More OIA Requests from  June 2010 here
OIA Information

The following pages contain a summary of information I have acquired through the Official Information Act largely from the Ministry of Social Development. It spans from 2002 to the present. If you want additional information eg tables,  I am happy to oblige with the proviso the source is acknowledged.

The questions cover statistics which are not published routinely elsewhere.


Over the years I have submitted many questions that remain unanswered on the basis that the Ministry is not obliged to run new reports or divert resources considered excessive. Twice I have pursued the refusal through the Office of the Ombudsman to no avail.

There appears to have been two significant shifts in the Ministry’s IT technology and storage of benefit information during the 1990s. This means certain requests can only be processed on the basis of records kept after 1996. 


The Ministry’s Statistical Report is the most comprehensive source of information about benefits. Unfortunately, by the time it is published, the information is already dated. You can find the link to this report at ‘statistics’.


The Social Policy Journal is a useful source of research analysis. A link to relevant papers can be found under ‘New Zealand research’.


OIA Information Contents


a Single parents on benefits with school aged children
a Same-sex relationships
a Maori
a Ruka Court of Appeal Case
a Birth Certificates
a Working age with children on a main benefit
a Single parents of working age on EMA
a Personal Development and Employment Plans (PDEPs)
a Budgeting Advice
a Sickness and invalid benefit eligibility and work-testing requirements
a Sickness and invalids benefit - substance abuse
a Child Support
a Section 70A reduction (penalty for non-application for child support)
a Unsupported Child’s Benefit
a Adoption/ Whangai
a 'Nature of Marriage’ fraud
a Children reliant on caregivers on benefits
a 16-17 year-olds on emergency maintenance allowance
a Single parents currently on welfare who first received welfare under 20
a Remote Client Units
a Sickness and invalid benefit/ psychiatric-psychological conditions
a CYF notifications
a Social Policy Journal
a Born onto a benefit
a Children added to a benefit
a Sickness benefit to DPB
a Sickness benefit for pregnancy
a Teenagers
a Prison
a Prison - grants and cancellations
a Debt
a DPB recipients surveyed on ‘interest in looking for work’
a Family Violence
a DPB applications declined
a Partnered parents on a benefit
a DPB duration
a Multiple spells on DPB
a Child abuse
a Inclusion of a child on a benefit
a Fraud
a Children in state care
a In Work Payment
a Migration from DPB to other benefits
a DPB cancellations
a Debt
a Independent Youth Benefit to DPB
a Work test on the DPB
a Youth Transitions Service
a Training Incentive Allowance - teen parent pilot
a Staff numbers at MSD (est Oct 2001)
a Staff numbers at Ministry of Social Welfare
a On DPB with other sources of income
a Family Support
a Accommodation Allowance
a Migration from other benefits to DPB
a OSCAR and childcare subsidy
a Non-beneficiary income support
a DPB grants and declines
a Unemployment benefit - average duration and multiple spells
a PDEPs
a Sickness/Invalid Benefits - transfers between
a Student Allowances - transfers to from other benefits
a Overlap between Work and Income and CYF caseloads
a Funding for Benefit Advocacy Groups
a Benefit Review Committee decisions

Single parents on benefits with school aged children
OIA 21 Nov 2008
On a main benefit with youngest child 5 or older at end Sept 2008 - 55,906
Ethnicity, gender, and any ‘other source of income’ information available

OIA 30 April 2007
On a main benefit with youngest child 5 or older at end December 2006 - 44,659
Benefit breakdown available

OIA 21 February 2006
On a main benefit with youngest child 5 or older at end September 2005 - 45,643
OIA 15 July 2004
On DPB at 28 May 2004
Children 5 yrs and older - 54,010

Whether they had reported any other source of income also available
Same-sex relationships
OIA 30 April 2007
Information about legislative changes from 1 April 2007
OIA 15 July 2004
Non-recognition of same sex couples as ‘living in the nature of a marriage’
Maori
OIA 21 Nov 2008
Working age Maori on benefit at end Sept 2008 86,074
Gender and benefit type available

Ruka Court of Appeal Case
OIA 30 April 2007
Information about over-turned decisions after establishment of a new test for defining ‘the nature of marriage’ in 1996
Birth Certificates
OIA 28 Oct 2008
Other forms of ID etc accepted to qualify for a benefit eg birth notice
Working age with children on a main benefit
OIA 28 May 2009
At end March 2009 117,907, benefit type, ethnicity, relationship status available.
(single 105,448)

OIA 19 Sept 2008
At end July 2008 112,388 benefit type, ethnicity, relationship status available
OIA 5 March 2008
At end December 2007 114,607, benefit type, ethnicity, relationship status available.
(single 103,366)

OIA 7 Dec 2006
Single parents on a main benefit end Sept 2006 - 107,628
Benefit type, age, ethnicity and gender available

OIA 29 May 2006
Single parents on a main benefit at end March 2001 - 119,117
End March 2006 - 110,127

OIA 5 Nov 2005
End August 2005 112,966 single
OIA 13 May 2005
Single parents on DPB
May 2005 98,112

May 2004 (Approx 101,112)
Dec 1999 (Approx 104,112)
OIA 13 May 2005
Single parents on any benefit at Feb 2005 - 115,176
Age, ethnicity, gender and benefit type available

OIA 8 Dec 2004
Single parents on any benefit at 29 Oct 2004 - 117,749
Benefit type available

OIA 15 July 2004
Single parents on non-DPB benefits - 13,995
Benefit type available
Single parents of working age on EMA
E-mail 18 Dec, 2009
2,024 at end Sept 2009
OIA 15 July 2004
728 at 28 May 2004
Personal Development and Employment Plans (PDEPs)
OIA 13 Oct 2009
35,161 in place at end June 2009 (benefit type and trend available)
OIA 15 July 2004
At 28 May 2004 95,036 (92%) DPB beneficiaries had a Personal Development Plan in place
Budgeting Advice
OIA 13 Oct 2009
83 members of the NZ Federation of family Budgeting are contracted to MSD to provide budgeting services. No client statistic numbers available.
Sickness and invalid benefit eligibility and work-testing requirements
OIA 13 Oct 2009
OIA 17 July 2009

Medical certificates must be completed by a registered medical practitioner, dentist or midwife
Sickness and invalids benefit - substance abuse
OIA 19 March 2009
At end December 2008 by age, ethnicity, gender and regional breakdown
Sickness 4,190 (8% of total)

Invalid 1,648 (2% of total)
16 and 17 year-olds - 17
Child Support
OIA 30 Sept 2009
Statistics at March 2009, custodial and liable beneficiary parents, trend in sums collected, funds kept by Crown, number paying minimum amount, age, ethnicity, and gender of liable and custodial parents, children subject to payments, disputing paternity, incomes of liable parents.
OIA 6 November 2006
Percentage of child support payments kept by the state in 2005, 2000, and 1995
Age of eligibility for receiving child support

Minimum support payment
Liability of prisoners
Section 70A reduction (penalty for non-application for child support)
OIA 5 Oct 2009
At end June 2009 19,400 out of 185,737 children of single parents had no application filed for them
OIA 3 October 2007
At August 2007 DPB/EMA there were 3,166 exemptions from a Section 70a reduction
Unsupported Child’s Benefit
OIA 5 Oct 2009, number and age paid at 31 December 2008
Ethnicity of children not available

OIA 28 May 2009, 7,465 at end March 2009
Ethnicity and gender of caregiver available
Adoption/ Whangai
OIA 5 Oct 2009
259 adoption reports to Family Court were made in the financial year 2007/08. No statistics are available for whangai arrangements which take place outside of the court system and in accordance with tikanga Maori. CYF has no role.
‘Nature of Marriage’ fraud
OIA 5 Oct 2009
279 prosecutions in financial year 2007/08
OIA 4 September 2007

173 prosecutions in financial year 2005/06
Children reliant on caregivers on benefits
OIA 5 Oct 2009
227,903 at end August 2009, 233,316 at August 2005, 266,627 at August 2001
Age breakdown available

(Vulnerability Report, March 2010, NZ Council of Christian Social Services, 230,642 at end Dec 2009, ethnicity and benefit type available)
OIA 20 Jan 2005
By Super, Veterans, Orphans, unsupported child and non-beneficiary at Oct 29 2004 - 48,112
OIA 8 Dec 2004
At 29 Oct 2004 - 246,775
OIA 15 July 2004
Only children on DPB at 28 May 2004 - 49,173
Ages available

16-17 year-olds on emergency maintenance allowance
E-mail 18 Dec, 2009
704 at end Sept 2009
OIA 19 Sept 2008
16-17 year-olds on EMA 2000-2008 at end July each year
OIA 30 April 2007
16-17 year-olds on EMA at Dec 2006 by ethnicity (no total - only percentages)
OIA 2 Oct 2006
At June 2996 - 612
Each quarter through 2005 and to June 2996 available by age

OIA 8 Dec 2004
At 29 Oct 2004 - 572
OIA 15 July 2004

At 28 May 2004 - 558
Single parents currently on welfare who first received welfare under 20
OIA 12 Feb, 2010
Aged 29 or younger at end Sept 2009 - 33,730
Age, ethnicity, gender available

OIA 7 Dec 2006
Aged 34 or younger at end Sept 2006 - 39,259
Age, gender, ethnicity available

OIA 21 July 2005
Aged 32 and under at February 2005 - 37,631
Breakdown of type of benefit first received and current ages of their children

OIA 13 May 2005
Aged 32 and under at February 2005 - 37,631
Age, gender, ethnicity and number of children available

Remote Client Units
OIA 11 Feb, 2010
There is one RCU managing 52 clients (age, ethnicity, benefit type and trend available)
Sickness and invalid benefit/ psychiatric-psychological conditions
OIA 17 July 2009
Canterbury and Wellington specific information at end March 2009; age, ethnicity and gender
CYF notifications
OIA 3 July 2009
Family violence notifications are a subset of care and protection notifications.
C & P notifications by notifier group for each quarter to end March 2009

C & P notifications by notifier group for financial years 2006/07 and 2007/08 and 2008/09 to Mar 09
Notifications rising but findings of abuse remain relatively stable.
OIA 28 May 2009
Notifications for 2007/08 89,461
40,739 required further action

20,560 findings of abuse
Investigation findings 06/07 and 07/08 and first two quarters of 08/09
Notifications for 2006/07 71,927
Social Policy Journal
OIA 28 May 2009
Born onto a benefit
OIA 3 July 2009
6,196 females granted first DPB during 2008 with a child aged less than 12 months
Children added to a benefit
OIA 19 Sept 2008
Number of children aged under one year old added to a benefit in 2007 - 5,277
Benefit type available

OIA 18 May 2007
Working age clients who had a child added to their benefit during 2006 - 5,326
Ethnicity available

OIA 21 July 2005
At the end of Feb 2005 23% of DPB recipients had additional children while on a benefit
OIA 2 Oct 2003
In 2002 16,217 children were added to a main benefit
In 2002 children added to a benefit within 30 days of birth and 10 months or more after the commencement of the benefit - 4,860

Sickness benefit to DPB
OIA 28 May 2009
2,953 in 2008, age and ethnicity available
OIA 28 Oct 2008
2,972 in 2007, age and ethnicity available
Sickness benefit for pregnancy
OIA 28 May 2009
At end March 2009 516 16-19 year-olds
Teenagers
OIA 8 March 2010
16-17 year-olds
End Dec 2009 3,557

End Dec 2008 3,391
End Dec 2004 3,926
Gender, benefit type and ethnicity available
OIA 28 May 2009
16-19 year-olds
On sickness benefit at end March 2009 516

On DPB/EMA at end March 2009 4,123
16-17 year-olds on emergency maintenance release
Ethnicity available
(E-mail 18 Dec, 2009)
704 at end Sept 2009
OIA 19 March 2009
16 and 17 year-olds on sickness/invalid benefits for substance abuse - 17
OIA 19 Sept 2008
18-19 year-olds on DPB 2000-2008 at end July each year
16-17 year-olds on EMA 2000-2008 at end July each year

OIA 5 March 2008
16 - 19 year-olds on DPB and EMA at month end and by duration during 2007
OIA 5 March 2008
Incapacities for receipt of an invalid’s or sickness benefit during 2007
OIA 4 Sept 2007

16-17 year-olds in receipt of a benefit at end July 2007 - 3,079
Benefit type available
OIA 18 March 2007
16-19 year-olds male and female caregivers at December 2006 - 3,785
16-19 year-old female caregivers at December 2006 - 3,648
Number of children per caregiver available
Ethnicity available
OIA 30 April 2007
16-17 year-olds on EMA at Dec 2006 by ethnicity (no total - only percentages)
OIA 5 Nov 2005
16-19 year-old sole parents granted a main benefit for the first time in the year to end August 2005 -725
Benefit type available

Prison
OIA 28 February 2007
People committed to prison in 2006 - 12,781
People released from prison in 2006 - 12,623

Information about discontinuation of prison census
Prison - grants and cancellations
OIA 12 March 2010
In 2009;
Cancellations of a benefit for reason ‘going to prison’ 4,192

Grants of a benefit for reason ‘leaving prison’ 3,496
Age, gender, ethnicity and benefit type available
OIA 28 May 2009
In 2008;
Cancellations - 3,050

Grants - 3,144
Age and ethnicity available
OIA 28 Oct 2008
2001
Cancellations - 3,563

Grants - 4,467
2007
Cancellations - 2,860
Grants - 3,171
Debt
OIA 10 October 2008
Overpayments and recoverable assistance, transition to work grant, debt recovery suspension
DPB recipients surveyed on ‘interest in looking for work’
OIA 5 March 2008
Info from an employment barriers survey 1,233 respondents, 2005
Family Violence
OIA 5 March 2008
Family violence disclosures to Work and Income in 2007 - 4,271
Regional breakdown available

DPB applications declined
OIA 5 March 2008
18 - 19 year-olds 301 declines in 2007
Partnered parents on a benefit
OIA 28 May 2009
At the end of March 2009 12,459
Ethnicity available

OIA 5 March 2008
At the end of December 2007 11,241
Ethnicity available

DPB duration
OIA 5 March 2008
At the end of December 2007 10> years (continuously) - 11,409
Ethnicity available
OIA 26 September 2007
Duration bands for DPB recipients at end December 2006 for years 2002 - 2006
Multiple spells on DPB
OIA 26 Sept 2007
At end June 2007 43,866 had been on the DPB at least once before
Breakdown of number of previous spells available

OIA 1 Oct 2004
At 28 May 2004 43,932 had been on the DPB at least once before
OIA 25 Mar 2002
47,943 DPB recipients had been on it more than once
Child abuse
OIA 3 Oct 2007
11.8 per 1,000 children were assessed as abused or neglected following a notification to CYF in 2006
OIA 4 Sept 2007
For 2005/06;
Number of children and young people (14-17 years-old) reported to CYF

Number of care and protection notifications that required further action
OIA 14 Aug 2007
Number of children and young people with an investigation finding of abuse 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 by ethnicity
Inclusion of a child on a benefit
OIA 14 Aug 2007
Acceptable documentation for inclusion of a child on a benefit
Fraud
OIA 4 September 2007
Types of benefit fraud
Prosecutions for benefit fraud 2005/06 - 937

Breakdown of fraud type available
Children in state care
OIA 28 June 2007
At end December 2006;
Child care and protection foster care placements by age, gender and ethnicity
Children in CYF family homes by age, gender and ethnicity
Children in CYF residential care by age, gender and ethnicity

Care and protection notifications requiring further action by age, gender and ethnicity
Children 5 and under removed by emergency action during 2006
Total number of found and not found cases of child abuse and neglect for 2006
In Work Payment
OIA 8 May 2006
At April 2007 140,000 people were receiving the In-work tax credit as a weekly or fortnightly payment
Also available totals at June, Sept, Dec 2006 and March 2007

Migration from DPB to other benefits
OIA 14 March 2007
4,546 people moved from DPB to another benefit or Super in 2006
Benefit breakdown available

DPB cancellations
OIA 14 Feb 2007
Total cancellations for 2002 to 2006
Reasons for cancellation available

Debt
OIA 10 March 2006
At November 2005;
Breakdown of monies owed by benefit type

Breakdown of debtors by age, gender, ethnicity
Average amount owed
Breakdown of reasons for debt
Independent Youth Benefit to DPB
In the year to end September 2005 98 females cancelled an IYB to transfer to DPB
Work test on the DPB
OIA 13 May 2005
Under the work test, 17.5 per 1,000 Domestic Purpose Benefit or Widows benefit clients left benefit each month. This has risen to 18.8 per 1,000 clients in June 2004 following the introduction of enhanced case management and the personal development and employment planning process.
Youth Transitions Service
OIA 13 May 2005
Training Incentive Allowance - teen parent pilot
OIA 13 May 2005
OIA 15 July 2004

Of all DPB recipients at 31 Dec 2003 17,234 had received a TIA during the year
Staff numbers at MSD (est Oct 2001)
OIA 8 Dec 2004
At June 30, 2004 - 5,908
Oct 2001 5,117

Jun 2002 5,087
Jun 2003 5,485
Staff numbers at Ministry of Social Welfare
1986 5,949
1991 7,508

1996 6,268
On DPB with other sources of income
OIA 15 July 2004
At 28 May 2004
24,247 DPB recipients had other income; 78,587 did not.

Breakdown by age of children available
Family Support
OIA 15 July 2004
Information on numbers and expenditure at 24 May 2004
Accommodation Allowance
OIA 15 July 2004
Paid to single parents at 28 May 2004
Migration from other benefits to DPB
10,657 between 1 July 1996 and 28 May 2004
Prior benefit type available

OSCAR and childcare subsidy
OIA 15 July 2004
At 28 May 2004 12,757 DPB single parents received childcare subsidies and 705 received OSCAR subsidies
Non-beneficiary income support
OIA 15 July 2004
At 28 May 2004 6,859 single parents received income support but were not on a main benefit
DPB grants and declines
OIA 28 July 2003
December 2001 and 2002 available

Unemployment benefit - average duration and multiple spells
OIA 17 Feb 2003
Average duration of current spell (at Feb 2003) 587 days
Average duration of current spell 1993 627 days

More than one spell 79,366
PDEPs
OIA 22 April 2010

PDEPs for DPB and Widow’s benefit became optional from 28 April 2008
Sickness/Invalid Benefits - transfers between
OIA 17 May 2010

Number of transfers between Invalid’s and Sickness benefits for 2009 and the first quarter of 2010
Student Allowances - transfers to from other benefits
OIA 17 May 2010
Transfers for Jan and Feb 2008, 2009 and 2010
Overlap between Work and Income and CYF caseloads
OIA 17 May 2010

Reasons supplied as to why MSD cannot quantify overlap and confirmation there is no plan to research this area
Funding for Benefit Advocacy Groups
OIA 3 June 2010

2009/10 $292,500 Ministry-approved funding for 11 regions
Benefit Review Committee decisions
OIA 3 June 2010

Approximately 4,000 requests for a Review of Decision are received each year

More OIA Requests from  June 2011 here
Contact Lindsay Mitchell:

Ph/fx 04 562 7944
mob 021 132 5968

Lindsay@welfarereform.co.nz

Read Lindsay's Blog here.
This website intends to shine light on social security and welfare reform. The current welfare system is unsustainable economically, socially and morally. This site is also intended to be a resource for people interested in welfare reform. Please acknowledge the source of any material you use from this site. Thank you.
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Many welfare models exist throughout the developed world.  New Zealand’s welfare system is unusual in two ways, firstly, because it is funded through general taxation. Secondly, [More...]
Lindsay Mitchell looks at Social Welfare Reform
in New Zealand and Overseas
CONTACT LINDSAY:
ph/fx 04 562 7944
mob 021 132 5968