McCardle Minister In Charge Of New Department

  • Peter McCardle

Employment Minister Peter McCardle is to be the Minister responsible for the new integrated employment and income support department, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley announced today.

The new department, which is yet to be named, will come into being on 1 October 1998.

Between now and then, Mr McCardle will be responsible for overseeing the transition as the three current agencies - Social Welfare?s Income Support and Labour?s Employment Service and Community Employment Group - come together in the new department.

Social Welfare Minister Roger Sowry will retain responsibility for Income Support until October 1.

From October 1, like a number of other departments, the new agency will be supplying services for more than one Minister. Mr McCardle will be responsible for the running of the department, and all services to be provided to working age beneficiaries. Mr Sowry will be responsible for those services to be provided for non-working age beneficiaries, such as NZ superannuation and war pensions. Mr Sowry will also be responsible for the new department's contribution to the strengthening families strategy.

Mr Sowry will retain responsibility for the Social Policy Agency and both Ministers will be able to purchase policy advice for social policy development.

Mrs Shipley said she was confident that the new agency will provide a quality service for all New Zealanders needing to get back into the workforce.

"This is an excellent example of a Coalition Government team approach to an important social and economic issue," Mrs Shipley said.

She said Mr McCardle would be making an announcement on an important element of the Government?s employment and income support strategy - the community wage - as soon as the details have been cleared by Government caucuses. This is expected later this month.