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Our recommendations embed a new basis for social security, to restore trust in the system, enable whakamana tāngata so people can live in dignity, strengthen the application of kaupapa Māori, and will lift outcomes for Māori.
The Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommends the following.
Recommendation 1: Amend the Social Security Act 2018 to state that anyone exercising power under the Act have regard to the following purpose and values.
The purpose of the welfare system is to whakamana tāngata and ensure a dignified life by:
The welfare system is underpinned by Kia Piki Ake Te Mana Tangata, including kaupapa Māori values of:
Recommendation 2: Use the following principles to guide the design and operation of the welfare system.
Recommendation 3: Establish a cross-ministerial approach to implement and monitor the effectiveness of the implementation and impact on outcomes of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations (across welfare, health, housing, justice, education and employment) that is cognisant of responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) and involves users of the welfare system.
Recommendation 4: Direct the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development to design and implement a welfare system that will fulfil the new purpose and principles of the amended Social Security Act, is cognisant of responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and involves users of the system.
Recommendation 5: Direct the Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue to publish yearly, whether as part of their Annual Reports or Statements of Intent, or as a standalone report, information on key outcomes for those interacting with the welfare system, including information about full and correct entitlements, take-up rates of payments, employment outcomes, the impact of employment supports and services, and after-tax and abatement earnings.
Measures should include:
Recommendation 6: Embed the competencies required to achieve greater equity for Māori in the job descriptions, key performance indicators and performance reviews of the Ministry of Social Development’s management and staff.
Recommendation 7: Include in the amended Social Security Act specific requirements for the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development to be accountable to iwi (as recognised collectives) and to Māori (as individuals, whānau and communities) for achieving equitable wellbeing outcomes for Māori from the welfare system.
Recommendation 8: Direct the Ministry of Social Development to commit to building its cultural responsiveness to Pacific People, to achieve equitable outcomes for Pacific People engaging with the welfare system. Cultural responsiveness includes having an awareness of cultural obligations experienced by Pacific People around contributions for weddings, funerals and other critical cultural events and taking account of the nuances within diverse Pacific communities.