - the Government will implement to help achieve the vision and outcomes of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy (the Strategy). It should be read alongside the Strategy as it is aligned to the Strategy's framework.

The Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy Framework 

The framework provides a shared understanding of what children and young people want and need for good wellbeing. It sets out what we can all do to support them to have good lives.

The framework is made up of a vision, six wellbeing outcomes, principles to guide the ongoing development and implementation of the Strategy, and indicators that measure whether we are making a difference. Anyone can adopt this framework. Some local authorities and community agencies are already interested in applying the framework to their planning and service delivery for children and young people.

See the Strategy Framework

The Programme of Action

Alongside the Strategy, a Programme of Action was launched on 29 August 2019.  It is organised into the six outcomes of the framework, and there are focus areas and actions under each outcome. Just as the outcomes are interconnected, so too are the actions. While categorised under a single outcome, they will often achieve progress across several or all outcomes.

The Programme of Action (POA) sets out the policies, initiatives, programmes and plans underway across government toward achieving the Strategy’s vision and outcomes.  When launched, the programme brought together actions from across more than 20 government agencies, with Chief Executives being accountable for their agency’s actions. 

The POA focuses on the actions that the Government will deliver over the next 1–5 years. It draws on evidence about what works, focuses on where the urgent needs are, and looks to address the longer-term changes needed to transform systems and services to improve the wellbeing of children and young people.

The POA is intended to be a living document that is updated as existing actions are completed, and new actions are developed to address gaps and new areas of focus for child and youth wellbeing. 

The Government has given priority to actions that will:

  • reduce child poverty and mitigate the impacts of poverty and socio-economic disadvantage
  • better support children and young people of interest to Oranga Tamariki and address family and sexual violence
  • better support children and young people with greater needs, with an initial focus on learning support and mental wellbeing

As well as identifying significant actions for these priority areas, the Programme of Action also identifies other actions across all areas of child and youth wellbeing. 

Since its launch, the POA has continued to evolve in response to new and emerging needs, particularly those relating to the extensive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Driving government policy in a unified and holistic way

A key purpose of the Strategy is to drive government policy in a unified and holistic way. Collective Ministerial and agency action is needed to deliver the actions and achieve the Strategy's outcomes. Central government agencies are expected to progressively align their activities to the outcomes in the Strategy, as reflected in their Statements of Intent, business planning documents and funding decisions.

Families, whānau, hapū, iwi, community groups, non-government organisations, the philanthropic sector, business and local government also have important roles to improve child and youth wellbeing. These groups may want to develop their own plans or programmes using the Strategy's framework. Further information and resources are available at childyouthwellbeing.govt.nz

Reporting on progress

The first progress update on implementing the Strategy and its actions, released in September 2020, covers the year to the end of June 2020.  It includes Budget 2020 and COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) investments, and new actions underway to support children and young people through the pandemic and beyond. 

Read the Monitoring report

 

Children and young people are loved, safe and nurtured

This means:

  • they feel loved and supported
  • they have family, whānau and homes that are loving, safe and nurturing
  • they are safe from unintentional harm
  • they are safe from intentional harm (including neglect, and emotional, physical and sexual abuse)
  • they are able to spend quality time with their parents, family and whānau.

Focus areas and key actions

The Government's priority for this outcome is to help ensure children and young people at greatest risk - those experiencing abuse or neglect, or those exposed to family or sexual violence - are loved, safe and nurtured. Actions are grouped in the following focus areas:

  • Support parents, caregivers, families and whānau 
  • Prevent harm and abuse
  • Support victims and their families and whānau 
  • Improve the quality of State care. 

More details on the Government's actions under this outcome are provided below.

Support parents, caregivers, families and whānau

Extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2020

The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Act 2017 increased paid parental leave to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018, with a further increase to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020.

Find out more

Expand coverage of whānau ora to support more whānau to thrive and achieve wellbeing outcomes

Lead agency: 
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From July 2019

Budget 2019 and Budget 2020 provided funding to expand the coverage and impact of Whānau Ora. This initiative aims to increase support for whānau to achieve their aspirations and lift overall wellbeing. Increased funding will be available to develop localised commissioning opportunities to support more whānau and improve local decision-making and accountability processes.

Funding is enabling:

  • Whānau Ora navigators to improve their skills, knowledge and networks
  • Te Puni Kōkiri to facilitate engagement and foster greater support for Whānau Ora across government agencies
  • Establishment of an Independent Reference Group to inform the continued growth and implementation of Whānau Ora
  • Acceleration of programmes to position Whānau Ora into the future, including setting the strategic direction for Whānau Ora and investment decisions out to 2040
  • Support to help more whānau to navigate the immediate and near-term impacts of COVID-19.

Budget 2020 provided funding to expand COVID-19 support delivered through the three Whānau Ora commissioning agencies, and to improve local decision-making and accountability processes.

 

Enhanced WCTO pilots (nurse-led family partnership model)

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
2019-2023

Budget 2019 funded the testing and evaluation of enhanced support for parents, caregivers and families and whānau who need help with mental health during pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life or following a stillbirth.

The model involves: early engagement in the antenatal period; a trusted relationship with one nurse supported by a social worker; focus on the whole whānau; and a low case load allowing enough time for the practitioners to develop a meaningful relationship.

Three initial pilot sites were announced in the Lakes, Counties Manukau and Tairāwhiti DHB region.  The first pilot, Tiaki Whānau, was launched in Rotorua (Lakes DHB) in December.

Increased funding to support iwi and ngo partners that provide early support

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

In response to the particular recruitment and retention challenges being faced by Iwi, Māori and NGO partners, funding over four years has been provided to further support their work. This funding will enable more qualified and experienced staff to connect with and help children, families and communities achieve their goals and improve their wellbeing.  A key goal is helping families get support earlier, so that Oranga Tamariki does not need to be formally involved.

 

Intensive (Whānau) Response - new model of intensive intervention for those at risk of entering care

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

Budget 2019 funding is supporting the collaborative design of new models of intensive intervention for families and whānau, so that tamariki can remain (wherever possible) safely at home with their whānau, within their culture, and connected to their communities.

The work is broadly split into two areas:

  • small ‘start-ups’ which are now supporting around 340 families around New Zealand, which we can learn from and expand. 
  • major collaborative design projects that involve the design and implementation of large scale intensive whānau support services.

The iwi-led Intensive Intervention model Te Kei o Te Waka was launched in Tokoroa in August 2020.
Design work with iwi and Māori partners is underway in the Hawke’s Bay, Hamilton, Te Hiku, Horowhenua, Ōtāhuhu, and Nelson.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Early intervention support for families and whānau

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

Oranga Tamariki and the Child Wellbeing Unit (DPMC) are working together to support iwi and community to develop sustainable local approaches to early intervention. The aim is to offer families and whānau the support they need to prevent children and young people from entering the care, protection or youth justice systems.

Initial engagement has been undertaken with three iwi or iwi collectives in Rotorua, Whakatāne and Whānganui, as well as with strategic partners of Oranga Tamariki. This centred on shared local priorities for child and youth wellbeing through prevention and early intervention.  Co-design of a prototype is underway with the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, and engagement with whānau, hapū, iwi and community over local planning and co-design of service delivery is ongoing.

 

Financial assistance for caregivers

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From July 2020

Oranga Tamariki has completed a review of financial assistance for caregivers of children who cannot be cared for by their parents. The review, along with the need to respond to financial pressures caused by COVID-19, has led to the introduction of a suite of initiatives for caregivers, including:

  • an increase to the base rate of the Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance by $25 per week per child.
  • enabling Foster Care Allowance caregivers to continue to receive financial assistance for 20 days while the child they care for is in respite care.
  • enabling short-term caregivers to access the Orphan’s Benefit or Unsupported Child’s Benefit.
  • extending Birthday and Christmas Allowances to those receiving the Orphan’s Benefit and Unsupported Child’s Benefit.

A programme of work to simplify and unify the payment system for all caregiver payments is now underway. 

The Social Security (Financial Assistance for Caregivers) Amendment Bill passed its first reading on 9 December (referred to the Social Services and Community Committee).

Find out more

Extension of 'You Matter to Us'

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 funding has extended the You Matter to Us pilot in Linwood to more communities in Christchurch. This early intervention and prevention initiative is co-designed with the community, and focuses on empowering whānau, increasing protective factors for tamariki, and strengthening community cohesion and trust in government services. Community engagement and recruitment for Kaitiaki are both underway, and professional learning for ECE teachers to support this initiative will be rolled out.  

Family justice reforms in response to the final report of the independent panel

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Justice
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

The Panel was instructed to look at a wide range of factors, including the effectiveness of out-of-court and in-court processes, the timeliness of cases and the extent to which decisions are consistent with the welfare and best interests of the child. It was also asked to take a human rights approach when considering improvements, to ensure that the welfare and best interests of children are paramount when settling disputes about their care. 

Investment was made in 2020 to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the introduction of The Family Court (Supporting Families in Court) Legislation Bill on 15 May 2020.  A second Bill, focused on strengthening the Family Court, was introduced on 6 August and had its first reading on 8 December.

An expanded legal aid scheme is now operational.
The first phase of a staged remuneration increase for lawyers for children has been implemented.

Kea Project

Lead agency: 
Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

(previously titled High Impact Innovation Programme Initiatives in Corrections)

The High Impact Innovation Programme is piloting the Kea Project (Whānau Visits Experience) at Hawkes Bay and Manawatu prisons. The Kea Project is designed to support meaningful relationships between tamariki and their whānau members in prison by making prison visits more tamariki-friendly and providing tools that enable whānau to prepare and support tamariki for their visit. 

The project expanded to include Whanganui prison, with spatial design completed in December 2020.
Implementation and delivery of the pilot was impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent operational priorities. Project reintroduced in Hawke's Bay Regional Prison in alignment with the Kaupapa Māori Pathway (previously intended to be implemented in November 2019, however this experienced delays).

The programme is also establishing the Pre-Trial Service under the Hōkai Rangi strategy with Budget 2020 funding to provide early support to reduce the number of people entering or remaining in custody. Where these people are parents, it will have positive flow on effects for parent-child relationships. 

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Ngā Tini Whetū - early support for families and whānau

Lead agency: 
Accident Compensation Corporation
Oranga Tamariki
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing

Ngā Tini Whetū a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children.  Investment over two years will provide additional early support to approximately 800 whānau across the North Island, supported by 80 Kaiārahi (Navigators).

The initiative is expected to be fully operationalised by mid-2021.

A short-term evaluation of the first 12 months of the prototype will be undertaken.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Monday, 24 May 2021

Prevent harm and abuse

National strategy and action plan to prevent and eliminate family violence and sexual violence

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The national strategy and action plan will galvanise efforts to eliminate family violence and sexual violence. This will set a clear direction for a collective commitment to reduce violence, clarify the most critical strategic objectives and identify the actions required across the system.

To ensure the national strategy and action plan reflects the aspirations of all New Zealanders, they will be developed through open and engaging processes, including with people harmed by violence, people who have used violence, and a wide range of communities. They will also be developed in partnership with Māori and other stakeholders.

A discussion document on a national strategy whas been developed, and targeted pre-engagements with community representatives will inform broader engagement due to commence in May 2021.

Find out more

Family violence prevention: increased investment

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

In Budget 2019 Government increased investment in broader family violence prevention activities, with additional funding allocated through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. 

All three initiatives below have released new five-year strategies. Partnerships are also being established around the country with ethnic and migrant communities, supported by the Multicultural Council:

  • E Tū Whānau, which uses a strengths-based approach to help reduce family violence and other forms of violence in Māori communities, also works with refugee and migrant communities in culturally appropriate ways to increase their wellbeing and diminish harm. Development of Kaupapa Māori evaluation tools is underway.
  • Pasefika Proud, which harnesses the transformative power of Pacific core cultural values and frameworks to address violence in Pacific communities. Work has been established with additional communities (e.g. Kiribati).
  • The Campaign for Action on Family Violence (It’s not OK), which addresses changing the behaviour of men who are violent or at risk of using violence, with a new focus on young people and safe relationships. Milestones include funding a pilot of Safe Man Safe Family, a community-led model to support change in men using violence; a seed fund for community prevention projects; partnerships with community leaders and organisations (such as My Father’s Barber); a literature review and formative research are underway for a new national violence prevention programme for Pacific young people -Atu-Mai.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Violence prevention needs of diverse communities

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding for work to understand the needs of diverse communities in order to develop future violence prevention programmes. This includes youth, the LGBTQIA+ (rainbow) community, disabled people, new migrants, and older people.

The process for working with diverse communities has been approved. It involves co-design and draws on the expertise of Joint Venture agencies and engagement with the communities themselves, to understand and work from their needs and preferences for how best to use this funding.  This could include more supporting innovative community action underway, and/or developing proposals for future Budget processes.

This process will start with the disabled community.  

Find out more 

Work to prevent online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Lead agency: 
Department of Internal Affairs
NZ Customs
NZ Police
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

There are several joint initiatives to prevent online child sexual exploitation and abuse, working with the wider sector. These include:

  • New Zealand Customs Service funded to provide enhanced services to combat child sexual exploitation across the cyber border. This initiative aims to reduce the creation and distribution of abuse imagery, reduce the number of children who are sexually abused, and prevent further abuse of previously abused children.
  • Taskforce Ruru – a dedicated Victim Identification team from across DIA, Police and NZ Customs who share training, tools and the processing of victim identification work throughout the year.
  • The launch of the Combating Child Sexual Exploitation Group, which includes the three lead agencies and NGOs. The group is developing and running collaborative initiatives, projects and campaigns to combat child sexual exploitation.  
  • A programme of trials to prevent online child sexual exploitation and abuse has been expanded to include a wider set of government agencies and NGOs
  • Development of 11 Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, to help the tech industry to adhere to prevent and protect children being exploited on their platforms.
  • A memorandum of understanding between DIA, the UK National Crime Agency and the Child Rescue Coalition, to allow information sharing, collaborative working, and enhance capability within New Zealand to address child sexual exploitation.
  • Introduction of The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill in May 2020. 

Reduce speed around schools

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Transport
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme is a key action under the initial Road to Zero action plan.  It includes an initiative to reduce speed limits to a maximum of 40 km/h around urban schools and 60 km/h around rural schools, to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school. 

Creating a safe online and digital environment for children and young people

Lead agency: 
Department of Internal Affairs
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
To July 2021

A public awareness campaign has been launched to help keep children and young people safe while online. This includes promoting awareness of risks and potential harms like online grooming, online bullying, and viewing inappropriate content like pornography.  The Keep It Real Online campaign was launched in June 2020, with advertisements over multiple channels. It focusses on practical tips and messages targeting parents and caregivers to help them create a safer online environment for children and young people. 

  • Phase one of Keep It Real Online reached 870,000 people (four videos were broadcast until late July and are now available online).
  • The Eggplant miniseries, launched in December 2020, was viewed over 164,000 times (as at 10 January 2021).

The campaign will continue to evolve, taking in to account New Zealanders’ varying degrees of access to technology, learning support needs, cultures, and those who speak languages other than English.

Support victims and their families and whānau

Build safe, consistent and effective responses to family violence in every community

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

This initiative supports continued development and testing of current programmes for victims, families and whānau affected by family violence and safe and consistent responses where and when families and whānau need them.

The initiative involves:

  • an extension to the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) sites for two more years

  • increased funding for Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke in Counties Manukau to support the triaging of cases and the family violence services provided.

  • a pilot for proximity alarms to help keep victims and their families and whānau safe (now complete)

  • developing national case management systems to support triage, risk assessment and management processes. Next step involves building alignment with the Integrated Community Response Design.

Find out more

Improve regional capability to respond to family violence

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

This initiative, funded through Budget 2019, aims to provide victims, families and whānau affected by family violence with safe and consistent responses, where and when they need them.

The initiative will enhance regional capability across the country to respond to family violence and begin consistent implementation of a national response. it involves three elements which are being implemented by MSD as part of the wider Joint Venture work: 

  • supporting more integrated family violence crisis responses 
  • providing regional practice leaders to build practice standards and support professional development and training
  • enabling specialist frontline service providers to participate in family violence risk assessment and triage processes.

NGOs and iwi will also be funded for their representation in family violence regional governance. 

Extensive engagement has been carried out with non-government organisations on the participation of specialist frontline service providers in family violence risk assessment and triage processes.
Unfortunately the establishment of practice leaders has experienced set-backs, due to reprioritisation of resources in response to COVID-19.

 

Expansion of Whānau Protect

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Justice
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

Budget 2020 increased funding to expand the Whānau Protect initiative, which makes practical security improvements to the homes of children and whānau who are at high-risk of serious assault or death due to repeat family violence.

It aims to help victims remain in their homes while removing the cost and burden of relocating themselves and their children, deter perpetrators, and reduce the likelihood of further violence.  An evaluation showed victims who received the service experienced an 80% reduction in re-victimisation.

Services for children experiencing family violence

Lead agency: 
NZ Police
Oranga Tamariki
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Funding to enable direct purchase of services for children and young people who are experiencing family violence and are being identified through multi-agency community response sites (e.g. Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke and Integrated Safety Response sites).

The funding will purchase services through:

  • topping up funding to existing children’s services providers who are not currently funded to respond to children as a result of their identification through family violence response sites
  • funding bespoke services such as psychologists through a flexi-fund arrangement.

Sexual violence support services for children and young people

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

(This action was created from merging the Increased services for children and young people with concerning/harmful sexual behaviours and Sexual violence crisis support services for children and young people actions.)

This initiative, funded through Budget 2019:

  • provides access to sexual harm crisis support services designed specifically for children and young people.
  • increases service capacity to meet demand for prevention, education, early intervention, assessment and treatment services for children and young people who display concerning and harmful sexual behaviours.

Crisis services include immediate support to reduce the severity and longevity of the negative impact of sexual harm and promote the safety and wellbeing of the child or young person in their family, whānau and community.

There is a focus on ensuring services (including assessments, treatments and preventative initiatives) can be delivered in a kaupapa Māori context and are suitable for those with behavioural problems, intellectual disabilities or neuro-disabilities.

Analysis of the current state of services for children and young people is now complete. Oranga Tamariki has extended funding to existing providers to meet known demand for children and young people who are victims of sexual violence. 

Unfortunately resource challenges have resulted in a delay in the design of services (design is being carried out with iwi and hapū, using Te Tiriti based protocols).

An early support pilot to train education professionals to address concerning sexual behaviour sooner is being developed (Mid and South Canterbury).

 

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Develop kaupapa Māori services for victims/survivors, perpetrators and their whānau

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding to develop whānau-centred kaupapa Māori specialist sexual violence services. Services will be developed by Māori for Māori and include comprehensive responses to sexual violence, from prevention and early intervention through to long-term support. The funding will also address the current geographical gaps in service delivery by supporting more kaupapa Māori providers to develop specialist sexual violence service capability.

The Ministry of Social Development has engaged with kaupapa Māori providers to develop a four-year work programme and research streams. It is continuing to strengthen relationships and build trust with kaupapa Māori providers, develop good practice guidelines and build capability.  

Improve justice response to victims of sexual violence

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

A set of initiatives is being progressed to reduce the risk of sexual violence victims experiencing further trauma when participating in the court process.

These initiatives include legislative changes to: better protect complainants from inappropriate and unduly invasive questioning and to entitle complainants to give evidence in alternative ways; ensuring quality, specialist assistance is available where needed for witnesses to understand and respond to questions in court; and providing specialist training to equip lawyers with best practice techniques when questioning vulnerable witnesses in sexual violence cases.

The Sexual Violence Legislation Bill is making its way through the legislative process.

Judicial education and training for District Court Judges and defence lawyers is also underway, and a Code of Practice handbook and service specifications are being developed for the use of communication assistance.

Find out more

Increase access to crisis support services for victims/survivors

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

This initiative, funded through Budget 2019, aims to reduce the severity and duration of trauma-related symptoms experienced by victims/survivors of sexual violence. There will be more funding for crisis support services for victims/survivors of sexual violence and their families and whānau. This will ensure services are available 24/7 at a level that meets current demand. Services will include specialist callout support, crisis counselling and crisis social work support.

Service development work, in consultation with providers, is underway along with planning for procurement of services.

Find out more

Improve the wellbeing of male victims/survivors of sexual violence through peer support services

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

Budget 2019 provided funding to reduce the severity and duration of trauma-related symptoms experienced by male victims/survivors of sexual violence. Current access to peer support and group-peer support services for male victims/survivors will be expanded.

Workshops were held with existing providers to define service guidelines.  A funding allocation model was developed and the Ministry of Social Development worked with providers on accreditation. 

Funding has been increased and new long-term contracts have been established. 

Health sector screening for early intervention and prevention of family violence

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing

Violence Intervention Programme training for health practitioners in district health boards to routinely deliver effective screening and referrals is continuing. A scoping project for the design, development and implementation of a training programme for primary health care providers (including Māori Health providers, Pacific Health care, Primary Health Organisations, Well Child Tamariki Ora, Plunket nurses and Midwives) is underway.

All uplift funding for the Violence Intervention Programme has been transferred to DHBs.  A Māori Expert Advisory Group has been established to inform and guide the project, along with a literature review, and the development of a stakeholder engagement plan.

 

Improve the quality of State care

Oranga Tamariki Action Plan

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Children's Act 2014 requires children's agencies to develop an Oranga Tamariki Action Plan, which sets out how the chief executives  will work collectively to improve the wellbeing of the core populations of interest to Oranga Tamariki, in line with the outcomes of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.

The Minister for Children has agreed the plan should have a COVID-19 recovery focus and will consider a draft plan in December 2021.

Implementation of National Care Standards

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

The National Care Standards are intended to significantly improve the quality of care and support for children and young people in State care, and their families, whānau and caregivers. Budget 2019 provided funding to:

  • build frontline capacity and capability to provide quality care and support for children and young people in State care, and their families, whānau and caregivers
  • deliver high-quality services and support that address children's and young people's individual needs
  • find and retain high-quality caregivers, and train and support them to provide safe, stable, loving homes for children and young people in their care
  • build placement capacity for very-high-needs children and young people, whose therapeutic needs may not be able to be met in whānau care or traditional foster care.

Care Standards practice policies, guidance and resources for tamariki, caregivers and staff have been developed, and training and implementation support has been provided to sites. Reporting on progress includes the completion of assessments and plans for tamariki in care, support plans for caregivers and tamariki receiving the resources they are entitled to.

An Independent Children’s Monitor has been established within the Ministry of Social Development, to provide independent assurance on compliance with the National Care Standards. It completed its first report in December 2019. It is overseeing and monitoring all the requirements of the National Care Standards Regulations (from 31 December 2020 onwards).

Implementation support (including reporting, communications, and development of new and existing resources/training modules, and updates to operational policy and guidance) will continue, with a focus on products for tamariki Māori and Pacific children, and Māori-centred practice.

 

Find out more

Improve outcomes for Māori children and young people within the Oranga Tamariki system

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Oranga Tamariki is responsible for delivering better outcomes and reducing disparities for Māori across its services. This will involve working alongside iwi and Māori organisations to support whānau to stay safely together at home through intensive intervention services, the delivery of responsive transition support services for young Māori, and new whānau care partnerships to increase the number of Māori caregivers.

Oranga Tamariki is working with iwi to co-design and implement models of ‘Whānau Care’ that will ensure mokopuna are connected through their whakapapa to well-supported whānau, hapū or iwi caregivers. It also conducted surveys of young people receiving transition support services, to better understand how those services are contributing to their successful transition to adulthood.

The inaugural section 7AA annual report was delivered in July 2020.   

An Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been established to provide independent advice and assurance, commencing 1 February 2021, with an initial report expected by 30 June 2021.

 

Children and young people have what they need

This means:

  • they and their parents/caregivers have a good standard of material wellbeing
  • they have regular access to nutritious food
  • they live in stable housing that is affordable, warm and dry
  • their parents/caregivers have the skills and support they need to access quality employment.

Focus areas and key actions

The Government's focus for this outcome is on reducing child poverty by improving the material wellbeing of households living in poverty and hardship. This focus has the potential to break the cycle of disadvantage and intergenerational poverty as well as affect many other wellbeing outcomes. Government passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 which requires the government of the day to set targets on a set of child poverty measures and to report against these. Actions are grouped in the following focus areas.

  • Improve earnings and employment
  • Create a fairer and more equitable welfare system 
  • Improve housing affordability, quality and security 
  • Help families with the cost of essentials

More details on the Government's policies and actions under this outcome are provided below.

Improve earnings and employment

Increase the minimum wage to $20 per hour by 2021

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
by April 2021

The Government has committed to progressively increase the minimum wage to $20 by April 2021.  The minimum wage increased from $15.75 to $16.50 per hour in April 2018, to $17.70 from April 2019, and to $18.90 from April 2020.

Overall, the increase is estimated to boost wages paid in the New Zealand economy by $306 million a year, with more than 240,000 workers experiencing a lift of approximately an extra $48 per week before tax for employees on a 40-hour working week.

The minimum wage increase to $20 per hour took effect on 1 April 2021.

Find out more 

Increase employment support through the Ministry of Social Development

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding for the Ministry of Social Development to increase case management at the frontline, enabling staff to work more intensively to help more people into meaningful and sustainable work.

Recruitment of the new FTEs started July 2019 and completed 11 November 2019 (initially an additional 170 FTEs, increasing to 263 in 2020/21).

There has been an increase in clients exiting benefit into employment (13% higher in July to December 2019 compared to the same period of the previous year).  This coincided with an increase in working age clients, which usually results in an increase in demand for income support services and reduces MSD’s capacity for employment focused case management.

COVID-19 Income Relief Payment

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
The temporary payment was introduced on 8 June 2020

The Government introduced the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment to provide financial support to people who lost their job or business due to the impacts of COVID-19. The payment was designed to help cushion the blow and minimise disruption for people and their families as they look for other work or retrain. The payment was made weekly, for up to 12 weeks, and ipaid at a rate of $490 per week for a person who was a full-time worker or $250 per week for a person who was a part time worker.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
March 2020 – September 2020

The Wage Subsidy Scheme was developed to help businesses and affected workers in the short-term as they adjust to the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It supports employers and their staff to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to work any hours.  The scheme provides up to $585.80 per week for full-time workers and $350.00 per week for part-time workers.

An extension to the scheme was announced in May 2020, to support those still significantly impacted, with a further extension announced in August.

COVID-19 Leave Scheme Payment

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From April 2020

To support essential workers, the scheme subsides eligible businesses, and allows them to pay those workers who need to take leave owing to the COVID-19 Public Health guidance. The scheme offers the same rates as the Wage Subsidy Scheme of $585.80 per week for full-time workers and $350.00 per week for part-time workers.

More funding for Out of School Care and Recreation Services (OSCAR)

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

Funding for OSCAR services has beeen improved and increased to allow parents to gain and maintain meaningful employment or undertake further education and training, while supporting children’s wellbeing and development.

Support for disabled people and people with health conditions

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

This initiative supports people with disabilities and health conditions to find and stay in meaningful employment, increase their knowledge and skills, and improve their health and wider wellbeing. This includes funding to continue and build on the Oranga Mahi programme, which integrates employment and health supports and services.

Examples from the Oranga Mahi programme include:

  • Here Toitū programme, now live in Auckland and Canterbury 
  • Take Charge, an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service model that supports youth (18-24 years) to improve their health and wellbeing and find sustainable employment as part of their health plan, delivered in partnership with Odyssey House in Canterbury. IPS services will be expanded in Counties Manukau and Auckland DHBs in mid-2021.
  • development of a new preventative service design for the Mid-Central service response, following co-design workshops with whānau, due to go live mid-2021.

Evaluation of Oranga Mahi will include Te Ao Māori perspectives of client and stakeholder outcomes and experience in the programme.

Government response to Fair Pay Agreement Working Group report

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Between October and November 2019, public input was sought on a discussion document on the design of the Fair Pay Agreement system, in response to the Working Group Report. 648 submissions were received, and 22 meetings were held between MBIE and a range of stakeholders.

In May 2021, the Government announced the design of the Fair Pay Agreement system, informed by the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group and public consultation, as well as involvement from the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and BusinessNZ.

A draft version of the Bill will be released later in 2021, and people will have an opportunity to comment on the Bill during the Select Committee process.

Government response to Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Embedded

In 2018 Government introduced the Equal Pay Amendment Bill, aimed at improving the process for raising and progressing pay equity claims, and eliminating and preventing discrimination in the remuneration and employment terms and conditions for work done within female-dominated jobs. The Bill was enacted in August 2020.

 

Expand and strengthen employment services to support more disabled New Zealanders

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

This initiative, which received funding through the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, aims to enhance the ability of people with disabilities to attain and retain sustainable employment. The  funding will be used to expand employment services by:

  • increasing the capacity of the service so more people can access it
  • making the service available to young people in their final two years of school.

An Employment Service in Schools pilot has been developed, which at least 50 schools have opted into, involving up to 1,000 disabled young people. The pilot will run until June 2022.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Monday, 24 May 2021

Create a fairer and more equitable welfare system

Continue to implement the Families Package to boost incomes of families with children

Lead agency: 
Inland Revenue
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
Measures implemented from April 2018

Increase to Working for Families: Family Tax Credit payment rates have increased, particularly for children under 15 years. The Working for Families income threshold has also been raised. The income threshold determines the income level at which payments start to reduce (abate). This increased the level of financial assistance available for low-income families with children. 

As part of the COVID-19 response, the need to satisfy the In-Work Tax Credit hours test was removed as of 1 July 2020, enabling families to receive the payment even if their hours are highly variable or have significantly reduced.

Another change to the In-Work Tax Credit, in response to COVID-19, allows a family currently receiving the in-work tax credit to continue receiving the payments for up to two weeks when taking an unpaid break from work. This took effect from 1 April 2021.

Accommodation Supplement changes: There has been an increase to the maximum amount paid for the Accommodation Supplement over its four different areas to better reflect housing costs. In addition, places where housing costs have increased the most were moved up into different Accommodation Supplement areas with higher maximum payments.

Best Start payment: The Best Start tax credit helps families during a child's early years. A payment of $60 per week is available for each child born on or after 1 July 2018 and is available to all families in the first year of a child's life.  For the second and third years of a child's life, support will continue for low- and middle-income families (abated at 21 percent for families with an annual income above $79,000). 

Implement the Winter Energy Payment: This helps older New Zealanders and many of the poorest families to heat their homes over winter. The payment provides beneficiary couples or those with dependent children an additional $31.82 a week. The Winter Energy Payment was paid from July to September in 2018 and from May to October from 2019 onwards.  In response to COVID-19,  the Winter Energy Payment was doubled for the 2020 winter period.  ($900 for singles and $1,400 for couples or people with dependants). The Winter Energy Payment restarted on 1 May 2021.

The Families Package Monitoring Report tracks the receipt and expenditure of the various components of the Families Package and was published in November 2019.  This report will be updated annually over the coming three years, and will be developed to provide better information about what difference the package itself made to payments received, family incomes, child poverty, children’s outcomes, people’s employment, or other measures of wellbeing. 

Find out more

Overhaul the welfare system

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Government's vision is for a welfare system that ensures people have an adequate income and standard of living, are treated with respect and can live in dignity, and are able to participate meaningfully in their communities.

There is a multi-year work programme to overhaul the system in line with this vision, which will consider the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

In November 2019, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee endorsed the proposed key features of the future state of the welfare system, and each of the proposed short, medium and long-term work programmes. 

Subsequent welfare overhaul work has included a focus on reviewing the foundations of the welfare system, increasing accessibility, improving support for targeted groups, and enhancing the community sector.  The Ministry of Social Development has also provided initial advice on youth related recommendations under Whakamana Tāngata, including abolishing money management in the Youth Service. 

In July 2020, Cabinet agreed to the removal of the subsequent child policy from November 2021. The first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill was on 6 April 2021.

A focus on resetting the foundations of the welfare system will continue through 2021. Given the scope of the Welfare system overhaul work and the complexity of aspects of it, some areas may require more time to consider. Cabinet decisions on these will be sought in due course as required.

Find out more

Read the Cabinet Paper: Update on progress and long-term plan

Index main benefits to wages

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
Implemented April 2020

Benefit levels have declined as a proportion of average wages over time, meaning the gap between the living standards of beneficiaries and other New Zealanders has grown.

From 1 April 2020, main benefit rates will now be increased each year in line with wage growth, rather than inflation (consumers price index). This change will ensure rates of main benefits are maintained relative to wages in society.

Around 15 percent of main benefit recipients are aged under 25. Main benefits include Sole Parent Support; this is for single parents who can look for or prepare for part-time work and whose youngest dependent child is under 14 years old.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Increasing main benefits

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
From April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, main benefits were increased by $25 per week from 1 April 2020.  These increases were in addition to those already agreed as part of the 2020 Annual General Adjustment process in which main benefits were indexed to the average wage for the first time.  The combined increases meant that most rates increased by around $30 – $35 per week.

Repeal Section 192 of the Social Security Act 2018

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
Implemented April 2020

Government has removed the sanction under section 192 of the Social Security Act 2018 (previously S70A).  Previously, if a sole parent did not identify the other parent of the child and applies for Child Support they were subject to a benefit reduction. By removing this sanction, around 12,000 sole parents have had their incomes increased by an average of $34 a week, benefiting around 24,000 children.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Changes to abatement settings

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

From 1 April 2020, the amount that people on a main benefit can earn through employment before their benefit is reduced (known as abatement) has been increased, in line with planned increases in the minimum wage. This will enable part-time working beneficiaries, including sole parents, to keep a greater proportion of their private earnings. It will also benefit some low-income working families (who become eligible for more support through the Accommodation Supplement or the Minimum Family Tax Credit).

From 1 April 2021,  the abatement threshold increased for Job Support, NZ Superannuation/Veteran’s Pension with non-qualifying partner, and the Supported Living Payment/Sole Parents Support/Veteran’s Pension (under 65).

Consideration of future indexation of abatement thresholds will continue.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Review of the treatment of child support for beneficiaries

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

Work on the wider welfare overhaul includes a review around the treatment of child support for beneficiaries, and in particular whether the Crown should 'pass on' payments to sole parents on state-provided benefits, rather than withholding them to offset the cost of the benefit.  (This work was put on hold due to the prioritisation of COVID-19 response work.)

Improve housing affordability, quality and security

New public housing places

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

The Government is committed to investing in public housing.

Announced in February 2021, the Public Housing Plan sets out the Government’s public housing supply intentions for the next four years. The 2021-2024 plan provides information about the location and number of an additional 8,000 public and transitional housing places that will be delivered by June 2024.  It builds on the 2018 Public Housing Plan. 

Find out more

Read the media release

Six-month freeze on residential rent increases

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
From 26 March 2020

In response to Covid-19, a freeze on residential rent increases, and increased protection for tenants from having tenancies terminated, were put in place on 25 March. These measures were introduced for public health reasons, and to assist tenants to sustain their tenancies to the greatest extent possible.   The rent increase freeze started on 26 March and remained in place up until and including 25 September 2020.

The protections against having tenancies terminated expired on 25 June, as the immediate and significant public health risks had passed.

Implement Healthy Homes Standards

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
Compliance will be phased in between July 2021 and July 2024. Timing of compliance depends on the type of tenancy.

The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017 enables minimum quality standards to be set for rental homes to make them warmer and drier.  These standards set requirements for heating, insulation and ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping. The Government committed funding in Budget 2018 to implement and monitor the Healthy Homes Guarantees Act 2017 and to collect data on housing quality.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Tenancy Services is leading a programme of Information and Education (I&E) work to both raise awareness of the new standards and help landlords comply with the new standards from 1 July 2021. This includes campaign activity targeting both landlord and tenant audiences. Two campaign phases have been completed, with a third phase currently in planning stages.  

Work on minor and technical changes to the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 is in progress, to correct errors and to clarify the policy intent.

Find out more

Warmer Kiwi Homes programme

Lead agency: 
Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
Insulation grants from 1 July 2018, Heating grants from 1 July 2019

Warmer Kiwi Homes is a four-year programme that offers grants to contribute to the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation. The programme also provides capped grants for heat pumps, wood and pellet burners and pellet burners Government-funded grants are topped up wherever possible by funding from community organisations.

Homeowners with a Community Services or SuperGold Combo Card, families referred by the Ministry of Health's Healthy Homes Initiative, and those living in a lower-income area may qualify for a grant under this programme.

Between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, 15,809 insulation installations and 6,027 heating device installations have been delivered under the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme.

The funding for the Warmer Kiwi Homes grants scheme increased to boost the targeted number of retrofits for low-income owner-occupiers from 18,000 to 25,000 per year. The additional funding also increases the government contribution rate from 67% to 90%.

Find out more

Strengthening Housing First

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
Contracts with providers under way and currently being implemented

Housing First is a highly successful, internationally proven way to house and support chronically homeless people or homeless people with multiple, complex needs. Housing First finds housing for a person irrespective of their condition (such as mental illness or substance abuse). It also provides wraparound support and services, for as long as needed, to help them stay housed and improve their lives.

The 2018 and 2019 Budgets provided significant funding to increase the number of places and expand to new locations and to strengthen the programme in existing high-need cities and regions: Whangarei, the mid-far North, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Hawke's Bay, Wellington and the Hutt, Nelson, Blenheim, and Christchurch.

The number of new individuals and whānau accepted to the Housing First programme from 1 July 2019 to 31 May 2020 was 805, and 664 from July 2020 to November 2020. Those currently housed through the programme increased by 292 from July 2020 to November 2020.

A provider has been contracted to evaluate the Housing First programme and Rapid Rehousing trial. This is due to be completed by December 2022

Find out more

Homelessness Action Plan

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From February 2020

Government released the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (2020-2023) in February 2020 to prevent and reduce homelessness. It provides a multi-year cross-government roadmap towards the Government’s vision that ‘homelessness is prevented where possible, or is rare, brief and non-recurring’.

The Plan sets out an overarching framework with actions to improve the wellbeing and housing outcomes of individuals and whānau who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. The Plan has 18 immediate actions to be put in place in 2020, and a further 18 longer-term actions to be developed for implementation over 2020-2023. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several immediate actions were adapted or accelerated to meet urgent needs or expected demand, while some other immediate actions will take longer to deliver than initially planned.

Over 1,000 individuals and whānau have been housed in motels across the country as a response to the COVID-19 lockdown.

To respond to opportunities and emerging needs from the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies will bring forward the development of longer-term actions in the action plan. This includes an increased focus on at-risk groups, including young people and children.

Find out more about progress on the Action Plan 

Tailored housing outcomes for Māori

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From August 2020

Funding is being invested over two years to engage kaupapa Māori approaches to reduce homelessness for whānau Māori. Additional funding is available over four years to support the implementation of ‘Te Maihi O Te Whare Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action’ (MAIHI) and to achieve better housing outcomes for Māori.

Regular engagement with iwi and Māori housing providers led to funding grants being provided to seven Māori housing providers.

He Taupua is a new fund which aims to build the capability of Māori providers to deliver bespoke services that attend to homelessness. It went live in Augiust 2020, launching its funding round for the 2020/21 financial year for Māori housing providers, whānau trusts and ahuwhenua trusts. 

An evaluation of the impacts of MAIHI (Te Maihi O Te Whare Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action) investment for whānau is planned.

Funding for continued provision of transitional housing

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From Budget 2018

Transitional housing provides short-term housing for up to 12 weeks for people with immediate housing needs, along with support to help them find long-term homes. Transitional housing places are managed by specialist providers who are skilled in providing social support services, tenancy-related support, and managing properties and tenancies.

Boosts in funding from the 2018/19 Budgets has increased the number of transitional housing places available, with a net increase of 327 places (total available 3,116) between 1 July 2019 and 31 May 2020. Between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020, the total number of transitional housing places increased by a net of 722 to 3956.

An additional 1,000 transitional homes were announced in February 2020 as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (see above) and a further 2,000 transitional homes were funded through Budget 2020.

Find out more

Residential Tenancies Act 1986 reform

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Embedded

This targeted reform to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 has the primary objective of increasing tenants' security of tenure, while maintaining adequate protection of landlords' interests.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020  came into force on 12 August 2020

Papakāinga development

Lead agency: 
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing

This Budget 2019 initiative provides funding for the Māori Housing Network to invest in additional papakāinga (Māori collectively owned homes), housing repairs, and capability building programmes. It will raise Māori intergenerational wellbeing by taking a whānau-led approach to addressing housing and wider community needs.

Nearly 90 projects have been approved, including investment in Māori housing repair programmes in Te Tai Tokerau, Te Tairāwhiti, Waikato and Taranaki.

Work continues to complete the 2020/20 community repair programmes and all active projects will be reviewed to ensure they are on track for delivery by 30 June 2021.

Supporting Pacific households into home ownership

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Status: 
Ongoing

This Budget 2019 initiative aims to improve the home ownership rate of Pacific people.  This was built on in Budget 2020, with the introduction of Improving Housing for Pacific Families and Communities, led by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. This initiative includes the delivery of financial capability services, which will provide Pacific families and communities with the financial tools they need to help them manage their finances during and after economic shocks such as COVID-19, and to support savings towards home ownership.

The Pacific Financial Capability Grant and the Community Housing Provider tender process both opened in February 2021.   Successful providers will be announced in mid-2021.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Housing Support Products

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Status: 
Ongoing

More funding for Housing Support Products was made available through Budget 2019, including increasing the number of existing grants that can be issued and adding a rent arrears assistance payment.

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabinet agreed to temporarily increase the Rent Arrears Assistance payment limit from $2,000 to $4,000 and expand access by enabling it to no longer be a payment of last recourse.  This enables those on lower income and beneficiaries to receive it (extended until 31 June 2021). 

Help families with the costs of essentials

Ka Ora, Ka Ako: free and healthy school lunch programme

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
Prototype implemented from Term 1, 2020

A free and healthy school lunch programme was implemented from Term 1 2020, with a small number of schools. The prototype was intended to test and evaluate different models of delivery and provide information to support decision-making about further provision of free school lunches beyond 2021.

204 schools and kura delivered lunches to more than 42,000 students (exceeding the 21,000 target) by the end of 2020.   Over 300 jobs were created in Bay of Plenty/Waiariki, Hawke’s Bay/Tairāwhiti and Otago/ Southland.

A major expansion of the free and healthy school lunch programme, funded through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, will see around 215,000 students in more than 960 schools get a free lunch every school day by the end of 2021.

The programme targest students in schools with the highest disadvantage and is estimated to create around 2,000 more jobs.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Additional funding for schools to replace donations from parents/caregivers

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From the 2020 school year

Decile 1-7 state and state-integrated schools (attended by about 63 percent of all students, including 83 percent of Māori and Pacific students), are now eligible to receive $150 per student per year if the school agrees to stop requesting donations from parents and caregivers.  This Budget 2019 initiative aims to alleviate financial pressure on families who struggle to pay school donations, as well as benefitting eligible schools by providing them greater certainty of revenue or increased revenue.

More schools opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. - 1,664 (94%) of the 1,764 eligible schools.  This impacts the families of more than 447,000 students.  

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Removal of National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) fees

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding to cover the cost of NCEA assessment fees for all students. This supports equity of access to NCEA qualifications and increases residual incomes for low-income families. Fees were removed for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship in May 2019.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Implement lower-cost primary health care, including free GP visits for under-14-year-olds

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2018

Funding in Budget 2018 reduced barriers to health care by extending:

  • free GP visits and prescriptions to children under the age of 14 so that cost is not a consideration for parents and caregivers
  • access to very low-cost GP visits to all Community Services Card (CSC) holders, making doctor visits approximately $20 to $30 cheaper for an estimated 540,000 people
  • eligibility for CSC to all those receiving the accommodation supplement or income-related rent subsidy.

As of June 2020, 96% of enrolled CSC holders, and their dependents aged 14 years and over, are enrolled with a practice offering low cost visits.  Over 99% of all enrolled children aged less than 14 years are enrolled with a practice offering them zero-fee visits.

Cross-agency scoping work is underway to look at how accessibility to the CSC could be improved for those who are eligible but are not automatically issued a CSC.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Funding for NGOs and community groups

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From March 2020

Funding was provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they could continue to provide essential support to communities during the COVID-19 response.

It funded services that:

  • ensure people have access to the food and other goods they need to survive
  • provide a place for people to live
  • support disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing
  • keep families safe from harm and offer crisis support.

Funding for grants was also provided through Budget 2020 for community groups to enhance the wellbeing of their local communities in the COVID-19 recovery response.  A specific focus was made to enable Māori, Pacific, refugee and migrant communities to access this fund. The investment allows groups to contribute to the ongoing response and recovery of the communities they are connected to and support.

MSD continues to work closely with the sector to assess the demand picture and identify what changes may be needed to ensure services remain high quality and continue to meet the needs of service users.

Support to meet immediate welfare and food security needs

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
National Emergency Management Agency
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From April 2020

A support package was approved to bolster the delivery of food and welfare assistance by local authorities and Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups to those who need it as part of the immediate COVID-19 response. The additional funding ensured local authorities and CDEM Groups were well placed to increase immediate COVID-19 related welfare support needs through multiple channels by:

  • bolstering the organisation of food parcels, and other household goods and services to people who contacted the CDEM Group and met the relevant criteria
  • providing upfront funding to, or reimbursement of, local foodbanks, community food organisations and other welfare providers, to enable them to provide food and other essential household items to people who contact them directly
  • helping to fund emergency accommodation, until temporary accommodation could be arranged through MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service or other arrangements.

Additional funding announced on 14 May 2020 included a response to the increase in demand for food through food banks and other community food service providers as a result of COVID-19. This included funding for a new bulk food distribution network – ‘New Zealand Food Network’ and support for food banks, food rescue organisations, and other providers.

Find out more

Hardship fund for tertiary students

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

A hardship fund was established to support domestic tertiary students.  This fund provides temporary financial assistance for currently enrolled full-time and part-time students who are facing hardship from the impacts of COVID-19. Assistance is made available to pay for necessary expenses like food, utilities and rent, or to access resources purchased on their behalf.

Building financial capability services

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

This initiative provides support to key groups experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, hardship by strengthening Building Financial Capability (BFC) services. The BFC model is effective at improving the financial capability and resilience of vulnerable people, including Māori and Pacific people, as well as sole parents with children. A funding boost to financial capability service providers will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty.  A proportion of this went towards a general funding top up of around 20% so BFC providers can continue to support the 35,000 clients they see each year. 

A significant increase in demand for budgeting services is expected in the economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Therefore, additional funding was rolled out to  existing services. The extra funding was for:

  • Financial Mentoring – one-to-one support empowering people to achieve their goals, including reducing debt and connecting to support they may need
  • MoneyMates – peer-led support for people to learn and share together as a group
  • Building Financial Capability Plus (Kahukura) service – intensive support for people who are hard to reach or with complex needs
  • Micro-finance services – affordable credit to people at risk of unsustainable debt and hardship.

Improved Whānau Ora navigator support for whānau to build their financial capability

Lead agency: 
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing

Budget 2019 provided funding for training to Whānau Ora navigators to expand their financial capability skills, understanding and networks, so they can provide improved support to whānau wanting to build their financial capability.

The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies have completed Building Financial Capability workforce development plans across their respective partner networks and rolled out training. These will be embedded into business-as-usual activity with commissioning agencies, with progress updates included in reporting.

Continued government funding for Kickstart Breakfast and KidsCan

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

Through Budget 2019 Government committed two more years of funding to support the provision of raincoats, shoes and hygiene and sanitary products, and food to children in need.

New contracts were signed with Fonterra and Sanitarium to continue the KickStart Breakfast programme through to 30 June 2021. A new contract was signed with the KidsCan Charitable Trust to continue contributory funding to the organisation through to 30 June 2021.

Funding helped KidsCan provide programmes to over 200,000 children, including an additional 5,000 children due to the impacts of COVID-19, and KickStart Breakfast to reach over 41,000 children from 1,200 schools (who receive breakfast at school on average 4 times a week).

Work to identify future funding options is ongoing.

Review consumer credit law

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Completed

The Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Act was passed in December 2019.  The Amendment Act introduces several important changes to better protect vulnerable consumers from getting into problem debt. This includes prescriptive requirements to make it clearer what lenders must do to comply with their obligations, and to better protect vulnerable consumers from getting into problem debt. The Act provides for the creation of regulations to support a range of new legislative requirements. MBIE will also develop updates to the Responsible Lending Code, to support implementation of the new Act and regulations.

Review the treatment of debt to government

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing

Joint Ministers agreed in September 2019 to priority areas of focus for cross-agency work on debt to government departments over the shorter term. This includes seeking alignment of approaches to relief and improving information exchange to support better management of debt.

Cabinet has also endorsed the medium-term work programme for the welfare overhaul, which includes addressing debt - both through the cross-agency work and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) continuing to improve its operational approach to preventing debt.

Some work in reviewing hardship assistance progressed, but work was largely put on hold due to the prioritisation of COVID-19 response work. Next steps includes agencies in the cross-agency debt working group providing advice to joint Ministers.

Commerce Commission changes

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Completed

The Commerce Act 1986 has been amended to allow the Commerce Commission to carry out competition studies. The first was a study into retail fuel markets (petrol prices), which made several recommendations aimed at improving competition. 

A Fuel Industry Bill (the Bill), introduced in June 2020 as a first step to implementing these recommendations, includes changes to wholesale market arrangements to improve transparency and fairness. Government also aims to strengthen section 36 of the Commerce Act 1986 to prohibit firms with market power from engaging in conduct that substantially lessens competition, as well as increasing penalties for anti-competitive mergers, and improving information sharing between agencies.

Response to the Electricity Price Review 2018-2019

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Embedded

An expert advisory panel commissioned by the Government has made a number of recommendations to strengthen the consumer voice, reduce energy hardship, improve retail and wholesale competition, improve transmission and distribution, improve the regulatory sector, and prepare for a low carbon future.

Cabinet has approved the establishment of a cross-sector Energy Hardship Group of key government agencies and NGOs, to co-ordinate and provide advice on cohesive, cost-effective energy hardship initiatives, and a Consumer Advocacy Council as an independent advocate for small electricity consumers.

Subject to COVID-19 priorities and resourcing, work will continue to progress other initiatives in response to the EPR findings and recommendations.

Children and young people are happy and healthy

This means:

  • they have the best possible health, starting before birth
  • they build self-esteem and resilience
  • they have good mental wellbeing and recover from trauma
  • they have spaces and opportunities to play and express themselves creatively
  • they live in healthy and sustainable environments.

Focus areas and key actions

Government is prioritising work to improve mental wellbeing, along with work on the maternity system and support in the early years. Actions are grouped in the following focus areas.

  • Redesign maternity and early years support
  • Inspire active, healthy and creative children and young people
  • Increase support for mental wellbeing. 

More details on the Government's policies and actions under this outcome are provided below.

Redesign maternity and early years support

Maternity Action Plan

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Maternity services are being redesigned through a five-year, end-to-end maternity programme to ensure New Zealand's maternity system is effective and sustainable. The original plan has been updated to include outputs, outcomes and measures for each project of work within the five work streams. It also takes a kaupapa Māori approach to ensure projects and deliverables honour the commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

The Ministry of Health has drawn this information into health policy work and the Well Child/Tamariki Ora Review work. The refresh of the National Strategic Plan for Action for Breastfeeding has been developed by an Expert Advisory Group and is due for publication by September 2020. Review of the Pregnancy and Parenting Education and Information service specification has been deferred until 2020/21 due to competing priorities.

A four-year funding package has been allocated to primary maternity services, including funding for implementing the Maternity Action Plan.

Recent developments include increased funding to all the DHBs to support their Maternity Quality and Safety programmes.

There has also been consultation  on changes for complex and rural service delivery modules and a consumer forum to develop better ways to engage with women and whānau.

The Rautaki Whakamana Whāngote - National Breastfeeding Strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand and the National Guidance for Assessment, Diagnosis and Surgical Treatment of Tongue Tie in Breastfeeding Neonates have both been published.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Review of the Well Child Tamariki Ora programme

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Well Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) programme provides health and development checks to all children from birth to five years of age. It also includes the B4 School Checks and key touchpoints with whānau. If issues are identified, additional support can be provided through referrals to primary or secondary health care or broader social services.

A review of WCTO has been completed.  This looked at the extent to which the programme is currently meeting the needs of children and their whānau, particularly Māori, Pacific, those who live with disabilities, are in State care, or those living with higher needs and to ensure the programme is financially sustainable and delivering the best possible outcomes.

A summary report of key findings and recommended actions from the WCTO review is being prepared for release.

In 2020/21, the Ministry of Health began work on critical issues identified by the WCTO review, and further highlighted by the COVID-19 experience. (Note that funding was provided through Budget 2020 to meet price and volume pressures facing providers of WCTO and help them deliver more sustainable services to improve child wellbeing.)

This work contributes to the development of a universal health and development contact framework across Health and Education - an integrated measurement and assessment schedule from conception to 24 years of age to support maternal, child and youth wellbeing.

Find out more

Intensive parenting support: expanding the pregnancy and parenting service

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding to expand this intensive outreach service for parents and parents-to-be, and caregivers who are experiencing problems with alcohol and other drugs, and who are poorly connected to health and social support services.

The service will now be available in Whanganui and the Bay of Plenty expanding on services already available in Waitematā, Tairāwhiti, Northland and Hawke’s Bay.

The Waitematā service typically works with about 250 women and their whānau per year, and the other three existing sites each typically work with about 100 women and their whānau per year.

Find out more about the expansion of services

Update of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Action Plan

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing

The Ministry of Health and partner agencies are working together to take the FASD Action Plan forward and make current systems more responsive to the needs of children and young people living with FASD and their families and whānau. Proposed actions focus on prevention and early identification, increasing the awareness and understanding of FASD across agencies, and building an evidence base of FASD prevalence.

Next steps for the FASD Action Plan are being developed, including work with key stakeholders to revise priorities and activities. This includes Proceeds of Crime funding secured over three years for initiatives to improve early identification and support for children and young people with FASD and their families, along with research on an effective system-wide response to FASD and neurodevelopmental issues across the life course.

Read the summary of progress on the FASD Action Plan

Initial work towards a single measurement and assessment schedule from conception to age 24

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing

Health and social sector agencies have a work programme to better integrate information, advice and support services for parents, families and whānau. The Ministries of Health and Education have started work to develop a single system of assessment and screening for the health and development of all children and young people. The Ministry of Health will continue to build on the Universal Health and Development Contact Framework, developing health contacts from age 5 to 24 years. The intention is that this work will result in one joint Health and Education shared measurement and assessment schedule that will eventually encompass conception to age 24.

Inspire active, healthy and creative children and young people

Healthy Active Learning

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Health
Sport New Zealand
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From Budget 2019

Healthy Active Learning is a new initiative funded through Budget 2019 that will support schools, kura and early learning settings to improve child and youth wellbeing through healthy eating and quality physical activity.

All schools, kura, and early learning settings will be supported with new resources, ranging from health promotion advisors, school physical activity advisors, and curriculum resources and guidelines. Implementation will focus on expanding healthy food and water-only or plain milk policies, enhancing delivery of the health and physical education curriculum, and fostering active school environments.

The aim is to have 300 targeted schools and kura signed up, and actively engaged and supported in Healthy Active Learning in its first phase (2020 – 2022).

Six Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) will deliver the active component of the initiative in the first phase, including employment of Regional Leads for these six regions.  The Tapuwaekura Leadership Group has been established to ensure equitable outcomes for Māori.  Contracting with Public Health Units for a health promotion workforce has been completed.

Healthy food and drinks policies were published in February 2021.  Further resources and guides will soon be available, and a monitoring and evaluation plan developed and implemented.

Find out more

Read the latest update

Extend nurses in schools (School-based Health Services)

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From Budget 2018

School-Based Health Services (SBHS) provide free access to primary health care, including mental health, for students from Year 9 in low decile secondary schools. Students can either go to a health professional in their school, or be referred to youth health services, child youth mental health services, or their own doctor. The initiative includes early intervention, electronic wellbeing assessments, and funding to upskill the nursing workforce to meet the needs of young people.

Budget 2018 funding extended School-Based Health Services to all decile 4 secondary schools. Budget 2019 provided further funding to enhance these services, beginning with expansion to all decile 5 secondary schools and consolidating the existing programme.  Around 96,700 students at nearly 300 decile 1 to 5 secondary schools can now access SBHS.

Sector, DHB and independent evaluation advisory groups have been established.

Development and implementation of evaluation, quality, monitoring and reporting frameworks, will inform improvement and standardisation of the 'Year 9 Health Check'.  

Delivery of strategy for women and girls in sport and active recreation

Lead agency: 
Sport New Zealand
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
2018-2021

The strategy, launched in October 2018, has a strong focus on girls and young women across its three priority areas: leadership, participation, and value and visibility.  Sport New Zealand will deliver initiatives in partnership with the community.

In April 2019 Sport New Zealand launched two new funds under the strategy: the Young Women's Activation Fund and the Innovations for Young Women Fund. Organisations can apply for support for new opportunities to encourage young women aged 12-18 to stay active and develop their leadership skills.

The Women and Girls outcomes framework has been completed, as well as planning for ‘Diversity Health Check’ data collection and delivery of initiatives to improve experiences for woman and girls in coaching. An inaugural ‘Sport NZ Women and Girls Summit’ was held in October 2019, and increased investment and activation of new funds targeting women and girls has been approved. A second Summit was held in October 2020.

Find out more

Creatives in Schools

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
2020-2024

Budget 2019 provided funding for a Creatives in Schools programme to be delivered to schools and kura. Professional artists and creative practitioners will partner with schools to share specialist artistic knowledge and creative practice with students.

54 projects were chosen in the first round, set to take place in Terms 1 and 2, 2020. Delivery was interrupted due to COVID-19 and will resume in term 3 or 4.

Budget 2020 provided additional funding, increasing the total number of projects from 304 to 510 over the first four years of the programme.

The Creatives in Schools programme is continuing in 2021, with a total of 143 schools and kura were selected for Round 2.  They will start implementing their projects this year.

Find out more

Expand bike programmes in schools

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded

In November 2018 Government announced funding over three years to expand the Bikes in Schools programme (which involves installing a riding track in school grounds and typically also provides bikes, helmets and bike storage facilities) and to increase cycle skills education nationwide.

Find out more

Local Government (Community Wellbeing) Amendment Bill

Lead agency: 
Department of Internal Affairs
Status: 
Completed

In May 2019 the Government passed new legislation to restore the four 'wellbeings' (social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities) to the statutory purpose of local government. The Act sets the legislative framework for local authorities, which is empowering, not directive. The changes mandate local authorities to promote community wellbeing. They will be given effect through local authorities’ statutory planning and decision-making processes, based on community consultation.

Toi Rangatahi arts funds

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH)
Status: 
Embedded

Creative New Zealand launched three new funds in 2019 to support arts projects to help young New Zealanders (aged 10 to 25) to participate in, to lead, or to engage in high-quality arts projects and activities in their own communities. The funds focus on under-represented communities.

20 applications received funding totalling $737,681. They covered all art forms and included workshops, performance, exhibitions, street art and mentoring, with activity across regional centres including Waikato, Northland and Hawke’s Bay. The Leadership Fund (supporting ages 15-25) was repeated in 2019. Five projects were supported to a total of $48, 877.

The second round of all three funds was suspended due to COVID-19 and a new schedule was released in August 2020.

Increase support for mental wellbeing

Expand access and choice of primary mental health and addiction support

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding to enhance primary mental health and addiction responses across New Zealand to expand access and choice of mental health and addiction support, in particular for New Zealanders with mild to moderate needs.

This included:

  • sustaining and expanding existing primary mental health and addiction services and pilots, and developing new services
  • expanding workforce capacity and capability
  • collaboratively designing core components of enhanced responses for priority population groups (Māori, people with lived experience of mental health and addiction, Pacific peoples, young people, the rainbow community and people living in rural areas)
  • establishing implementation infrastructure.

Additional funding through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will expand and accelerate frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19.  The funding builds on the existing roll out of free primary mental health and wellbeing services for youth aged 12-24 years. 

Youth-specific primary mental health and addiction services have been established in 10 District Health Board areas.

The initial roll-out of additional mental health and wellbeing services to tertiary students is expected by June 2021. 

Find out more

See latest update

 

Forensic mental health services for young people

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding to ensure safe and secure forensic mental health services are available to young people. This responds to the legislative change increasing the youth justice age from 17 to 18 years, resulting in more young people within the youth justice system.

A post-graduate training course for youth forensic staff is underway and funding for community staffing has been assigned to lead DHBs of each of the five youth forensic regions for distribution. Dedicated funding will be provided to increase community youth forensic staff across all regions, over four years.

Every Life Matters - He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata: Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Every Life Matters He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019-2029 and Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2019-2024 was released in September 2019. The Suicide Prevention Office (SPO), responsible for overseeing the implementation of the strategy and action plan, was officially opened in late November. A Māori expert reference panel was established to provide high level strategic advice, support and guidance on matters relating to Māori suicide prevention and implementation of the Strategy.

The Office has delivered a number of the Budget 2019 investments including:

  • the development of a national suicide bereavement response service
  • additional postvention services in DHBs
  • establishing Māori and Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Funds
  • enhanced information services for whānau and the media.

Reviews of coronial suspected suicide data sharing service, and regional and community level suicide prevention and postvention resources have been completed. The findings are informing suicide prevention approaches and investments moving forward.  

Find out more

Promote wellbeing in primary and intermediate schools

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Planned work to make resilience-building and mindfulness resources more readily available to primary and intermediate schools and teachers across the country was reconfigured due to COVID-19. Budget 2019 funding was re-directed to developing resilience-building and mindfulness resources for parents to use at home with children (Sparklers at Home). Work on school-based resources has now recommenced.

Planning is underway to assess alignment of current resources with the curriculum.

Find out more

Strengthening Pacific youth mental health and resilience

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is piloting a programme to support Pacific young people to lead their own innovative initiatives to strengthen Pacific youth mental health and resilience. A second component of this work recognises the important role of family and community and will focus on supporting the intergenerational conversation about Pacific youth mental health and raising awareness.

The Kau Tulī Innovators of Influence Advisory Group (Kau Tulī is a separate action under the 'involved and empowered' outcome) supported Pacific youth and community engagement workshops aimed at educating and empowering Tokelau youth.  Three workshops were delivered in October 2020 to over 30 Pacific young people from the Tokelau community and were live streamed through social media platforms. Kau Tulī members will continue to lead discussions within Pacific communities to develop and deliver initiatives in 2021. 

 

Piki pilot expansion

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Embedded

The pilot, launched in Porirua in February 2019, provides free counselling and age-appropriate mental health support for young people aged 18 to 25 years with mild to moderate mental health conditions. The pilot was fully operational across the Wellington region by the end of 2019 and will run until 2021.

A University of Otago evaluation is underway, wih a final report due at the end of the pilot.

Āta Hihiko

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Āta Hihiko is customised technology that aims to motivate small behaviour changes to build aspiration, good habits, resilience, and mental and emotional well-being in young Māori. Created by MSD, in partnership with Be Intent, it was run as a trial with 100 young Māori.

A pilot of the co-designed solution with a larger sample group was paused due to COVID-19. This was to further understand the impact of the app on improving wellbeing outcomes for young people.  MSD will work with Be Intent to determine the best way forward.

 

Expansion of Mana Ake

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Health
Status: 
Ongoing

Mana Ake is a holistic mental health programme that seeks to support primary and intermediate school children to be resilient, and experience positive mental health and continued engagement in learning. 

The programme is being rolled out nationally over 5 years and will be adapted to ensure responsiveness to local communities using local co-design.

The expansion of Mana Ake will start in five new DHB areas; Northland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Lakes and West Coast. Co design work will begin by mid-2021

Find out more

Last updated: 
Monday, 24 May 2021

Children and young people are learning and developing

This means:

  • they are positively engaged with, progressing and achieving in education
  • they develop the social, emotional and communication skills they need as they progress through life
  • they have the knowledge, skills and encouragement to achieve their potential and enable choices around further education, volunteering, employment and entrepreneurship
  • they can successfully navigate life's transitions.

Focus areas and key actions

Government has launched a programme of review across the education sector - early learning (including home-based), compulsory schooling, learning support and tertiary education - to improve equity and ensure no-one misses out. An immediate priority is children and young people who need extra support in the education system. Actions are grouped in the following focus areas.

  • Improve quality in education 
  • Increase equity of educational outcomes
  • Support life transitions. 

More details on the Government's policies and actions under this outcome are provided below.

Improve quality in education

Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2020

The statement of National Education and Learning Priorities for early childhood and compulsory education will set out the education and learning priorities for all early learning settings (including ngā kōhanga reo), schools and kura.  The Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) sets out the Government’s long-term strategic direction and current and medium-term priorities for tertiary education.

Consultation on the NELP and TES was completed in Nov 2019, and the final documents were released in November 2020.

Find out more

Education Workforce Strategy and Rāngai Māori workforce strategy for Māori-medium education

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing

An Education Workforce Strategy (EWS) is being developed in partnership with the education sector.  Work will include the wider workforce across early learning, primary and secondary education, and the learning support workforce.  This will be complemented by a Rāngai Māori (RM) workforce strategy for Māori-medium education covering Māori immersion level one, where more than 81% of learning is provided in Māori language immersion. 

The original timeline has been reviewed after a delay before the primary principals’ collective agreement was settled in August 2019.  

A draft action plan has now been developed for the EWS, in conjunction with Accord partners (sector unions).  Work is underway on strengthening Māori-medium education pathways, which will a inform workforce action plan for Rāngai Māori.

Next steps includes Ministerial consideration of the draft EWS strategy and action plan, and agreement to public and sector consultation processes.  

 

Address learners' needs by improving data quality, availability, timeliness and capability

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

This initiative provides a data system that enables a joined-up approach to data about student progress and their learning support needs throughout their schooling.

The Ministry has established the Data Protection and Use Policy for the Social Sector in Education working group and held a symposium in March. 

Automated data quality checks have been implemented for a number of core data collections and systems in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) and schooling sectors. A new national learner data repository, called Te Rito, will create an individual record of every learner and follow that learner through their entire learner journey.

Te Rito was successfully implemented in 18 schools and 33 ECEs in the Bay of Plenty by August 2020. Data quality checks have been implemented for core data collections and systems.  A prioritisation plan to expand Te Rito over the next two years has been developed. 

Response to the review of home-based early childhood education

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2018

The focus of this action is a gradual shift towards requiring home-based educators to hold at least a level 4 ECE qualification, to improve the quality of educator-child interactions in home-based early childhood education. Evidence suggests that an ECE qualification supports educators to provide children with stimulating, warm and supportive early learning experiences.  Research shows that high-quality ECE can improve children’s learning and developmental outcomes, particularly for those in socio-economic disadvantage. 

In response to the review, advice was provided to the Minister of Education on a transition profile and transition costs for next steps. Home-based ECE services on the quality funding rate will receive a 3.8% rate increase from 1 January 2021.

Find out more

Reform of vocational education

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
Changes phased in from 2020

The Government is creating one system for all vocational education where:

  • all vocational education organisations will have clear roles and uphold and enhance Māori-Crown partnerships
  • public vocational education will be available consistently throughout New Zealand via a single national Institute of Skills and Technology
  • there will be a single funding system that focuses everyone on the right things.

The Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill came into effect on 1 April 2020.

Te Taumata Aronui (a group to help ensure Māori-Crown partnership reflected in design) was convened to provide strategic advice.

Te Pūkenga –The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST), which also came into being on 1 April 2020, brought the existing sixteen Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) together into one organisation. Recruitment of subsidiary board members has now been completed.

Six Workforce Development Councils (WDC) will be established by mid-2021. 

The unified funding system will be implemented from 2023.

 

 

He Taonga Te Tamaiti / Every Child a Taonga: Early Learning Action Plan 2019-29

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded

This plan, published in December 2019, sets out five interdependent objectives and 25 actions intended to work together to raise quality, improve equity and enable choice of service type in early learning. Implementation will take a stepped approach over the next 10 years and will be contingent on Cabinet agreement to individual actions and future Budget processes.

Urgent Response Fund for learner wellbeing

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
2020/2021

In response to COVID-19, the Government provided an urgent response fund for the 2020/21 year for centre-based early learning services, schools and kura to be used for individual, group, class or service-wide responses to support the wellbeing needs of children and young people, including catch-up support or professional advice such as counsellors or additional teacher aide time.

Programme to establish curriculum leads to support the health and wellbeing of learners

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
2021

A new programme will establish new regionally-based curriculum leads to work with schools, kura, centre-based early learning services and kōhanga reo to support the health and wellbeing of learners.  They will work in partnership to embed high-quality teaching approaches to mental health, wellbeing and healthy relationships in learning programmes and local curricula.

The programme is in response to the expected increase in wellbeing and mental health needs of learners post-COVID-19, and in response to the Education Conversation / Korero Mātauranga, the Māori Education Wānanga and the Pacific Education Fono.

Following engagement with regional offices, sector and peak bodies, the operating model for 38 regionally-based Curriculum Leads has been developed, along with a service design framework, including tools and resources.

The service is expected to be operationalised by the end of Term 2, 2021.

Find out more

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) change package

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2019

In May 2019, a package of seven changes to NCEA was announced, aimed at strengthening this key qualification for secondary school students, so it best meets student needs. 

Since then, new NCEA Level 1 standards have been developed for four subjects (English, Science, Religious Studies and Visual Arts) through a Trial and Pilots process, in preparation for rebuilding NCEA standards and resources across all subjects. Māori Performing Arts NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 have also been developed.

Consultation is ongoing, with four NCEA Panels established to ensure a broad range of stakeholders – including Māori, Pacific communities, advocates for vocational pathways, and organisations advocating for people with disabilities – have a voice in the design and implementation of the NCEA changes.  Feedback hubs have also been established in a small number of schools across New Zealand to seek feedback from students, teachers, school leaders, parents, whānau, Board of Trustees and other members of the school community.

While work on the NCEA change programme has been ongoing during COVID-19, most sector engagement work for the NCEA Review (including the Review of Achievement Standards) was put on hold. As a result, new NCEA Level 1 standards will now be developed and trialled in 2022. 

The changes will be phased in over five years, with new achievement standards at Levels 1, 2 and 3 in place by January 2025.

Find out more

Tomorrow's Schools review

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2019

The Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce was established in 2018 to review whether the compulsory schooling system meets the needs and aspirations of children, young people and their whānau now and for the future.

The final report was submitted in July 2019, and in November 2019 the Government released its response 'Supporting All Schools to Succeed: reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system', which announced a series of significant reforms. The reset is significant, and the intended changes will require ongoing investment of both time and resource. 

The design of the Education Support Agency (ESA) was put on hold due to the reprioritisation of resources for COVID-19 support.

Find out more

Support for Te Kōhanga Reo

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

Extra funding for Te Kōhanga Reo was provided through Budget 2020. This will help ensure kaiako are adequately paid and learning facilities are in good condition in order to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

A code of pastoral care for domestic tertiary students

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
May 2020

Funding is being provided to administer a code of pastoral care for domestic tertiary students.

NZQA provided resources to tertiary education providers on implementing the Interim Code and on an initial self-review, and monitored incidents and concerns about pastoral care in tertiary education.

Development and consultion on a replacement Code and Disputes Resolution Scheme will occur in 2021, with implemention in 2022.  

Urgent boost to playcentre funding

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Completed
Timeframe: 
June 2020

The COVID-19 lockdown disrupted the flow of grants, donations and fundraising that Playcentre Aotearoa organises to help provide this learning environment for around 9,500 children.  Additional funding has been provided to address these urgent funding issues, as well as funding to assess the condition of playcentre facilities throughout the country.

 

Trialling support for young children to improve their self-regulation, resilience, and social skills

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing

This initiative will test the scale-up of self-regulation programmes to embed social and emotional skills in various regions, urban/rural communities and types of early learning services.  This will also help to develop a practice framework focused on social and emotional learning for 0-6 year olds.

It's expected that providers will be determined by March 2021, with a trial rolled out mid-2021.
Analysis of the trial will then inform the nationwide roll-out, expected to be by mid-2022.

Last updated: 
Monday, 24 May 2021

Increase equity of educational outcomes

Equity index

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2020

Medium-term work is under way to better understand and target socio-economic disadvantage and provide more equitable resourcing to schools and kura. This includes replacing the current decile funding system with the Equity Index. 

Cabinet has agreed in principle to shift from deciles to the Equity Index from the 2021 or 2022 school year.  A first round of sector engagement on this was completed November 2019. This informed the  development of the Equity Index and advice, which is now completed.

A second round of engagement on the proposed shift will be undertaken, which will help inform decisions on implementation.

Find out more

Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2020

In response to a series of fono in 2018 and 2019, the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 was developed and launched in July 2020.  The Action Plan outlines the shifts Pacific communities want to see in the education system and details existing government investment in Pacific learners and their families.  This includes investments made to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Improve learning support: Learning Support Action Plan

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
2019-2025

The Learning Support Action Plan has been developed to improve outcomes for children and young people who need extra support in the education system. Budget 2019 provided funding for key actions which include:

  • establishing a Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) role to strengthen in-school support and build the learning support capability of teachers, identifying and planning for the disability and learning support needs of children and young people, and leading school/kura-wide engagement with parents and whānau 
  • flexible use of funding to meet increased demand for learning support services.
  • implementing early intervention support for an additional 4,600 children
  • providing additional funding so schools can maintain the current level and quality of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes
  • supporting learning opportunities for children and young people who are deaf or hard of hearing and increasing the availability of Assistive Technology
  • expanding the Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Service
  • providing education services and assessments in Youth Justice Residences and Community Remand Homes.

This investment supports the priorities of the Learning Support Action Plan to provide earlier support, and strengthen an inclusive education system where every child and young person feels a sense of belonging, is present, makes progress, and where their wellbeing is safeguarded and promoted.

Learning Support Coordinator roles have been established and the progressive roll-out of a Standardised Learning Support Register to Learning Support clusters is underway.
Work is also underway to strengthen screening and the early identification of learning support needs (the School Entry Kete).
The roll-out of additional investment in the Early Intervention Service has lead to significant reductions in the national average waiting time, and additional funding has been provided to support students with high and complex learning needs.

Further resources to support neuro-diverse children and young people will be developed, along with the Te Ao Māori programme to meet the needs of gifted children and young people. The guidelines on Suspensions, Stand-downs, Exclusions and Expulsion will also be reviewed.

Find out more

Early intervention: Te Kōhanga Reo – Learning Support Initiative and targeted COVID-19 response

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
May 2020

This initiative enables the Ministry of Education to partner with Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust to co-design and co-deliver targeted strategies and support for the kōhanga whānau (kaiako, parents, whānau) to support tamariki with learning support needs and reduce the gap in access to learning support.  This initiative focuses on keeping kōhanga whānau connected during COVID-19 alert levels and enabling a safe return of all tamariki and whānau to Kōhanga.

Improve and accelerate education outcomes for Pacific learners

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

This initiative works to ensure that Pacific learners and their families have their identities, languages and cultures valued and respected and have the skills, knowledge, and equitable opportunities to pursue any educational pathway. This will be done by partnering with communities to focus on achieving outcomes for Pacific learners, growing the cultural competency of the workforce, and providing opportunities to learn in Pacific languages.

Implementing the initiative so far has included:

  • development of professional learning and development materials that will enable teachers and leaders to engage with Tapasā
  • 47 providers confirmed to deliver a Parent Responsive Education programme in 63 locations, including 13 school-led providers
  • 25 schools identified to participate in additional Developing Mathematical Communities of Inquiry in 2020
  • scoping work completed on community-based education pilots as part of the Action Plan for Pacific Education
  • fono with Pacific bilingual teachers to determine the need for and priority order for resource development. 

Targeted support for Pacific learners to access education

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2020

New funding through Budget 2020 will provide targeted support to ensure Pacific learners and families are equipped to access education.  It will support Pacific learners’ access to education by:

  • funding brokerage services between Pacific learners and families and education services, and Pacific providers and government agencies
  • establishing a Pacific Education Innovation Fund to promote culturally sustaining practice in the COVID-19 context
  • enabling leaders in Tautai o le Moana, a principal leadership collaborative, to promote culture change in schools to support Pacific learners
  • providing governance and management support for Pacific early learning centres and translating and distributing key materials in Pacific languages.

Toloa - empowering Pacific participation in STEM

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
May 2020

New funding will help increase Pacific participation in STEM related sectors, to increase skills and income through the Toloa programme.

This programme encourages Pacific students to pursue studies in STEM subjects, with the aim of increasing the number of Pacific peoples employed in STEM careers.  To reach key Pacific audiences simultaneously, the Toloa Programme delivers to three key strands:

  • Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for Pacific students pursuing STEM related study
  • Toloa Kenese for Post Primary Pacific students to increase awareness and influence students into STEM study options early on
  • Toloa Community Fund for Community Groups promoting and delivering STEM activities to our key Pacific influencer groups (parents, family, religious ministers, etc).

2021 saw 59 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships awarded to Pacific students to pursue studies in STEM and become the future innovators and leaders in this space - the highest number of scholarships given out for the programme since it began.

Proposals were sought from providers to deliver the Toloa In-Work Support Programme (TISP) pilot to non-Toloa Tertiary Scholarship awardees, with delivery over the 2020/2021-2023/2024 financial years.

 

Fees-Free Tertiary Education and Training

Lead agency: 
Tertiary Education Commission
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2018

Government introduced the Fees-Free Tertiary Education and Training policy in January 2018. Eligible students beginning study at a university, wānanga, institute of technology, polytechnic, or private training establishment, can now get their first year of full-time study fees-free, or an equivalent amount of part-time study fees-free. New apprentices and their employers can have their on-job training costs covered for their first two years. The intent is to remove financial barriers for people to go onto further study or training.

Find out more

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

Free access to period products in schools

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
Term 3 2020

Findings from the Youth19 Survey found 12 per cent of year 9 to 13 students who menstruate reported difficulty getting access to products due to cost. Approximately one in 12 students reported having missed school due to lack of access to sanitary products. This trend is worse for lower decile schools, but barriers to access exist for students in schools of all deciles.

New funding will provide free period products to schools. The roll-out started in term 3, 2020 at 15 Waikato schools and be expanded to all state and state-integrated schools on an opt-in basis in 2021.

Find out more

Enabling distance learning

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
Term 3 2020

Emergency funding was provided to enable distance learning for early childhood education and schooling.  This included funding for devices and National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) online programme, which has already enabled two-thirds of the NECA exams to be delivered digitally.

Policy work on flexible learning (including distance) will be undertaken over the next 2-4 years as part of the Tomorrow's Schools reforms.

Find out more 

School High Health Needs Fund

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

The School High Health Needs Fund (SHHNF) will be increased, boosting teachers’ aide support for students with high health needs who need care and supervision for more than six weeks so they can attend school safely. Since 2014 the number of students supported through the SHHNF has grown by an average of 16.3 per cent each year.

Find out more

Specialist library services for schools and young people

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
May 2020

New funding has been provided for specialist library services for schools and young people with the greatest need at this time.

Find out more

Digital Technologies for All Equity fund

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Completed

This fund was established through Budget 2018 to give less advantaged students better access to digital tools, skills and knowledge.

Digital Ignition|Māpura Matihiko workshops were delivered to 3,748 students/ākonga by the end of Term 3 2019. Contracts were extended until the end of 2020.

Support life transitions

New service for transition support out of state care or youth justice custody

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

Budget 2019 provided funding for a new transition support service for eligible young people leaving State care or youth justice custody, to provide a more gradual and supported transition to adulthood, up to the age of 25. The service is relationship-based, and will support young people to prepare for transition, respond to their needs as they leave, and help them gain their independence. It will provide advice and assistance, after-hours support, and broker services and housing support.

Oranga Tamariki has partnered with 49 community and Iwi/Māori partners across Aotearoa to provide transition services.  

Find out more

Programmes for young people not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETS)

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Ministry of Social Development
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2018

Budget 2019 and Budget 2020 provided funding to expand programmes that enhance education and employment outcomes for young people:

  • Mana in Mahi - Strength in Work: a programme to help get disadvantaged young people into long term sustainable employment while gaining an apprenticeship or formal industry qualification. Budget 2020 provided for the expansion of Mana in Mahi as part of the Apprenticeship Support Programme.  It now offers additional supports to employers and includes workers of all ages who may have to retrain as a result of COVID-19. The first phase delivered 247 placements against a target of 150. Phase Two commenced in July 2019 with the aim of a further 1,850 placements by the end of the 2022/23 year. In August 2020 the focus of Mana in Mahi was broadened to support all age groups due to the widespread impacts of COVID-19.

  • Tupu Aotearoa (previously called Pacific Employment Support Service): Providers are contracted to work with and support Pacific young people NEETs and engage directly with Pacific families and communities to ensure Pacific young people NEETs are supported into employment and training. Budget 2019 and 2020 funding and the Provincial Growth Fund will expand the service across New Zealand into New Regions and will extend services to Pacific People of all ages.

  • He Poutama Rangatahi: Budget 2019 provided additional funding for this initiative that supports communities to develop pathways (poutama) for rangatahi (young people aged 15 to 24 years) who are NEETs and take them through to sustained employment, underpinned by intensive pastoral care. As at December 2019, this initiative was supporting around 2,300 rangatahi.  Further funding in Budget 2020 will help give Poutama Rangatahi a sustained footing in the regions and speed up its establishment in urban areas like West and South Auckland, Hamilton, Porirua and East Christchurch.  

Other initiatives supporting young people include:

  • Pae Aronui: This initiative aims to enhance skills and employment opportunities for rangatahi Māori aged 15-24 who are NEETs. Pae Aronui targets urban areas of South and West Auckland, Hamilton, Porirua and the Hutt Valley as they have the highest number of Māori rangatahi who are not in employment, education or training, and with the highest projected employment growth rates. More than 250 rangatahi were engaged across the target regions in 2019, with many achieving employment and education outcomes.

  • Taiohi Ararau: Passport to Life: Budget 2020 provided funding to expand this programme for taiohi aged 15-24 who are NEETs. Through the programme, participants can access essential documents including a birth certificate, bank account, driver's licenses, or an IRD number.

An evaluation of these two programmes is underway.

Two new initiatives have also been established: The Māori Trades Training Fund ($50 million over two years) and the Interim Regional Skills Leadership Group.  

 

 

Employment Strategy and action plans

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Ongoing

The Employment Strategy presents the Government’s vision for the labour market and the changes it is implementing to improve employment outcomes for all New Zealanders.

The first Action Plan, the Youth Employment Action Plan, sets out a programme of actions for government agencies to improve education, training and employment outcomes. Action Plans to improve employment outcomes for disabled peoples has also been implemented.

Further Action Plans, targetting Māori, Pacific peoples, older workers and job seekers, refugees, recent migrants and ethnic communities will follow. An independent reference group for the Māori employment action plan has been established.

Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Social Development
Tertiary Education Commission
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

The Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package funded in Budget 2020 will provide opportunities for New Zealanders to receive trades training.  It invests in training and education for people who might have lost their jobs, or who want to move into a different sector where prospects are better. It includes:

  • funding for additional tertiary education enrolments
  • targeted investment support for free trades training in critical industries
  • support to retain and keep training apprentices
  • funding for Workforce Development Councils and Regional Skills Leadership groups, to be established to give industry and regions a greater voice and help them respond to COVID-19 context
  • support for high quality tertiary and trades education
  • increased funding to meet demand in Trades Academies
  • a Māori Apprenticeships Fund
  • a new online careers advice system.

As this action has developed, a number of the activities were integrated into existing actions. For example, the establishment of Workforce Development Councils and Regional Skills Leadership groups was incorporated into the 'Reform of vocational education' action

The Auckland Pacific Skills Shift Initiative

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

Funding will be provided over four years to support Auckland Pacific people who have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or who are in low-skilled precarious work, to transition into quality employment.  The programme will offer wrap-around support, and delivery of micro-credentials and community capability building.

School leavers' toolkit

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded

A package of tools, resources and targeted curriculum support has been developed for educators to increase opportunities for students aged 13 to 18 to develop civics knowledge and skills, financial literacy and key workplace competencies before they leave school. Tools include a website and the development of ways to credential Toolkit learning.

Work is ongoing to continue to promote, expand and launch new School Leavers’ Toolkit products including training and support workshops, educational resources for educators, and content for students.

Find out more

Driver licence scheme for young people on youth benefits or in care

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Embedded

Funding has been provided to meet the costs of getting a driver licence for young people receiving the Youth Payment, Young Parent Payment or in Oranga Tamariki care. The scheme covers costs such as obtaining a birth certificate for identification, professional driving lessons and test fees. Uptake of the initiative is voluntary and led by the young person themselves.

Find out more

Expand Limited Service Volunteer Programme

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Embedded

Government is doubling the number of participants in this free “work readiness” training course for 18-24-year-olds (with some 17 year-olds able to attend by exception). The course is a six-week residential course delivered by the New Zealand Defence Force, with support from the Ministry of Social Development and the New Zealand Police.

The expansion involves new build facilities at Whenuapai Air Base in Auckland and the refurbishment of a NZDF leased site in Trentham, Wellington and increasing to 1,600 trainees per annum.

Find out more

Children and young people are accepted, respected and connected

This means:

  • they feel accepted, respected and valued at home, school, in the community and online
  • they feel manaakitanga: kindness, respect and care for others
  • they live free from racism and discrimination
  • they have stable and healthy relationships
  • they are connected to their culture, language, beliefs and identity, including whakapapa and tūrangawaewae (place of belonging).

Focus areas and key actions:

  • Address racism and discrimination 
  • Increase a sense of belonging and cultural connections 
  • Encourage positive and respectful peer relationships. 

More details on the Government's policies and actions under this outcome are provided below.

Address racism and discrimination

Government work programme to address racism and discrimination

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Justice
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

A work programme is being developed to address racism and discrimination, including through policy and legislative processes; for example, by ensuring that the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), and anti-racism and anti-discrimination considerations are built into advice to Ministers, and Cabinet and Parliamentary processes.

Cross-agency policy advice on reducing the impact of racism and discrimination across government and within the education system is underway. Te Arawhiti has published a range of tools and resources to build public sector capability in regard to the Te Tiriti. In July 2020, The Human Rights Commission launched the second phase of its Give Nothing to Racism campaign, which has a focus on raising awareness of racist behaviour and the harm caused to those on the receiving end.

Scoping work is underway on the National Action Plan Against Racism.  Legislative work to end the use of conversion practices (also known as "gay conversion therapy") has also progressed, with legislation expected to be passed by early 2022.

Restart Te Hurihanganui: supporting equitable outcomes for Māori learners

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Development work is underway on Te Hurihanganui (previously Te Kotahitanga). The programme aims to support equitable outcomes for Māori learners by addressing cultural bias and racism in the education system (Te Hurihanganui) and supporting whānau to engage in the education of Māori learners (Mana Whānau).

The work involves testing and evaluating initiatives that support education professionals to enhance classroom practice and whole-of-school culture. It will also test and evaluate initiatives that support whānau to engage in the education of their children and young people and enable iwi and Māori organisations to facilitate and broker this engagement.

From October 2020, the Ministry of Education will launch Te Hurihanganui in six communities across Aotearoa, with the commitment to support those communities for three years.

Find out more

Support Māori learners and whānau, and strengthen the integration of te reo Māori for all learners

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
From May 2020

Funding is being provided to support Māori learners and whānau to reconnect and succeed in education post COVID-19, strengthen the integration of te reo Māori into all students’ learning, and boost support for Māori learners and whānau to stay connected with education services following COVID-19.

Funding over the next four years will deliver a coherent, integrated programme of support for Māori learners and whānau, for all learners of te reo Māori, and the education workforce. This includes:

  • supporting iwi and Māori organisations to provide facilitation and brokerage services between Māori learners and whānau and local education services
  • expanding delivery of Te Ahu o te Reo Māori, strengthening the capability and confidence of up to 40,000 kaiako and up to 10,000 teachers to successfully integrate te reo Māori into all students’ learning, online and in the classroom, using innovative learning approaches
  • expanding delivery of Te Kawa Matakura to three more regions and creating more young Māori leaders through mātauranga and te reo Māori, supported by iwi
  • maintaining delivery of a te reo Māori immersion programme nationally for up to 75 new whānau each year
  • increasing te reo Māori curriculum resources
  • contributing to ensuring the successful implementation of all the Māori language initiatives.

Review protections against the incitement of hatred

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Justice
Status: 
Ongoing

Government has undertaken a review of protections against hate speech. This included reviewing the operation of the incitement provisions of the Human Rights Act 1993 to assess whether these protections against hate speech could be strengthened. 

It identified:

  • the provisions in the Human Rights Act should be widened to protect more groups from the incitement of hatred or hostility
  • the Human Rights Act should be amended to clarify that it covers gender diverse and intersex people from discrimination
  • the capacity of the Human Rights Commission would be strengthened.

In December 2020, the Government confirmed its intention to strengthen laws related to hate-motivated activity and inciting hatred against an individual or group.  It also confirmed the capacity of the Human Rights Commission will be strengthened.

Engagement with community groups will be undertaken in 2021, to discuss  proposed changes to the Human Rights Act. 

 

Increase sense of belonging and cultural connections

Implement Maihi Karauna - the Crown's Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation

Lead agency: 
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From September 2019

Government released Maihi Karauna - the Crown's Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation 2019-2023 in August 2018. Maihi Karauna identifies all New Zealanders under 25 as a priority group and sets out what the Crown will do to support a strong, healthy, thriving Māori language in New Zealand. All government agencies are required to develop a te reo Māori language plan by 30 June 2021.

Budget 2019 and Budget 2020 funding is enabling Te Taura Whiri to lead the coordination and implementation of Maihi Karauna, and supporting national and regional events that promote the use of te reo Māori. It is also funding additional IT support and a dedicated language planning hub which will support every core public service agency having a te reo Māori language plan by mid-2021.

An implementation plan has been dagreed which provides an overview of activity and a platform to scale up activity that supports te reo Māori revitalisation.

Terms of Reference for the review of Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016 (the Māori Language Act 2016) have been developed and agreed.

Find out more

Te Ahu o Te Reo Māori

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
Implementation began 2019

Te Ahu o Te Reo Māori is intended to better integrate te reo Māori across the education system, ensuring the workforce can comfortably use some level of te reo Māori correctly with students and, over time, increasingly incorporating te reo Māori into teaching practices and programmes.

It is designed to improve all levels of Māori language ability in the education workforce. Staff can participate in kura reo-style learning with support from a group of te reo Māori experts, some of which will be delivered through wānanga and online learning support.

An evaluation of initial programme testing found that the programme delivery was of a very high quality and participant confidence and use of te reo increased. 

The programme was extended in 2021 to reach schools across the country. The aim is to for up to 40,000 of the education workforce to successfully complete Te Ahu o te Reo Māori between 2021 – 2025 (up to 10,000 places annually).

Find out more

Action Plan for Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From January 2019

In 2017 and 2018, Government engaged with thousands of Pacific people to develop the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou report, which refreshes the Ministry for Pacific People's Pacific vision set in 1999. 'Confident, thriving and resilient Pacific young people' is one of the four goals of Pacific Aotearoa.

Development of an All-of-Government Pacific Wellbeing strategy (AoGPW strategy) has been agreed, which will steer three key initiatives across government:

  • coordinate and support the Lalanga Fou Deputy Chief Executive Governance Group to influence better alignment and collaboration
  • lead co-design of a Pacific Wellbeing Outcomes Framework
  • deliver enhanced Kapasa and Yavu Pacific cultural capability programmes across government.

The Lalanga Fou Deputy Chief Executive Governance Group has been established to provide strategic oversight on the AoGPW strategy.  There will be a report back to Pacific communities in mid-2021.

Find out more

Funding to support Pacific realm languages

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded
Timeframe: 
2019-2023

Funding has been provided to deliver projects in three regions (South Waikato, Wellington, and Auckland) over four years to support Pacific learners and families from the New Zealand realm countries of Niue, the Cook Islands and Tokelau, to support competencies in Pacific realm languages and English, and to successfully transition into schooling. This includes brokering access to evidence-based initiatives and developing language resources in te reo Māori Kūki Āirani, gagana Tokelau and vagahau Niue.

The first of two fono with Pacific bilingual teachers have been held to determine the need for and priority order for resource development. Analysis of the feedback is underway to inform further decisions about resource development.

Implement Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

Legislative changes that came into force on 1 July 2019 require specific considerations for Māori children and young people.

The Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki (OT) has duties in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) to develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations, and ensure policies, practices and services have regard for the principles of mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. The Chief Executive also has a duty to ensure that policies and practices have the object of reducing disparities by setting measurable outcomes for Māori children and young people. The Chief Executive is required to report annually on these duties.

Budget 2019 provided funding to:

  • expand Kairāranga (specialist Māori roles in sites) to support the active participation of whānau in decisions affecting tamariki who come into the Oranga Tamariki system
  • focus on developing strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations to enable these organisations to be actively involved in meeting the needs of Māori children, young people and their whānau.

An interim approach has been agreed for OT to set measurable outcomes for tamariki Māori and to develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations. 

OT has developed five mana tamaiti objectives, which set out how it will ensure that departmental policies, practices and services have regard to the concepts of mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga in line with section 7AA obligations. Five Quality Assurance Standards have been developed to support the mana tamaiti objectives to be implemented in the design of policies, practices and services.

OT continues to roll out the expansion of kairāranga-ā-whānau roles with 42 positions either filled or currently undergoing recruitment. Ongoing priority will be given to:

  • improving practice and ensuring whānau participation in decision making
  • enabling community-led responses to prevent contact with the state system
  • partnering to enable the Treaty aspirations of Māori.

A Treaty Response Unit has been established in Oranga Tamariki.Strategic partnership agreements have been signed with eight iwi (as at the end of 2020), and an initial set of nine measures has been identified for mana tamaiti.

Find out more

Changes to teaching New Zealand history in schools and kura

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

Changes to the National Curriculum will reset the national framework so all learners and ākonga are aware of key aspects of New Zealand history and how they have influenced and shaped the nation. 

The Ministry of Education has collaborated with a wide range of people to draft an update to the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content. it has been tested with 50 schools and six kura.

There will be further testing and engagement with iwi, hapū and other Māori organisations, schools and kura, alongside public engagement.  Curriculum changes will come into effect in 2022.

Increase engagement with te reo Māori across a range of media platforms

Lead agency: 
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Embedded

Budget 2019 provided funding to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori and the goals of the Maihi Karauna Strategy through increasing engagement with te reo Māori on broadcast and online platforms. This content will have a focus on rangatahi audiences and will be delivered across a range of platforms.

Te Kawa Matakura

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded

Te Kawa Matakura is another step forward in the education system's recognition of the value of Māori knowledge. Launched in February 2020, it enables Māori achievement by investing in students who display excellence in mātauranga Māori. Rangatahi Māori are enabled to develop the skills, knowledge and capabilities to participate confidently in te ao Māori, New Zealand society and as global citizens.

This project included developing a unique Tohu Mātauranga qualification, which is now listed on the NZQF. The next step is development of a Level 7 degree programme.

Pacific language support

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Status: 
Ongoing

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has launched a Pacific Languages Innovation Fund Pilot to support Pacific communities that are leading initiatives that celebrate and increase awareness of Pacific languages, help grow the number of speakers of Pacific languages, and help ensure Pacific languages are recognised and valued.  To support this, it has established a Pacific Languages Unit and advisory group (Fono Faufautua).

It also hosted fono that brought together local, regional and international languages, culture and identity experts and researchers, and linguists. The purpose of the fono was to share innovative ideas and best practice strategies on language revitalisation and maintenance, and to identify ways technology and innovation may assist the survival of Pacific languages.

Funding has supported over 200 community-based language initiatives across Aotearoa.
Initial work is underway to develop a Pacific Languages Strategy and Action Plan (2021-2031) to coordinate approaches. This is due to be launched in mid-2021.

Support Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Embedded

This initiative aims to improve outcomes for Māori learners attending kura kaupapa Māori. This will be done by providing funding to Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori to better undertake its kaitiaki (guardianship) and kaitautoko (advocacy) functions.

An Outcome Agreement (Bilateral) 2019 – 2024 and updated Tauaki Kawa were signed by the Ministry of Education and Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori in December 2019. It sets out a work programme to support kura kaupapa Māori with strengthening professional capability, Arotake Whaiaro and curriculum development through to June 2024.

Tuia - Encounters 250

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH)
Status: 
Completed

Budget 2018 boosted funding for the national commemoration marking 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans. The additional funding supported a national voyaging event from October to December 2019, with hundreds, including more than 320 young people, experiencing life on-board a waka hourua/va’a or tall ship while the vessels were at sea.

Funding also provided a national education programme for schools and a supporting community education programme.

Content covered voyaging, traditional navigation, first encounters and settlement, NZ histories and the relationships between people and the environment.  Over 27,000 New Zealanders visited the travelling roadshow at 42 events in 24 New Zealand communities from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 June 2021

HEIHEI

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH)
Status: 
Embedded

In 2018 NZ On Air and TVNZ launched HEIHEI, New Zealand's first free (and ad-free) online media platform for children's content. The platform reflected a commitment to connecting children to local content and promotes diversity and inclusion. To increase Heihei’s reach and discoverability, video content was migrated to TVNZ OnDemand in May 2020 and games hosted on a separate but connected platform. To date NZ On Air has funded 68 Scripted and Factual projects for HEIHEI that reflect a diversity of NZ cultures and identities. This has included over 7 interactive games.

NZ On Air has launched the results of its Children’s Media Use Survey 2020, which will help inform future funding initiatives.

Find out more

 

Participation of Youth Justice Victims in Family Group Conferences

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing

This action aims to improve the participation and engagement of victims in the Family Group Conference process. Work will include:

  • commissioning a behavioural insights initiative to identify barriers
  • a one-year trial utilising Victim Support in partnership with Ngati Whātua Iwi and NZ Police
Last updated: 
Monday, 24 May 2021

Promote positive and respectful peer relationships

Initiatives to prevent and respond to bullying in schools

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Bullying Prevention and Response Work Programme for 2019-2022 has been developed and approved by the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group. This work programme will be the main vehicle through which the Ministry of Education’s bullying prevention and response work is progressed. He Māpuna te Tamaiti – Supporting Social and Emotional Competencies in Early Learning has been distributed to Early Childhood Centres and new entrant teachers. A revised online Behaviour and Learning guide is also available on the Inclusive Education website.

Work is also underway to make effective use of Wellbeing at School toolkits, promotional pamphlets and Bullying Free NZ Week resources. Learning Support Coordinators have also been inducted.

A pilot of Wellbeing at School (W@S) survey items regarding racism/unfairness and student resilience has been completed, and there's been engagement with schools that are effectively implementing bullying prevention approaches. Findings on effective approaches to bullying prevention will be shared with schools throughout 2021.

Bullying-Free NZ Week 2021 took place 17-21 May (the 2020 week was cancelled due to Covid-19).

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Expanding healthy relationships programmes in secondary schools

Lead agency: 
Accident Compensation Corporation
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
2019-2020

The Accident Compensation Corporation is supporting the expansion of Mates & Dates - a programme that teaches secondary students the knowledge and skills to engage in safe, healthy and respectful relationships.

More than 7,000 students have completed Mates & Dates in 2020 (as at 30 June), and the programme has been successfully redeployed since May to support young people in the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Support uptake of Loves-Me-Not

Lead agency: 
NZ Police
Status: 
Embedded

Loves-Me-Not is a 'whole-school approach' to prevent relationship abuse and promote healthy relationships among senior secondary students. Loves-Me-Not includes a one-day workshop facilitated by Police, school staff and relevant local non-governmental organisations.

In 2019, Loves me not was implemented in 584 classes across 120 schools and educational institutions. In August, the Sophie Elliott Foundation (which partnered with Police in the development of Loves-Me-Not) formally signed over the Foundation’s intellectual property and resources to Police. Revised resources are available on Police’s School Portal.

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Children and young people are involved and empowered

This means:

  • they contribute positively at home, at school and in their communities
  • they exercise kaitiakitanga: connection and care of the land and nature
  • they have their voices, perspectives and opinions listened to and taken into account
  • they are supported to increase autonomy as they age and to be responsible citizens
  • they and their families are supported to make healthy and informed choices around relationships, sexual health, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Focus areas and key actions

  • Increase child and youth voice and participation 
  • Advocate for children and young people's rights
  • Encourage positive choices and contributions. 

Increase child and youth voice and participation

Youth Plan

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Youth Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Youth Plan was developed in consultation with over 1,200 rangatahi, and approximately 90 youth sector representatives, and launched in Late July 2020. It is for rangatahi aged 12-24 years but has a particular focus on four priority groups aged 17-24 years: rangatahi Māori, Pacific young people, rainbow young people and disabled young people.

The plan sets out actions that government will take, in partnership with others, to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 for rangatahi. It aims to ensure rangatahi have a say in decisions about recovery, to support the wellbeing of rangatahi and their family and whānau, to enable rangatahi leadership, and to drive transformative change.

Youth Plan actions sit under four focus areas: voice, wellbeing, leadership and transformative change.

A measurement framework is currently being developed, which will align with the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. This will enable a review of the Youth Plan in two years’ time.

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Youth health and wellbeing survey - What-About-Me?

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Whataboutme? survey has been developed to collect health and wellbeing data on up to 14,000 young people in secondary schools, alternative education units, kura kaupapa, and Youth One Stop Shops.  The survey is to be conducted every three years, and data collected will be used to inform policies, programmes, and services, and measure progress on 15 indicators under the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.

The survey questions have been finalised and made publicly available on the survey website. Ethics approval has been granted to deliver the survey to 14-18-year olds.

Data collection for the survey was due to start in May 2020, but was paused due to COVID-19. A pilot survey was conducted in early 2021, with main data collection due to take place between between March to September 2021, and aggregated data publicly available by December 2021.

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Youth Voice Project

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Youth Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Youth Voice Project focuses on increasing youth voice and youth representation across government.

The Hive is one initiative under the Youth Voice Project.  It aims to increase young people’s participation in the policy development process by building a relationship, trust and two-way communication between young people and government agencies through the use of social media, and an innovative technological platform. The Biodiversity Strategy consultation was used as a pilot policy consultation for The Hive. Young people were involved in co-designing a youth-friendly consultation process which resulted in 281 young people making submissions. Of these, 84% reported that they had never previously submitted to government.

The Hive is also collaborating on a project with the Climate Change Commission.

A new group of young people were appointed to The Hive in 2021, with tuakana-teina model mentoring in place with the exiting members.  A steering group has been established to oversee the work.

 

Kau Tulī (Ministry for Pacific Peoples Youth Advisory Group)

Lead agency: 
Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2020

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) is piloting the establishment of a Youth Advisory Group made up of six Pacific young people from across New Zealand to support and advise MPP in achieving Goal 4 of the Pacific Aotearoa vision (Confident, Thriving and Resilient Pacific Young People). Operating under an ‘Impact and Development Model’, MPP is investing into the Kau Tulī members through personal and professional development opportunities. Additionally, Kau Tulī members are supported to develop and lead their own initiatives through an incubator programme.

Strengthening a youth voice in policy

Lead agency: 
Ministry for the Environment
Ministry for Youth Development
Ministry of Education
Office of Film & Literature Classification
Status: 
Embedded

Several measures are being adopted to increase youth voice in decision-making. These include:

  • Youth Advisory Group for the Minister of Education: This group was set up to enable young people to have their say and influence the education system and issues that affect them. They have been involved in work to ensure children and young people live free from racism and discrimination.
  • Establishment of Youth Advisory Panel: The Office of Film and Literature Classification has established a Youth Advisory Panel. The panel, shared with the Police, advises on a variety of projects on classification decision-making and research, and how they affect young people. Most recently, the panel made a submission to Parliament on an upcoming bill on commercial on-demand content. The panel also collaborates with the Classification Office on podcasts, videos for social media, and presentations. Upcoming work includes sharing their perspectives on drug use and misuse in film, and their expectations around restrictions and descriptive notes.
  • Establishing a youth voice in environmental policy work: The Ministry for the Environment is looking at how it communicates with youth and how it can open channels for youth to feed their views into its work programmes, with an initial focus on climate, water, and the review of the resource management system.

Advocate for children and young people's rights

Build independent oversight of Oranga Tamariki system and children's issues

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
2019-2021

Government is strengthening independent oversight of the children's system. It is also strengthening the system and children’s issues in three core areas:

  • system level advocacy on behalf of children and by children, which will continue to be undertaken by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC)
  • oversight and investigation of complaints relating to the application of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and/or the children in the care or custody of the State, which will be undertaken by the Office of the Ombudsman
  • independent monitoring and assurance of the operations and obligations delivered under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and associated regulations; this function is being established by the Ministry of Social Development and will be phased in over time, with the in-principle intent that it will later be transferred to OCC.

The Ministry of Social Development is also leading a process of policy and legislative change which will be achieved through a new Act and associated regulations.

Work to refine the legislative proposals regarding the Children's Commissioner Act 2003 has beeen carried out in conjunction with the Ombudsman, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, and the Independent Children’s Monitor.  A wider set of agencies have also been consulted on the scope of monitoring and long-term home of the monitor.

The Bill is expected to be introduced and referred to select committee in mid-2021, with enactment in April 2022. 

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Implement the Child Impact Assessment Tool across government

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

The Child Impact Assessment Tool was finalised in 2018 as part of the cross-agency work programme to progressively implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Children’s Convention) in New Zealand. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is working with the Treasury to include child impact assessments in Regulatory Impact Assessments. This action is closely related to the child rights training being developed by MSD and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.

A cross-agency 'Champions for Children' group has been established to enhance and promote use of tools to support children’s rights, including the Child Impact Assessment Tool, across government.

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Build public service competency and capability in children's rights

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Social Development
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

As part of its work programme to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Government has committed to develop training for public servants on children's rights and the Convention.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has completed a literature review of relevant public sector e-learning modules from New Zealand and overseas, to determine key components for inclusion in the children’s rights training. MSD has also undertaken an online survey of public servants, which found that most respondents are supportive of using tools to help them apply children’s rights approaches to their work.

Development of a Child Rights Training (CRT) Module has resumed, in partnership with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, following a delay due to Covid-19.

Encourage positive choices and contributions

Investment in community-based youth justice facilities

Lead agency: 
Oranga Tamariki
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, 17-year-olds were included in the youth justice system in most circumstances. Alongside this, there are planned changes to the way young people are detained in custody. It is a priority that as few young people as possible are remanded in youth justice facilities. New ways of managing young people awaiting their court proceedings are being established.

Budget 2019 provided investment in a new type of small, community-based youth justice facility, that is designed and operated through partnerships, including with iwi and Māori organisations. They provide a home-like environment to support rehabilitation and mirror community life and facilitate and encourage close family and whānau connections. In current youth justice facilities, practice changes are being made to achieve some of these same objectives. Work is also underway to support young people who offend into education and employment, including introducing new vocational training programmes into residences.

New Builds: Community-based Youth Justice Placements Services: A Youth Justice Placements Governance steering group (YJPSG) was established and a Project Delivery Plan has been approved. Engagement with local mana whenua informed the development of cultural competency. Funding has been approved for the development of 16 five-bed homes across the country.

Community Based Remand/Bail Homes (Parani): Twenty new community placements are now in place.  Iwi and NGO providers for four additional community-based remand/bail homes have been finalised, with one each in Tauranga and Havelock North and two in Auckland. Four remand beds in a repurposed Oranga Tamariki community home in Hamilton were also opened.

An additional six community bail placements were made available in Nelson and Invercargill. Work is underway with NGO and Iwi Social Services to operate a further three community-based remand homes, one each in Tauranga, Waikato and Tairāwhiti regions.  Work is also underway with mana whenua to develop a Youth Justice home in Canterbury.

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Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata initiative: Whānau Ora support for Māori in the corrections system

Lead agency: 
Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections
Ministry of Social Development
Te Puni Kōkiri
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2020

Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata - Uniting the Threads of Whānau, is a kaupapa that draws on the strengths of the Whānau Ora approach to support young Māori (under 30 years old) who are in the Corrections system.

Through Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata, a specialised Kaiarataki navigator workforce will work directly with young Māori and their whānau at all stages in their journey through the system.  This workforce will assist them to build and maintain strong relationships, set and work toward goals, and access the services and support they need. Budget 2019 provided funding for lead agencies to work alongside Māori to co-design and implement this kaupapa.

The kaupapa is progressing well and a prototype was implemented in Hawke’s Bay and Northland to support tāne to transition safely out of prison during the COVID restrictions. Insights gathered from the initial prototypes were used to inform the pilot phase, which will be launched in mid-2021.

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Increased services for children and young people with concerning/harmful sexual behaviours

Lead agency: 
Family Violence and Sexual Violence Joint Venture
Status: 
Ongoing
Timeframe: 
From 2019

This initiative, funded through Budget 2019, aims to increase child wellbeing through increased service capacity to meet demand for prevention, education, early intervention, assessment and treatment services for children and young people who display concerning and harmful sexual behaviours.

This includes ensuring services (including assessments, treatments and preventative initiatives) can be delivered in a kaupapa Māori context and are suitable for those with behavioural problems, intellectual disabilities or neuro-disabilities.

Oranga Tamariki has increased funding to existing providers to target existing waitlists and stabilise the service provision while design and development progressed.  Work is also underway to establish a partnership approach with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), to develop kaupapa Māori service responses for victims/survivors, perpetrators and their whanau).

Upcoming work includes: an early intervention pilot that will train early learning and primary school educators on how to identify and respond to concerning or harmful sexual behaviours; developing a more inclusive response for those with intellectual and neuro-disabilities;exploring ways of delivering specialist harmful sexual behaviour services for those in smaller geographical areas; and finalising the partnership approach with MSD for kaupapa Māori services for those with harmful sexual behaviour.

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Next steps

The Programme of Action focuses on issues that will have significant impact on improving child and youth wellbeing. It has been updated to reflect progress and recent investments that support child wellbeing and poverty reduction, including Budget 2020 initiatives and those included in the Government response to COVID-19.

The Programme of Action is a living document that will be updated intermittently, as new actions are developed to address gaps as well as new areas of focus.

The accompanying Strategy sets a long-term direction to unify efforts across government and society to improve child and youth wellbeing.  It makes headway on addressing complex problems, consistent with what New Zealanders identified as important during engagement. A single strategy and programme of action cannot solve the challenges of child and youth wellbeing all at once. Government will undertake ongoing outreach and engagement as work under the Strategy proceeds.

The Strategy itself will be reviewed at least every three years (as required by the Children's Act 2014) following further public consultation, including consultation with children, the Children's Commissioner, the Minister for Māori Development, and Māori.

 

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 24 November 2020