Institute for Governance and Policy Studies

Scope of the review

In scope

The Welfare Working Group will cover the breadth of the welfare system for working age people and their families, including:

  • main benefits
  • second and third tier support
  • non-financial support provided through the benefit system
  • in-work support (excluding financial support provided through the tax system)
  • how the benefit system works alongside Health and ACC.

The group will need to consider the fit of the current system with a flexible labour market and the modern roles and responsibilities within families.

Particular topic areas for the Group to consider include:

  • how long-term benefit dependence can be reduced and work outcomes improved, including for sole parents
  • how to promote opportunities and independence from benefit for disabled people and people with ill health;
  • how welfare should be funded, and whether there are things that can be learned from the insurance industry and ACC in terms of managing Government’s forward liability
  • whether the structure of the benefit system and hardship assistance in particular is contributing to long term benefit dependency and what could be done to address this.

Out of scope

The following items are out of scope:

  • New Zealand Superannuation - the issues facing this group are different to those for beneficiaries and for the welfare system more generally.
  • There is considerable potential for overlap with work and services administered through ACC and the Ministry of Health.
    • To be effective the Welfare Working Group will need to have a mandate to consider the support the government provides for these people, where they interface with the benefit system. 
    • The issues being considered as part of the Stocktake of ACC Accounts, would be explicitly out of scope.
    • Interface issues with ACC and with health and disability services provided through the Ministry of Health will need to be carefully navigated.
  • The tax-benefit interface, and Working for Families specifically will also not be in scope.
  • The issues in this area raised by the Tax Working Group will be considered separately to the Welfare Working Group process. 
  • Adequacy of income from welfare – although the gap between welfare and work is relevant to activation discussions.