The enthusiasm of the Department of Labour for this approach was foreshadowed in
the Department's briefing papers to the incoming government (see
The Jobs Letter No.115). In this briefing, the department was arguing for a "community development" approach to the design
and delivery of employment initiatives. It defined this approach as "focussing on the community as
a whole" rather than focussing on individual unemployed people.
The department: "Community employment approaches recognise that for some groups,
with ethnic, social or cultural links, developing a sustainable community may be more likely to
provide long-term opportunities than will a series of initiatives targeted at individuals..."
Sources Press Release 14 June 2000 "Government to strengthen community development capacity" New Zealand
Government; also Backgrounder: Communty Employment; Press Release 14 June 2000 "Horomia Tries to re-create his old empire"
Dr Muriel Newman; Press Release 14 June 2000 "Another pointless reshuffle harms job prospects" Bob Simcock
Voices: On the CEG Move
" Community employment development has a vital role to play in progressing social and
economic advantage. Communities are the basis for lasting progress and the source of sustainable
solutions to the problems caused by changing labour market conditions, particularly in depressed
regions and within Maori and Pacific communities. The Government is moving to ensure that we have
all the tools we need to fulfil our manifesto commitments to improve local employment
development and to close the gaps."
Parekura Horomia, Associate Employment Minister
" The Green Party commends the decision to transfer the Community Employment function to
the Department of Labour. The Community Employment Group and the community
organisations with which it works have suffered immensely since it was restructured into the Winz
conglomerate, and I hope that this shift to DOL will revive and strengthen its potential to assist with
grassroots community economic development and job creation projects."
Sue Bradford, Green MP
" The Government's move to take Community Employment out of Winz and put it back into
the Department of Labour is more about settling old scores than getting New Zealanders into
real jobs. One of my chief concerns is that Mr Horomia has simply pursued his personal agenda, as
the former general manager of CEG, to re-establish the service as it was. The move to the
Department of Labour is also an absolute contradiction to Mr Maharey's statements that he will
be strengthening the employment focus of Winz.
" The re-creation of Community Employment as a separate service unit will be expensive and
a big step back. What is the logic of Winz Commissioners, who are responsible for all other
Government employment programmes in the provinces, overlapping with staff of another
Department, when working with the same client group toward the same employment goal?"
Dr Muriel Newman, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman
" The Government is stripping Winz of all the tools which it needs to help the unemployed
into jobs. It has already axed the Community Wage scheme, and instructed Winz not to
"hassle" people to take up available jobs. Combined with the announcement of the shift of
Community Employment ... this leaves Winz stuck in the role of simply paying out benefits, instead of
having any means of helping people improve their prospects.
" That's a complete attack on the one-stop-shop approach which was greeted warmly by
beneficiaries and which is being copied around the world. It will mean the return of the dole queue,
with people going to Winz simply to sign on. Whether the aim of the change is pure ideological
zealotry or an attempt to punish Christine Rankin by weakening her Department, either way it's
not good for people who want jobs."
Bob Simcock, National Party Social Services spokesman
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