Our work is strengthened through our community's participation in the Social Sector Trials. The Trials have been established to test innovative ideas to improve social, health and educational outcomes in different communities around New Zealand. The aim of the Social Sector Trials is to support decision making at the local level, build on existing networks and strengthen coordination at every level of government and within the community.


Waitomo is a Social Sector Trial location.

The Social Sector Trials were set up in March 2011 to trial new approaches to social service delivery. They were initially established for two years and in six locations: Taumarunui, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti, Kawerau, Levin and Gore.

In February 2013 the six Social Sector Trials was extended to 30 June 2014, and in five of the locations, their geographical areas were extended. This means that the locations are now Taumarunui, Waitomo District, South Waikato District, Kawerau District, Horowhenua District, and Gore District.

On 1 July 2013, the Social Sector Trials added ten new locations: Kaikohe, Ränui (West Auckland), Waikato District, Rotorua City, Whakatane Township, Gisborne City, South Taranaki District, Wairarapa (Masterton District, South Wairarapa District, Carterton District), Porirua District, and Dunedin South. These Trials will also run to 30 June 2014.

More information about the programme can be found at Ministry of Social Development - Social Sector Trials

Key Elements

The Social Sector Trials have been established to test innovative ideas to improve social, health and educational outcomes for different communities around New Zealand. In the Waitomo District the Social Sector Trial is focused on improving outcomes for young people aged 12-18 by:

keyreducing truancy rates
keyreducing offending by young people
keyreducing levels of alcohol and other drug use by young people
keyincreasing the number of young people participating in education, training and employment.

The Trials also test the ability of a committed individual or non-government organisation to use cross-agency resources to effect change in a community. In Waitomo, Hilary Karaitiana has been employed to manage the Trials through the committed individual approach.

Governance and management

National Governance

The Chair of the Cabinet Social Policy Committee (SOC), Hon Tony Ryall, has ultimate responsibility for the Social Sector Trials.
A Ministerial sub-committee provides oversight and decision-making for the Social Sector Trials. This is comprised of the:
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Justice
Chair of the Cabinet Social Policy Committee (and Minister of Health)
Minister of Education
Minister for Social Development
Minister of Police
Minister of Youth Affairs.
A Joint Venture Board, comprising of the Chief Executives of Social Development, Health, Education, Justice and the New Zealand Police, acts as a governance group for the Social Sector Trials. The Chair of the Joint Venture Board is the Chief Executive of Social Development.
A Director, situated within the Ministry of Social Development, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Social Sector Trials.

Local governance

Local Governance Group
A local governance group has been in place since March 2011 and ensures endorsement and ownership of the Waitomo Youth Action Plan.
The Governance Group is made up of the following community leaders:
District Mayor (and Chair of the Advisory Group)
Principal, Te Kuiti High School
Head of Department Maori, , Te Kuiti High School
Representative, Maniapoto Maori Trust Board
Representative, Tuia Rangatahi Leadership Programme
Sergeant, NZ Police
Pastor, Journey Church
Waitomo Social Sector Trial Manager
General Manager, Maniapoto FM

Regional Advisory Group
In the extension phase, a regional advisory group will join the Local Advisory Group quarterly to support and monitor the implementation of the Action Plan.
The Regional Advisory Group is made up of senior regional representatives from:
New Zealand Police
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Social Development (Regional Commission and Managers
ofFamily and Community Services, and Child, Youth and Family)
Te Puni Kōkiri
Department of Internal Affairs
Waikato District Health Board

Social Sector Trials Video