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John Key, Bill English

28 February, 2014

Better Public Services

Better Public Services
Better Public Services

Delivering better public services is one of the National-led Government’s four key priorities for this term. We understand that New Zealand families expect the Government to spend their hard-earned taxes on the things that matter, and this is why we are bringing a newly-sharpened focus to the public service.

To do this, we’ve set specific targets that we expect our public service to achieve over the next four to five years.

In February 2014, we issued the second report on progress against these targets and the results are promising.

Reducing long-term welfare dependence

Our aim

  • Reduce the number of people continuously receiving working age benefits for more than 12 months by 30 per cent – from 78,000 to 55,000 by 2017.

Our progress

  • In the year to September 2013, the number of beneficiaries had dropped from 78,123 to 71,755.

Supporting vulnerable children

Our aim

  • Increase participation in early childhood education so that in 2016, 98% of children starting school will have participated in quality early childhood education (ECE).
  • Increase infant immunisation rates so that 95 percent of eight-month-olds are fully immunised by December 2014 and this is maintained through to 30 June 2017, and reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two thirds to 1.4 cases per 100,000 people by June 2017.
  • Halt the 10-year rise in children experiencing physical abuse and reduce current numbers by 5% by 2017.

Our progress

  • As at December 2013, the participation rate of children in ECE was up to 95.7% – an overall increase of 0.5 percentage points from the same time last year.
  • As at September 2013, 91% of eight-month-olds are fully immunised – exceeding the June 2014 target of 90%. While hospitalisation for acute rheumatic fever increased slightly in the year to June 2013, a lot of work is being undertaken to reach the target of reducing incidence of the disease by two thirds by 2017. The $45 million in Government funding ensures the programme has the support it needs to tackle this disease.
  • Reducing assaults on children showed a small increase, with 4.3 per cent more cases of physical abuse reported in the year to September 2013 compared with the previous year. The data is known to fluctuate, and a better understanding is required before trends can be identified.

Boosting skills and employment

Our aim

  • 85% of 18-year-olds will have achieved NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification in 2017.
  • 55% of 25 to 34-year-olds will have a qualification at Level 4 or above in 2017.

Our progress

  • The proportion of 18-year olds with NCEA Level 2 or equivalent qualification increased to 77.2 per cent in 2012, up from 74.3 per cent the previous year.
  • In 2012, 53.8 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds had higher qualifications (New Zealand Qualifications Framework Level 4 and above), up from 52.6 per cent in 2012.

Reducing crime

Our aim

  • By June 2017, reduce the crime rate by 15%, reduce the violent crime rate by 20%, and reduce the youth crime rate by 25%.
  • By June 2017, reduce the re-offending rate by 25%.

Our progress

  • Since June 2011, the total crime rate has fallen 13 per cent, the violent crime rate has fallen 9 per cent, the youth crime rate has fallen 22 per cent and the reoffending rate is down 11.4 per cent.
  • Today’s results show that in the year to September 2013, 51,553 fewer recorded crimes have been experienced by New Zealanders than in the year to June 2011.
  • Crime is at a 33-year low and we have the opportunity to keep doing what works and finding new and innovative ways to prevent crime from occurring in the first place.

Improving interaction with Government

Our aim

  • Business costs from dealing with government will reduce by 25% by 2017, through a year-on-year reduction in effort required to work with agencies.
  • Government services to business will have similar key performance ratings as leading private sector firms by July 2017, and businesses will be able to contribute to this through an online feedback system from July 2013.
  • An average of 70% of New Zealanders' most common transactions with government will be completed in a digital environment by 2017.

Our progress

  • Work is underway to create a shared 'front door' for government services, increase digital delivery of services and collect information and share it so businesses only have to tell government once. We’re working on three key areas to improve business services: create services that are designed for business, deliver faster online services and achieve better integration in how services are delivered across government.
  • As at December 2013 an average of 43.4% of New Zealanders chose to transact with government digitally.
  • The use of 10 main government services has increased from 29 per cent in June 2012 to 41 per cent in March 2013.

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