Productivity Commission inquiry into “More effective social services

In June the Government asked the Commission to carry out an inquiry into how to improve outcomes for New Zealanders from social services funded or otherwise supported by Government.

The PSA is seeking members' views on some of the key questions being addressed in this inquiry. To take part in the survey click here.

A summary of all the questions is available here.


The terms of reference ask for a focus on potential improvements in the ways government agencies commission and purchase social services. 

Which social services are included?
Services provided, funded or otherwise supported by government that are “dedicated to enhancing people’s economic and social wellbeing by helping the lead more stable, self-sufficient and fulfilling lives”.  This includes:
•    Health care
•    Social care
•    Education and training
•    Employment services
•    Community services

In particular the Commission will be looking at four case studies:
•    Employment services
•    Whānau Ora
•    Services for people with disabilities; and
•    Home-based care for older people

They will also investigate a range of other services including family violence and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

The inquiry process
An issues paper , listing a number of questions the inquiry will address, was released on 8 October.  There is now an opportunity to submit on the paper by 2 December 2014.  We will co-ordinate a whole of PSA submission. If members would like to be involved they can email

The Productivity Commission will release a draft report in early March 2015 and submissions again will be sought.  The PSA will also submit on this. A final report will be provided to Government by 30 June 2015.  After the government has considered the report it will announce its response to the report and what it intends to do.