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Chief Executive's preface

Image of Peter Hughes, Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Development. The Social Report 2007 provides a comprehensive picture of social wellbeing in New Zealand . It shows how social conditions are changing over time, how different regions and communities are faring, and how we compare to other countries.

The Social Report is an important source of information for social development. Each year, in this publication, we bring together information from across the social sector to chart New Zealand's progress across a range of important indicators of wellbeing. This allows us to monitor social changes and trends over time. The social report shows us where we are doing well and alerts us to areas where we need to take action. We review our indicators each year to ensure we present the best available information on social conditions in New Zealand.

The information provided here enables many groups to access data that is vital to their own planning. This year we are proud to include, in the people section, New Zealand Sign Language as one of New Zealand's official languages.

Since 2005, we have also published information on social wellbeing at both the regional and territorial authority level. This information allows councils and others working locally to monitor progress over time and compare their progress with other regions. It also helps us, at the Ministry of Social Development, to customise our services to the needs of specific areas and communities. This year, new census data has allowed us to update the majority of regional and territorial authority indicators. Information is available on the website and we are publishing it in companion books to The Social Report 2007.

The high quality of The Social Report 2007 is due to the hard work of many Ministry of Social Development staff, and the support and advice we get from across the government and community sectors. Since the first Social Report was published in 2001, it has made a valuable contribution to informed discussion about national and regional social policy and social development. I am sure that, as with previous editions, The Social Report 2007 will be of great use to all those who are interested in social wellbeing.

image of Peter Hughes, Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Development.

Peter Hughes
Chief Executive
Ministry of Social Development