Outcome One: Prosperous and adaptable people, sectors, and regions

In the future, New Zealand’s economy will have a different mix of sectors, jobs and skills. We will help communities to adapt and to benefit from the changes as we move to a knowledge-intensive, low-emissions economy.

Outcome 1 final

One way we can improve our prosperity and community wellbeing is by helping regions to grow – and tourism and investment is an important part of this. We are delivering regional development programmes and creating economic opportunities through the work of the PDU.

Income inequality in New Zealand is well above the OECD average, and for some people poor social and economic outcomes persist across generations. When people are unable to reach their full potential, it is a loss to them, their communities and to New Zealand. MBIE is focusing on identifying groups in need.

Māori have distinct knowledge and cultural approaches. This understanding – mātauranga Māori – has potential to help us prosper, and we are working with Te Puni Kōkiri to foster Māori economic development.

MBIE is responsible for immigration policy. We balance the desire to encourage new migrants, who bring skills that businesses need to grow, with the need to protect New Zealand’s interests and ease the way for legitimate travellers.

We are supporting businesses to move into areas that show higher growth or require greater knowledge to increase productivity and generate more fulfilling jobs. Diversification will ensure that New Zealand is more resilient to shocks, and better placed to adopt, adapt and respond to new technologies.

MBIE encourages innovation

To encourage a growing appetite for innovation among Māori businesses, MBIE hosted 10 regional Māori business meetings this year to talk about government funding opportunities.

Māori businesses are increasingly investing in the digital space; collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and universities; traditional food and fauna technology; and projects with national and multi-national companies.

Around 700 people representing Māori land trusts, Māori-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, the private sector, and tertiary institutions attended meetings in Tauranga, Gisborne, Hastings, Nelson, Whāngārei, Kaikohe, Hamilton, Whanganui, Masterton and Christchurch.

Cross-agency delivery was led by Te Kupenga – MBIE’s Māori Economic Development Unit – and supported by He kai kei aku ringa – the Crown–Māori Economic Development Strategy and the Māori Innovation Fund.

P20 two teens

Families took priority after Christchurch attacks

We moved rapidly to grant emergency visitor visas to more than 200 family members of victims of the March 2019 Christchurch attacks.

Immigration New Zealand staff dealt directly with families and worked with the Ministry of Social Development to provide government-funded access to lawyers and immigration advisers to help them apply for New Zealand permanent residence.

The Christchurch Response (2019) special visa category was set up for three groups:

  • New Zealand-based families in which an immediate family member died
  • people living in New Zealand who were physically injured in the attacks and their New Zealand-based immediate families
  • people living in New Zealand who were physically present at one of the mosques at the time of the attacks but were not physically injured, and their immediate families living in New Zealand.
Wellingtonians at a vigil in support of the Christchurch attack victims

Wellingtonians at a vigil in support of the Christchurch attack victims

Photo: Malcolm Wood

Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship (CORS) – Next steps for the pilot

In mid-2018, 25 refugees arrived in New Zealand under the CORS category pilot. Four community organisations were approved as sponsors to help the refugee families to settle and become self-sufficient. Six refugee families were settled: one in Hamilton, one in Nelson, three in Christchurch, and one family in Timaru.

Findings from the process evaluation report (February 2019) showed that the CORS category had met its short-term objectives, with the sponsored refugees doing well three months on from their arrival. The families were making progress in learning English and were navigating their communities successfully. Key stakeholders and the public were largely supportive of the category, and the concept of community sponsorship had been well received. The process evaluation also found that more information was needed on long-term community capacity and refugee outcomes to determine if the category has met all of its objectives.

The evaluation of settlement outcomes for this group will continue over the next three years to assess the longer-term outcomes from the pilot.

Next steps will be engaging with stakeholders (community organisations, refugee advocacy groups and other members of the public) ahead of providing advice to government on the next stage.

Development Hub connects wāhine to jobs

The Hastings Development Hub is matching young wāhine with job training in Hawke’s Bay and making a difference to their lives.

Thirty-six young wāhine took part in the Initiate pre-employment programme this year. Thirty-three completed the course and 27 have been in continuous employment or education since then.

The Development Hub received $195,000 from He Poutama Rangatahi for Initiate, which supports young people (rangatahi) aged 15–24 at risk of long-term unemployment and tackles local labour shortages, particularly in the horticulture, agriculture and forestry industries.

The Hub is partnering with local businesses, including Heinz Wattie’s, Tumu ITM, and T&G Global (formerly Turners and Growers).

Dev Hub wahine

Tourism can future proof our regions

Tourism can invigorate our national and regional economies. It creates jobs, boosts prosperity and allows New Zealanders to celebrate who we are. But recent visitor growth has also highlighted some pressure points.

The New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy wants tourism to grow sustainably, and that means making sure the benefits of growth are shared and the challenges managed. Its goals are that tourism:

  • supports regions to thrive
  • improves sector productivity
  • delivers exceptional visitor experiences
  • protects, restores and champions New Zealand-Aotearoa’s natural environment, culture and historical heritage
  • improves New Zealanders’ lives.

100-plus visas processed for LGBTI delegates

Wellington hosted more than 500 delegates from almost 100 countries in March for the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association World Conference. Immigration New Zealand worked with organisers months in advance to identify the 100 attendees who required a visa to ensure their visas were processed in time for the conference.

Other conference attendees were from visitor waiver countries.

Avon River

Photo: ChristchurchNZ

Case study – Independent service to help homeowners settle their claims

Our aim

To provide free and impartial advice to homeowners still struggling to settle their Earthquake Commission (EQC) and/or insurance claims from the Christchurch earthquake sequence.

Our role

The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS), launched late last year, gives homeowners access to specialist case managers, engineering advice, wellbeing support, legal expertise and an internal dispute resolution service to help them settle their claims. GCCRS works with the homeowner and the insurer or EQC to help identify any barriers that may exist to settlement and then supports the homeowner on the pathway that best suits them to get these issues resolved. GCCRS has the homeowner at the centre of everything it does in a transparent and open process to support them in their claim. The purpose-built GCCRS portal provides the homeowner with up-to-date information on their claim, including who is managing their claim at EQC or the insurer, what the next steps are with their claim, who is going to be doing it by when, what documents and reports are being relied on for the claim, and any other pertinent details. The homeowner is kept informed of progress at each stage of their claim.

The outcome

GCCRS works with homeowners for as long as they want, to help them achieve either a cash settlement that allows them to move on or a repair/rebuild strategy to get them back into their homes. Around 70 per cent of the 1,150 homeowners GCCRS is working with have been referred by other homeowners or from lawyers within Christchurch. Early indications from exit surveys suggest that around 80 per cent of homeowners report that they were able to make informed decisions following support from GCCRS with 70 per cent reporting their wellbeing has improved as a result of the support provided by GCCRS.

What this means for New Zealanders

GCCRS has provided solutions for homeowners to allow them to move on with their lives following the Christchurch earthquake sequence and has worked to increase the public trust in EQC and insurers across Canterbury. GCCRS works with homeowners to provide them the correct advice so that they can protect their most valuable asset and return their value to pre- earthquake levels.

What we're working towards

Performance measure Indicator Current trend Desired trend Commentary
Increase household incomes (split by ethnicity, region) Total real household median weekly income from all sources, by region Increase
Total real household median income (from all sources, based on 2012 prices) in the year to June 2019 was $1,628 per week – a $25 or 1.6% increase on 2018. This was the eighth consecutive yearly increase since 2012.
Increase labour productivity Labour productivity growth Decrease
Labour productivity growth was 0.3% in the year to March 2018, down from 0.6% in the previous year. The five-year (2013–2018) compound annual growth rate was 0.8%.
Decrease income inequality Percentile ratio (P80:20) of household income after housing costs for all households Decrease
Income for the top 20% of households was 2.88 times that of the lowest 20% (after adjusting for housing costs) in 2017. This ratio is a measure of household income inequality and has had a largely downward trend (becoming less unequal) since its peak in 2014.

Performance of our services and functions

Pg 50 91 achieved bar

How much we spent

Actual 2017/18
Our expenditure summary Actual 2018/19
Estimates 2018/19
Main Estimates 2018/19
14,027 Departmental expenses 36,552 38,618 14,374
163,106 Non-departmental expenses 288,570 728,455 555,359
Departmental capital
1,096 Non-departmental capital 11,348 106,123 88,205
178,229 Total expenditure for outcome 336,470 873,196 657,938