Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Government ministers release progress reports

File photo / Mark MItchell
File photo / Mark MItchell

Government has made steady progress in cutting crime rates and welfare numbers while boosting the number of children getting immunised and gaining Level 2 education.

Ministers are today revealing the first progress report on the 10 ambitious targets set for the public sector, which are meant to be reached within three to five years.

State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman said one year since the targets were set, each sector was making good progress.

The number of people receiving a working-age benefit for more than 12 months fell by 3000 since last March, to 75,300 - a drop of 3.6 per cent.

Government aimed to reduce that the total number in this category to 55,000 by 2017 - a 30 per cent reduction.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said intensive one-on-one case management and an increase in frontline staff had led to the improved figures.

In the last year, the number of infants immunised rose from 85 per cent to 89 per cent.
Health Minister Tony Ryall has been set a target of 95 per cent by December 2014, which must be maintained until June 2017.

The number of people with rheumatic fever also fell from 4.2 hospitalisations per 100,000 people to 3.9 per 100,000. The goal is 1.4 per 100,000 by 2017.

Mr Ryall said: "Although these figures are encouraging, it is too early to confirm the declining trend."

Justice Minister Judith Collins reported that youth crime had fallen in the last year by 12 per cent, and total crime by 6 per cent.

Total crime must be reduced by 15 per cent over six years for the target to be met.

The proportion of 18 year-olds with NCEA Level 2 or equivalent increased from 74.3 per cent to 77.2 per cent. The target is 85 per cent in 2017.

The Better Public Services targets were part of a Government push for a more efficient, streamlined public sector.

- NZ Herald

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