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National is aspirational for New Zealanders. In our Social Services Discussion Document, we’re asking for your view on how we can best support Kiwis to reach their full potential. Our social services programmes cost around $70 billion per annum – from supporting new mums and babies as they start their first 1,000 days, to helping seniors in their later years, to those who depend on the state when they’re unwell or not able to work.

We believe that as much as possible, New Zealanders should be in the driver’s seat of their own lives. That means keeping more of what they earn and making their own life decisions. The reason for this is that families know their own needs best. But we also know that, sometimes, people need help to get back on their feet. We believe in a strong safety net that helps vulnerable Kiwis out of the cycle of poverty.

Our social services depend on the generosity of hardworking taxpayers every day. That’s why National’s approach to welfare is firm, but it’s fair. We believe work is the best route out of poverty, and we want to ensure as many New Zealanders as possible enjoy the opportunities that being in work bring. We want more Kiwis enjoying the security of a regular paycheque, and fewer children in benefit dependent homes, because we know kids do better when their parents are in work. We want to enable New Zealanders to live happy, healthy, prosperous lives – right from the very start. Our Social Services Discussion Document is part of the biggest policy process ever undertaken by an Opposition.

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