Investing for social wellbeing is a new way of working that is being developed by the government to support New Zealanders to live the lives they aspire to.
The investing for social wellbeing approach is based on understanding that people lead diverse lives with different needs. By better understanding these needs we can improve the choices that are made to build individual, whānau and community wellbeing. This approach to social wellbeing will help guide how government and communities work together to provide the best support to improve and build peoples’ wellbeing.
We have completed our initial engagement phase and listened to what people believe is needed to invest in their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of people they help support, so that the government implements the right approach.
The four key themes of the investing for social wellbeing approach are not necessarily new, but combining an applying themes together is.
The approach focuses on:
Investing for social wellbeing puts people at the heart of the approach. It is inclusive, and treats people with dignity and respect. It ensures the views of groups including Māori, Pacific, and disabled people are meaningfully included. Working in this way will include talking to people about decisions that impact them and making our best effort to ensure information about these decisions is available and easy to understand.
The investing for social wellbeing approach recognises that people are more than just numbers. It acknowledges that while data and evaluation results are important, listening to people’s experiences, and using the knowledge of people who work on the front are equally as important. This will help us to understand what interventions work and the best ways to support people. Government and community organisations will work together to testing and trialling new ideas.
Government will actively work to grow public confidence through engaging and working in strong partnerships with iwi, and with a wide range of stakeholders, including NGOs, and people working in frontline organisations. This will enable government and community organisations to work together to solve complex and cross-cutting issues such as child poverty, mental health and housing.
The investing for social wellbeing approach will require government agencies and community organisations to collaborate and work in a coordinated and joined up way towards the same goals and outcomes. This includes measuring the impact of what we do and how we are progressing towards common goals.
Government agencies and community organisations will work together to develop clear direction and guidance to enable them to make well considered, evidence based choices about where to invest to improve wellbeing. This will enable them to invest now for future benefits.
We recently engaged with a broad range of service users (for example, youth and people who use mental health services) non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies that provide social services to get their input on the government’s approach to investing for social wellbeing.
Our engagement ran from late May until early September. Through this engagement, we heard people’s views on what they believe is needed to invest in their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of people they help support. What we learned through this engagement is helping us build a better understanding of what the social sector and wider public believe is needed to adopt and implement a new investing for social wellbeing approach.
The October 2018 report we will produce for Cabinet will include details of the themes we heard during our engagement, and recommendations for how the sector could begin to implement the new approach. Whilst we anticipate that there may be further action and engagement required we anticipate this will be confirmed following Cabinet considering our report.
Further details including the timeline and currently planned stages for the development of a final investing for social wellbeing approach can be found in the programme timeline.