Intriguing plan to deliver better outcomes for kids who are off the rails

I don’t think any of this will be earth-shatteringly new, but it’s interesting to have some numbers put against it.


The National Urban Maori Authority (AUMA) conducted the research and chief executive, Lance Norman, told The Nation programme the cost of failing a struggling child was $145,000 per year.

This compares to $28,000 per child each year in up-front investments that Mr Norman says, if put into the right programmes, could stop children going off the rails.

The AUMA processed data from the Ministry of Justice and says savings could potentially be as high as $50 million a year.

The AUMA is proposing a social bond which is where investors make a profit from the Government if a social service agency meets certain targets. This means the Government pays for outcomes rather than just providing services.

Sounds too good to be true.  Maori wanting to be paid on results?    

The AUMA social bond is designed to combat truancy, which Mr Norman says is linked to incarceration. At least 90 percent of prisoners have a significant history of truancy.

“There’s international and New Zealand evidence that says if you’re a truant, you’re more likely to have a negative pathway in terms of employment and potentially incarceration,” says Mr Norman.

“Not everybody, but there’s a high likelihood you’ll end up in prison.”

He says the returns investors receive on government social bonds needs to be at least 15 percent to be viable, and calls for “a robust conversation” on profit-sharing.

“This could be, potentially, a $50 million saving to the Government. Now as I say, I’m not for profit, but I’m not for loss, so how do we share those savings across the people that have actually done the work?”

Mr Norman says people who argue social bonds put a price tag on children’s heads don’t realise that already happens.

Privatisation of social services.  Allowing people to make a profit providing social outcomes. I’m going to have to buy some extra ear plugs as the collective outrage from the left will be deafening.

It is good to see a sector of society that normally just asks for more money come up with a plan where they want the money up front to save lives, rather than see it all go into the services that pay for all the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff.


– Newshub


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.