Whitcombe, Judy
August 2009
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Aug2009, Issue 36, p183
Academic Journal
Reform and reorganisation of the New Zealand public sector have been ongoing since the 1980s, resulting in changes to the structural design of public sector agencies. The belief that providers of services, bureaucrats and professionals were capturing the policy process influenced the separation of policy ministries from operational departments. The impact of those changes on the social sector throughout the 1990s was profound. Ministers expressed concerns about the quality of the policy advice they were receiving. The initiatives developed in the Ministry of Social Policy encountered implementation difficulties, which meant that unspent funding for social policy initiatives was carried forward from year to year. After 1999 a Labour-led government adopted an approach aimed at reunifying the social sector and addressing the problems of fragmentation and "siloisation", which were identified in the Review of the Centre by the Ministerial Advisory Group. The result has been a re-coupling of policy and operational agencies across the social services sector, with the Ministry of Social Development now the largest government department.


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