Businesses have to move with the times. Good ones constantly challenge themselves over how they do things. Have they got the right product, the right people.

Government departments need to move with the times as well.

Child Youth and Family (CYF) are an example.

Last April Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley announced CYF hadn't worked and it was time for a change. A year later and we have Oranga Tamariki - the Ministry for Vulnerable Children.


Ms Tolley says it will put children and young people's safety and well-being first.

In some ways, that's slightly alarming - what was CYF doing if it wasn't putting children's safety and well being first?

There is though, more focus on early intervention and preventing trauma, giving children a greater say in their care, and working more closely with families to keep children in their homes.

The success of the change will be judged over the next few years or so - hopefully quicker - as changes bed in.

The success of 66 more police officers in Northland will be slightly more immediate, even though they are being phased in over the next four years. Any extra police add an immediate safety presence.

Here is another government department that has to move with the times, albeit not without some significant public and political pressure.

I buy a coffee in a cafe that police occasionally frequent and there's something about the presence of a police officer out and about that is reassuring.

Even when they are not attending a crime, they are potentially preventing it with their presence.


And with the way that crime has changed in recent years in Northland something had to be done, other than asking police hierarchy to continually shuffle deckchairs on the Titanic.

With those 66 extra police comes an expectation that gangs, the accompanying violence and serious drug crime in Northland needs to reduce significantly.

And that Joe Bloggs and his theft from a car complaint will also receive a more empathetic ear.

And an actual ear, not a voice in Auckland who needs Google to work out where Horeke is.