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Reducing Inequalities

Reducing inequalities is a whole of government policy encompassing both social and economic initiatives. The reducing inequalities policy aims to reduce disadvantage and promote equality of opportunity in order to achieve a similar distribution of outcomes between groups, and a more equitable distribution of overall outcomes within society. This means both:

  • achieving some minimum level of wellbeing for all people, so all may participate in our society (e.g. tackling poverty, low levels of foundation education skills and victimisation), and
  • trying to ensure a more equal distribution of the determinants of wellbeing across society, i.e. greater equality of real opportunities, where family background, ethnicity or disability are not major determinants of individuals’ life chances.

The Ministry provides a co-ordinating role for reducing inequalities including convening the Reducing Inequalities Officials Committee (RIOC) and providing advice and reports on reducing inequalities activity to Government.

Reducing Inequalities: Next Steps

In August 2003 Cabinet agreed to a work programme for the reducing inequalities policy aimed at improving the coordination of the policy across agencies, and the future oversight, monitoring and review of the reducing inequalities policy. Ministers also asked for advice on the overall progress of the reducing inequalities policy in improving outcomes, and on priorities for the future.

The purpose of this paper is to review and set out the next phase of the reducing inequalities policy. The paper was agreed by Cabinet in June 2004.

This paper sets out goals, principles and priorities for future work and also describes the population groups that the policy targets.

Reducing Inequalities Indicators for Maori and Pacific Peoples

The report provides a range of social indicators for Maori and Pacific peoples, and updates the report released in December 2003.

This assessment of progress in reducing inequalities shows that for the overall population, the extent of disadvantage has declined. There is also evidence that for Maori and Pacific groups, many indicators of disadvantage have improved. However, when measured on a relative basis, there has been less improvement.

Six monthly implementation report on reducing inequalities initiatives : July - December 2003

This paper reports updated activity on specifically funded reducing inequalities initiatives. These initiatives form a subset of the wider programme of reducing inequalities policies. Cabinet received the last report in December 2003. It was agreed at this time that this report would provide a high level summary.

Departments report that the majority of initiatives continue to progress well, with some showing significant achievements.

Six monthly implementation report on reducing inequalities initiatives : January - June 2003

This paper reports departmental activity on specifically funded reducing inequalities initiatives.

Social Indicators report

This report is an attachment to the paper Six-Monthly Report on Reducing Inequalities: January to June 2003. The paper provides a range of social indicators for Maori and Pacific peoples.

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