Longer Waiting Lists and Rationing of Support Services
7th Vulnerability Report Released
“After two years of ever increasing demand for social services and supports our members are reporting longer waiting
lists, fewer resources and the need to ration access to services”, said Trevor McGlinchey, New Zealand Council of
Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) Executive Officer. “The resilience of families is wearing thin. Savings and extended
family resources that supported those affected by unemployment and reduced work hours in the early days of the recession
are becoming exhausted. More and more families need access to the critical social services provided by Christian and
other community agencies”.
“However, the limited additional funding provided by the Government to these organisations has not been sufficient to
meet the demands. Waiting lists have lengthened and some agencies have had to ration their services by severely limiting
the geographic areas within which they work”, said Ruby Duncan, NZCCSS President and CEO of Iosis, a Christian social
services organisation based in South Auckland. “This means people cannot get easy access to services to cope with family
crises caused by un-and/or-under-employment as a result of the recession. Having to wait for long periods of time means
that the crises deepen and the impacts are harder to address”.
“As can be seen in in the latest Vulnerability Report there has been a 26% increase in the indebtedness of families
seeking budget advice. This level of debt is indicative of the financial stress felt by many families”, said Mrs Duncan.
“Trying to service up to $30,000 worth of debt when one or both earners in the family may have lost their jobs is
incredibly difficult and exacerbates family tensions. This in turn puts pressure on family counselling and support
Included in the range of information in the Vulnerability Report are the unemployment statistics for the year ended
September 2010. There has been a small drop in the overall unemployment rate from 6.9 to 6.4%. However, the “Māori only”
category of unemployed increased from14.2% (2009) to 16.2% (2010), this compares with a “European only” category
decrease from 4.5% (2009) to 4.3% (2010). The “Pacific peoples only” category went from 12.3% (2009) to 13.5% (2010).
There has been a small drop in overall youth unemployment from 16.8 to 16.2%. Māori youth unemployment remained static
at 26.8% and Pasifika increased by 1.9% to 29.8%.
“Once again the Vulnerability Report has highlighted the inequalities experienced by different groups of New
Zealanders”, said McGlinchey. “It is intolerable that over a quarter of Māori youth and nearly a third of Pasifika youth
are unemployed. These young people are taonga that will provide both the leadership and the energy that will be critical
for New Zealand’s future. We must ensure our young people are given the chance to develop the skills and attitudes that
will give them the best start in life for without this New Zealand will continue to struggle with its unrealised
potential for many years to come.”