Better Public Services

The Government has committed to delivering a set of 10 Better Public Services results. The Better Public Services results were chosen for their importance in improving the lives of New Zealanders.

The Ministry of Health is leading two new results, working with the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Housing New Zealand. These results contribute to ‘A good start to life’. The Ministry of Health is also supporting other results, including Result 4: Safer kids.

Healthy pregnancy and safe birth are foundations for a good start to life. Maternal health is important because the status of a pregnant woman’s health can have a life-long impact on her child. The medical literature now identifies a range of chronic diseases in adulthood as having their origins in childhood or fetal life.

Children who receive the right supports from an early age go on to have better health outcomes, better educational achievements, and lifelong learning.

Most pregnant women and children experience good health and wellbeing most of the time, but for a range of reasons Māori and Pacific families, and families in high deprivation areas, have poorer maternal and child health outcomes on average. The new ‘A good start to life’ results include two new targets.

Result 2: Healthy mums and babies

Target: By 2021, 90% of pregnant women are registered with a Lead Maternity Carer in the first trimester, with an interim target of 80% by 2019, with equitable rates for all population groups.

Result 3: Keeping kids healthy

Target: By 2021, a 25% reduction in hospital admission rates for a selected group of avoidable conditions in children aged 0–12 years, with an interim target of 15% by 2019.

Both of these targets are system level measures that have a strong focus on improving outcomes for pregnant women and children, and reducing inequities of service access and outcomes between different population groups.

The Ministry of Health is leading work on results 2 and 3

The Ministry will work in partnership with district health boards and the broader health sector to deliver results 2 and 3, as well as seeking feedback from other specialist groups.

The Ministry will also work in partnership with other agencies including:

  • Ministry of Social Development
  • Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Housing New Zealand Corporation
  • Department of Internal Affairs.

The Government will progress BPS Results 2 and 3 using a social investment approach. Social investment is about improving the lives of New Zealanders with a rigorous and evidence-based investment approach to social services.

One important focus of social investment is on early investment to achieve better long-term results for people and helping them to become more independent. This focus is seen clearly in the aim of ‘A good start to life’.

Progress on the results will also be made through work with the district health boards and stakeholders through continuing to implement the System Level Measures.

This section provides information about the work programme to increase Lead Maternity Carer registrations and reduce hospital admissions for avoidable conditions. It also includes information about what has been achieved for the earlier Result 3 targets increasing infant immunisation rates and reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever.

For more information about the Better Public Services see the State Services Commission website. You can also read the Ministers’ press release on the Beehive website.

If you have any questions about the new BPS results please contact us at

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