Social investment approach

Social investment is about improving outcomes for New Zealanders.

"For me, social investment is about using data, evidence and modern analytics to invest in earlier and better intervention that can effectively break cycles of disadvantage, dependence and despair. It’s about moving beyond good intentions towards hard evidence about what works. Improving these peoples’ lives is not only a sign of a decent country, it’s a recipe for safer communities and a stronger economy", Minister for Social Investment, Hon Nicola Willis, Address to NZ Economics Forum(external link), February 2024.

The Social Wellbeing Agency is the lead adviser, alongside the Treasury, on the implementation of the social investment approach in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Social investment involves:

  • Understanding people’s needs using data and evidence
  • Setting clear, measurable goals and focusing on what works
  • Improving services by systematically measuring and comparing their effectiveness and feeding this information back to decision-making
  • Enabling local providers to deliver services tailored to the needs of their communities.

Agencies gather, share, analyse and use data and evidence to identify people who have the greatest needs, and key points in their lives where preventative support makes the most difference. They design services that can best meet these needs and track and monitor those services to ensure they are having the desired impact.