The Ministerial Committee on Poverty met for the first time last night, with ministers reaffirming their focus on providing opportunity for low income New Zealanders and getting better results from spending on social services.
"The Government's focus in tackling poverty is on providing opportunity – through things like better education and jobs," Deputy Prime Minister and committee chairman Bill English said.
"We also need to ensure we are getting the best results from the hundreds of millions of dollars the Government already spends on social service delivery.
"Over the past few years a lot of new money has gone into the services in education, health, housing and training. We've been working to get better value and results from that money and the committee can help drive that work."
Minister for Whanau Ora and committee deputy chair Tariana Turia said the committee confirmed its membership and approach.
"I am pleased that we have now had the first meeting of the committee. From the initial discussions it is very clear that Ministers want to see the issues related to poverty addressed," Mrs Turia said.
"I am looking forward to working together on this initiative, and ensuring that we produce tangible gains in both the near future and in the longer term."
The committee, which is part of the National-Maori Party
support agreement, will build on the work of existing ministerial
committees. It will meet quarterly and report back to Government every
six months, with its first report due later this year.