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Programme for better public services delivers

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

Programme for better public services- Kanwaljit Singh BakshiDelivering better public services to make a real difference to the lives of New Zealanders is one of National’s priorities.

To reinforce our expectations, Prime Minister John Key set (in 2012) ten specific results that we want to achieve over the next few years.

These are in areas that have been challenging to governments, not just in New Zealand but around the world – areas such as welfare dependency, crime, child abuse, and educational achievement.

Pleasing results

It is pleasing that the latest six-monthly update of our Better Public Services programme shows that we are making progress in all areas.

For example, almost 5000 people came off the long-term Jobseeker Support benefit in 2014 and the number of children who experienced substantiated physical abuse decreased by almost 200, or 5.6%, over the 12 months to September 2014. Infant immunisations are at an all-time high, rheumatic fever rates have dropped considerably, and crime numbers continue to fall.

Self-assigned challenges

This programme is about challenging ourselves to do better on behalf of the New Zealanders who need the most help, but also on behalf of taxpayers.

Our challenge now is to keep that progress going, as we try to help people who are harder to reach or who find change more difficult.

This means there will need to be more cooperation, more new ideas and more reaching outside the public sector to find solutions.

The Government is interested in doing what works to get results that change people’s lives for the better.

We are extending three of our targets because we think that we can build on the momentum we have.

Revised target

Our aim is to have 75,000 fewer New Zealanders on benefits by June 2018, and reduce the long-term cost of benefit dependency by $13 billion.

As we have already signalled, we are changing the overall crime target to require 20% reduction by 2018, replacing the previous target of 15% reduction by 2017, which we have already achieved.

We are also lifting the target to increase the workforce skills of people aged 25-34.

There is still a lot of work to do and National will continue to focus on making strides on the things that matter to New Zealanders and their families.

We know that if we can help our vulnerable get their lives on a more independent track, there will be real gains not only in realising their potential but also in savings for taxpayers.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been Member of Parliament on National List since 2008. He was elected to the post of Chairman, Law and Order Select Committee of Parliament last fortnight.

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