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Webinar: Joined-up social services

Kids holding hands jumping in air
15 March 2022

The Productivity Commission asked Consulting Economist Julie Fry to review the recent progress of joined-up social service initiatives.

The Commission held a webinar on Friday 4 March where Julie Fry presented the key findings from her review. Around 200 people joined the webinar. It was a great discussion - thanks to all who participated!

The following panelists shared their perspectives of what works and where Government could provide better support: Leslynne Jackson from Manaaki Tairāwhiti, Laura Black from Methodist Mission Southern and Sam Aberahama from NZ Police Tairāwhiti.

Summary of webinarThis note provides links to key resources mentioned during the webinar; a summary of the presentations from the three panellists; a selection of quotes from participants; an abridged transcript of the question and answer session; and anonymised comments made by the audience in the online chat.

In summary, Leslynne and Sam from Manaaki Tairāwhiti talked about the purpose for their collective as ‘enabling whānau to flourish’ and having more influence over the way government contracting happens in their community. They spoke about building a ‘learning system’ where whānau voice – what whānau aspire to and what they need right now – is at the heart of everything and is used to guide their responses. A system that uses evidence and raises up whānau voice to inform leaders and helps them make more effective decisions. They have developed a way of working that is focused more on prevention - devoid of targets, criteria and screening processes, as these only serve to leave people until they are desperate. They have proven they are a trusted partner, capable of prioritising whānau wellbeing. They also spoke about how they have integrated social services, economic and environmental issues under the same governance and model. They spoke about the fundamental importance of building trust with whānau and not waiting for government to solve issues for us.

Laura from Methodist Mission Southern spoke about the importance of ‘sticking to your knitting’ and knowing what it is you want to do and what you don’t want to do and using research and evidence to understand what works. She also spoke about the need to centre the client’s view of what does and does not work and to have stable funding to enable an innovation approach to be taken. She reiterated the need to have services as integrated as possible to reduce the time, financial, cognitive and dignity costs for
whānau of accessing services.

Read a summary of the webinar here.

About the Fair chance for all inquiry.