Above all things let us be kind. Kindness is what most resembles God.” Suzanne Aubert

Welcome to the latest Policy Watch e-highlighting the latest news, research and policy developments relevant to NZCCSS’ core mission to work for a just and compassionate society in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Happy New Year and welcome to the Policy Watch e-letter highlighting the latest news, research and policy developments relevant to the NZCCSS mission to work for a just and compassionate society in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We hope all our Policy Watch readers are feeling refreshed and ready for all the opportunities and challenges 2020 will bring.

Election 2020

The breaking news is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has set the date for Election 2020! New Zealanders will go to the polls on 19th September. A long lead in time means all of the political parties will have plenty of time to woo the hearts and minds of the nation once again.

Budget Policy Statement: where’s the state housing infrastructure deficit?

Meanwhile, the Coalition Government still has a second Wellbeing Budget to deliver before election 2020. Although we must wait until Budget Day to see all the spending details, including the customary surprises out of the bag, the Budget Policy Statement (BPS), provides a heads up on the direction of the budget and spending priorities.

BPS 2020 is now before the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, and submissions. In brief, 2019 Budget Priorities will be extended to Budget 2020:

  • Just Transition – Supporting New Zealanders in the transition to a climate-resilient, sustainable and low-emissions economy
  • Future of Work – Enabling all New Zealanders to benefit from new technologies and lift productivity through innovation
  • Māori and Pacific – Lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities
  • Child Wellbeing – Reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing
  • Physical and Mental Wellbeing – Supporting improved health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

The winner of the BPS is a $12 billion spend to address infrastructure deficit largely directed at roads and rail but hospitals and school buildings receive a healthy boost.

Details of the big spend-up released

The details of the big spend-up on infrastructure have now been released. Some are saying, the plan is a variation on National’s Road’s of Significance Plan but with the dollars attached.

Housing infrastructure

NZCCSS is hopeful the surprise out of the Budget 2020 Bag is an increase to state housing infrastructure as part of the $12 billion spend up? Finance Minister Grant Robertson has stated Government has agreed to increase Kainga Ora’s borrowing capacity to finance more public housing. The housing need among low income households is staggeringly high (14,500 are currently on the latest housing register. (This doesn’t include those living in overcrowded and inadequate housing conditions). Urgent action is needed now to substantially increase the state housing stock.

NZCCSS supports WEAG recommendation (29) to urgently expand and accelerate Government efforts to substantially increase public housing on an industrial scale and continue urgent efforts to end homelessness (Pg 124).

Future proofing those most in need: Lift benefits

The BPS says the government wants to ‘future proof the economy’ by creating more jobs now and in the future but what about future proofing those most in need in our communities so that they too have the skills to engage with new job opportunities? Will the government pull out the bag a lift to core benefit rates as recommended in the WEAG Report? It would be a hollow success for any Government if those New Zealanders most in need are left further behind.

The next Kete Kupu will include NZCCSS’ reflections on the BPS and hopes for Budget 2020.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The 178th commemoration of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is just around the corner and there are celebrations planned all around the country. Check out a local event in your area to celebrate, commemorate and debate this historical event that continues to shape Aotearoa New Zealand today.

Older people

The priority actions for the next phase of the Healthy Ageing Strategy’s implementation 2019

Cabinet has given the green light for the Healthy Ageing Strategy (2016) to move into its second implementation phase. This phase, covering 2019 – 2022, prioritises achieving greater equity, measuring and monitoring progress, and maintaining sector involvement and commitment. There are 26 priority actions for 2019 – 2022, which sit under nine key focus areas:

  1. Maintain and enhance older people’s capacity through supportive environments, health promotion and disease minimisation and prevention.
  2. Improve the wellbeing of people by coordinating assistance to socially isolated older people.
  3. Prevent unnecessary acute hospitalisations and emergency department attendances.
  4. Support rehabilitation closer to home.
  5. Implement models of care that are needs based, person-centred and equitable.
  6. Support the capacity and capability of the workforce to provide care and support for older people with a more complex and diverse range of health and support needs.
  7. Improve support for informal carers.
  8. Monitor the performance of the system in implementing the Strategy. A priority action to enable this is the development of an outcomes and measurement framework for this purpose.
  9. Strengthen implementation of the New Zealand Dementia Care Framework and cognitive impairment pathways.

Further information on actions for these priorities is here

Strengthening oversight of the Oranga Tamariki System Regional Hui

The Independent Children’s Monitor, established on 1 July 2019, is set up to strengthen the monitoring of the Oranga Tamariki system, starting with the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018. This is to ensure our tamariki and rangatahi are receiving the care and support they need to enable them to reach their potential. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is undertaking 18 regional hui around the country to introduce the new monitor.

Spotlight on our members

Creative partnership turns houses into homes The Salvation Army’s recently opened social housing complex in Auckland, Te Hononga Tāngata, has become the first real home of their own for many of its 59 tenants, thanks in part to furniture donated from Oaks Queenstown Shores Resort in Queenstown. ‘Around 90 percent of our tenants have absolutely nothing at all with regards to household items’, says Tenancy Manager Jasmine Herewini. ‘Being able to provide furniture takes the pressure and burden off them, so these donations are highly appreciated.’


The Environment Committee has opened for public submissions on the Urban Development Bill

The bill follows on from the Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities bill, which disestablished Housing New Zealand and set up a Crown entity in the same name.

The overarching aim of this bill is to provide Kāinga Ora with powers to improve the social and economic performance of New Zealand’s urban areas through complex development projects. Submissions close on 14 February 2020.

Supporting Refugees

Working Collectively to Support Former Refugees

Be Collective is looking to partner with organisations that support (or wish to support) former refugees on their journey to settlement through employment.

Be Collective is a New Zealand social enterprise. Our digital platform encourages people to contribute what they can in their communities, when they can. The platform provides the social infrastructure to help build relationships and engagement between individuals, community organisations, local businesses, and government, through volunteer opportunities.

Supporting former refugees to volunteer in their local communities helps them better integrate into a new and sometimes confusing Kiwi culture. It supports the skill, confidence and development needed to participate in the workforce. Connecting volunteering with other resettlement support can greatly increase outcomes for former refugees.

Please get in touch with Lauren Parsons (Lauren.Parsons@becollective.com) if you would like to:

  • Learn more about Be Collective and how we can support the wonderful work you do
  • Support an upcoming Request for Proposal from the Ministry of Social Development that supports former refugee settlement through employment
  • Explore how technology can enhance social impact through volunteering

What’s On?

Seminar at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, VUW, Wellington

Sue Yeandle is Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield and Director of CIRCLE (Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities).

Social Care in Transition in England: recent policy developments, their contexts and implications

This presentation will discuss the origins and characteristics of the contemporary ‘care crisis’ in England. Paradoxically, this crisis has emerged amid policies ostensibly centred on the support needs of individuals and a focus on their wellbeing in relevant legislation.

Date: Thursday 13 February
Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm
Venue: Old Government Building Lecture Theatre 3

RSVP to igps@vuw.ac.nz

Oranga Tamariki Evidence Centre Te Pokapū Taunakitanga

Next seminar on Friday 14 February at 10:30am-12:00pm.

Thirteenth seminar in the series is Child Wellbeing in New Zealand: Insights into Health and Youth Justice, a 90-minute seminar featuring two presentations from members of the Evidence Centre’s Analytics and Insights team. The first presentation discusses the Oranga Tamariki Child Wellbeing Model and insights on health, and the other will look at particular insights into the youth justice system.

Register for tickets here

The Ripple Effect: Small Actions with Big Impact

The Ripple Effect is about how we fan the flames of change in a community. Go to the conference page and find out more.
Two Day Conference – Wednesday, 26 & Thursday, 27 February 2020
Venue: Jet Park Airport Hotel & Conference Centre, 63 Westney Rd, Mangere, Auckland

Mary Potter Hospice Symposium 2020 – registrations open.

The Whetū i te Rangi Symposium will highlight the work and research occurring in palliative care with Māori across Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Symposium 2020 – Whetū i te Rangi

Date and time: 8.15am – 4.30pm, Friday 7 August 2020
Location: Oceania Room, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington 6011
Cost: $190 (incl. GST) per person