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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 July 2014, we issued a mid-year 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 March 2014, the number of beneficiaries had dropped 8.5 per cent from 75,366 to 68,932, a good improvement on top of the 3.6 per cent drop over the year to March 2013.

Supporting vulnerable children

Our aim

  • Increase participation in early childhood education so that in 2016, 98 per cent 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 per cent by 2017.

Our progress

  • As at March 2014, the participation rate of children in ECE was up to 95.9 per cent – an overall increase of 0.4 percentage points from the same time last year.
  • Latest results show 91 per cent of eight-month-olds are fully immunised – exceeding the June 2014 target of 90 per cent. Rheumatic fever remains a significant issue for at-risk families – 194 children and young people went into hospital with their first attack of rheumatic fever in 2013. Reducing rheumatic fever is a priority for this Government, which is why we have invested more than $65 million over six years to combat rheumatic fever.
  • We appear to be turning a corner on the seemingly year-on-year rise in assaults on children. Nevertheless the downward trend of two per cent from last year needs to decline more steeply to achieve the 2017 target.

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 has increased to 78.6 per cent, up 4.3 per cent in two years and up more than 10 per cent since 2008.
  • In the year to March 2014, 54.5 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds had higher qualifications (New Zealand Qualifications Framework Level 4 and above), up from 53.8 per cent in 2013 and 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

  • As at March 2014, the total crime rate has fallen 16 per cent and youth crime is down 30 per cent since June 2011, exceeding both targets.
  • The violent crime rate is down 11 per cent since June 2011, over half way to the target of 20 per cent.
  • Reoffending is also down; the reoffending rate has fallen 12.2 per cent since June 2011.
  • Crime is at a 35-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 make it easier for businesses to interact with the government. A single unique number for every business and a range of new services that reduce the need for businesses to provide the same information twice are just some of the ways that government is working to make it easier for businesses to interact with government agencies.
  • New Zealanders are doing more of their government transactions digitally, as at March 2014 an average of 42 per cent of measured government service transactions were digital – up from 30.4 per cent in June 2012.

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