Annual report 2014 cover

Nature and scope of functions

We help New Zealanders to help themselves to be safe, strong and independent. Ko ta mātou he whakamana tangata kia tū haumaru, kia tū kaha, kia tū motuhake.

Our purpose and principles

The Ministry helps New Zealanders to help themselves to be safe, strong and independent.

We have a presence in almost every town in New Zealand and our people have connections to every community. Our work touches the life of nearly every New Zealander, and across all stages of life.

Our role

We achieve our purpose by providing:

  • statutory care and protection of children and young people, youth justice services, and adoption services
  • employment support
  • income support including payments of benefits and New Zealand Superannuation
  • services to uphold the integrity of the welfare system and to minimise clients’ debt levels
  • funding to community service providers
  • information, knowledge and support for families and communities
  • access to concessions and discounts for older people, families and lower-income New Zealanders
  • campaigns that challenge antisocial attitudes and behaviours
  • tertiary study allowances and loans
  • social housing assessments and services
  • leadership across the social sector.

The scope of our work

In 2013/2014, we administered three Votes – Vote Social Development, Vote Senior Citizens and Vote Veterans’ Affairs – Social Development; and provided services to the following Ministers:

  • Minister for Social Development
  • Minister of Youth Affairs
  • Minister of Health
  • Minister of State Services
  • Associate Ministers for Social Development
  • Minister of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Minister for Senior Citizens
  • Minister of Revenue
  • Minister for Disability Issues.

We monitored four Crown entities:

  • Children’s Commissioner
  • Families Commission
  • New Zealand Artificial Limb Service
  • Social Workers Registration Board.

We supported the following statutory tribunals and advisory committees:

  • Expert Advisory Group on Information Security
  • Social Security Appeal Authority
  • Student Allowance Appeal Authority
  • Social Workers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families
  • Work and Income Board
  • Nine Child, Youth and Family Residence Grievance Panels.

Better Public Services (BPS)

Our Chief Executive, as Chair of the Social Sector Forum, has responsibility for leading the cross-agency effort to achieve the following four BPS targets:

  • Reduce the number of people who have been on a Jobseeker Support benefit for more than 12 months (Result 1)
  • Increase participation in early childhood education (Result 2)
  • Increase infant immunisation rates and reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever (Result 3)
  • Reduce the number of assaults on children (Result 4).