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Combating the Hero Worship Culture

  • Government social services will work to strengthen families.
  • It’s our country’s future, our children’s future, our taxpayers’ future, that’s at stake here in terms of obligations and opportunity. The Government believes we must talk with each other, not past each other. We must develop a consensus on how to respond to the important and complex issues affecting people’s lives.This will lead to public policy changes. Government hopes it will also lead people to thinking how they too can change in ways that will make a difference overall to their own families and communities.To those who say that this is not the business of Government I reply that Government, on behalf of the taxpayer, cannot continue to increase funding of programmes seeking to solve problems, when the answers sometimes lie elsewhere, in the complex areas of personal and family relationships, responsibilities, and self discipline.
  • If we want all New Zealanders to be the best they can be we must reverse the socially and economically damaging trend of long-term benefit dependency. The Government believes our goal of reducing unemployment must now be matched by clear programmes which attempt to reverse the growing trends in domestic purposes, sickness, invalids and ACC claimants.Work, whether for wages or in service to the community, is often pivotal to people maintaining self-esteem and personal dignity. The Employment Strategy is designed to attack long term unemployment and maintain job seekers’ self esteem, work habits and connection to the community.
  • In the area of welfare, the Government intends to increase the emphasis on paid work in achieving personal economic and social independence. We are therefore determined to improve the services that provide income and employment assistance to people and to make community work opportunities available as a stepping stone, where necessary or appropriate. Work first is the approach.Active case managers, working alongside people to see that they gain the skills and work experience necessary to find a full place in the work force, will be the focus of the future. We will be putting more effort into helping people identify their work capacities. We would expect them to take up work to match that capacity when appropriate work is available. This principle will be introduced across all working age benefit groups.