Minister of Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, is welcoming the findings of a review of recent changes in Work and Income Service Centres and says more positive changes are on the way.
“The new front of house model that we started piloting back in June has had overwhelmingly positive feedback from clients, using the four fully revamped service centres,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“I am pleased to announce we will be piloting a new self-check-in service over the next few months in the Mangere, Manurewa, Rotorua and Porirua service centres.
“The self-check-in service will enable people to check in for their appointments via MyMSD and will cut the need to wait in long queues for long periods of time. All going well the pilot will be rolled out to all service centres from next year.
“I’ve been very clear with the Ministry that we needed to make some solid shifts in how we’re supporting people at a time in their life when they’re vulnerable.
“The service changes are about making it easier for people to access support that they’re entitled to. Seventy five percent of clients are using MyMSD to book appointments and update their details and 55% of people have lodged benefit applications online in the past year.
“When people come into the office, we want to create an environment where clients feel comfortable to share their story so we can ensure they’re getting the right support and jobseeker advice. Better communication between clients and staff leads to better outcomes for them.
“People are telling us that giving them more privacy, a warmer, more welcoming space to walk into and providing things for children to do while they wait can help at a time when some families are stressed.
By the end of this year 12 service centres will have had the full front-of-house upgrade and all Work and Income offices will have water coolers, plant dividers and kids’ activity packs.
“I’m impressed by the way the Ministry’s taken up the challenge to do things differently. We’re making steady progress in changing our culture by making it easier for people to get help and support into training and sustainable work,” Carmel Sepuloni said.