Social Development

New Zealand First recognises that social development is an integral aspect of our country’s ability to prosper. We believe in ensuring every part of society advances, as this ultimately benefits the entirety of New Zealand.

Strengthing Communites

New Zealand First believes in the strength of family and community. Over the last 30 years early support for families and communities has been systematically eroded by Government policies. We believe in sustainably resourcing those in the Community and Voluntary Sector so that they are able to offer assistance early to those in need. New Zealand First believes that by investing in prevention and early intervention – “front end the spend” that we will be able to start to turn down some of the negative statistics we lead the world in (family violence, sexual violence and child abuse). New Zealand First wants our nation to be a home owning nation again, we want our families to be able to purchase a home and the security that provides.

Policy:

  • Introduce the Children and Families Package (previously known as the Universal Family Benefit) by repurposing current spending and streamlining the system thereby also freeing up administration costs to reinvest in families
  • Introduce the ability of families to capitalise on their first child’s family benefit payments for the purchase of their first home
  • Shift all services for seniors out of WINZs office to newly created ‘Seniors Hubs’ in recognition that Superannuation is an entitlement not a benefit
  • Dedicate Housing New Zealand case managers to work with those in social housing to plan their way to home ownership 
  • Develop a Seniors Housing plan to address the increasing number of Seniors in rental accommodation and requiring Accommodation Supplement support
  • Fund pilot programmes such as Hokonui Huanui in Gore and the Wairoa Community Partnership Group to create resilient communities by providing prevention and early intervention services 
  • Resource the Minister of Community and Volunteer sector so that the Office of Community and Volunteer Sector can expand resilient communities throughout New Zealand
  • Look to implement the recommendations of the WEAG report around increasing financial support balanced with employment support that incorporates incentives for employers to take on trainees, apprentices and new employees
  • Resource and support better initiatives with those seeking employment through Work and Income New Zealand so that they all receive a Personalised Employment and Education Plan and support to achieve it – reducing their time on the benefit
  • Re-establish Workbridge as the leading employment agency for New Zealanders with a disability to provide greater support for both the employer and employee

Child and Youth Wellbeing

New Zealand First knows that the health of children and young people is a predictor of their future health. We also know that health is holistic and that wellness encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Too many of the issues facing families and parents directly affect our young people who of course do not live in isolation.

Policy:

  • Continue with the reforms of the Ministry for Children – devolving where appropriate resourcing and responsibilities to Iwi, Maori organisations, and NGOs to better support families earlier to lower the number of children requiring the care of the State
  • Direct the Joint Venture to address the wider mandate of Child and Youth Wellness – with a focus on developing community prevention and early intervention programmes to address family violence and sexual violence recognising that over 90% of children in care have experienced family violence – develop a more practical response across government agencies to address the five major areas that bring children into the care of the state
  • Begin a nationwide public conservation on the development of a national strategy to address Family and Sexual Violence
  • Develop solutions through the Community and Volunteer Sector to move from crisis intervention to prevention and early intervention
  • Break down the silos of funding and using the Matua Whangai model empowering local community ‘joint ventures’ to identify what success looks like and the feasibility to decide how they will achieve it
  • Expand on access to counselling for all school aged children and their families
  • Investigate the funding of nutritionist advice in GP offices for those families with extra needs
  • Investigate the establishment of ‘KiwiSaver at Birth’ to encourage birth registration and long term saving habits
  • Develop a ‘demerit point’ system as a requirement for support of young people who come to the attention of police 
  • Review the practicality of a ‘Universal Family Benefit’ to acknowledge and support families into their first home and to care for their children

Seniors and Superannuation

When previous governments have attacked the status of our seniors only New Zealand First has steadfastly defended them. From the surtax of the 1980s and, 1990s, or more recent attempts to increase the age of entitlement it has been New Zealand First that has championed their cause and will continue to do so. During COVID-19 it became obvious that our seniors were only seen by Government departments as “vulnerable” and told to “go home, stay home”. With Kiwi’s over the age of 65 expected to grow to 1.2 million by 2034, we believe that they deserve a stronger voice in all government decisions.

Policy:

  • Introduce the Children and Families Package (previously known as the Universal Family Benefit) by repurposing current spending and streamlining the system thereby also freeing up administration costs to reinvest in families
  • Introduce the ability of families to capitalise on their first child’s family benefit payments for the purchase of their first home
  • Shift all services for seniors out of WINZs office to newly created ‘Seniors Hubs’ in recognition that Superannuation is an entitlement not a benefit
  • Dedicate Housing New Zealand case managers to work with those in social housing to plan their way to home ownership 
  • Develop a Seniors Housing plan to address the increasing number of Seniors in rental accommodation and requiring Accommodation Supplement support
  • Fund pilot programmes such as Hokonui Huanui in Gore and the Wairoa Community Partnership Group to create resilient communities by providing prevention and early intervention services 
  • Resource the Minister of Community and Volunteer sector so that the Office of Community and Volunteer Sector can expand resilient communities throughout New Zealand
  • Look to implement the recommendations of the WEAG report around increasing financial support balanced with employment support that incorporates incentives for employers to take on trainees, apprentices and new employees
  • Resource and support better initiatives with those seeking employment through Work and Income New Zealand so that they all receive a Personalised Employment and Education Plan and support to achieve it – reducing their time on the benefit
  • Re-establish Workbridge as the leading employment agency for New Zealanders with a disability to provide greater support for both the employer and employee
  • Create a sustainable funding mechanism for “supported employment” such as Altus Enterprises ensuring that this design is led by both employers and employees in this specific employment sector