Is the storm still coming?
In our previous Dashboard, we asked the question: Are we in the calm before the storm? In this Dashboard, the numbers indicate that the levelling off, or calm period outlined earlier, is in many ways still continuing. But these numbers, coupled with analysis and commentary from others and also feedback from our frontline Salvation Army services, definitely signal to us that more hardship is ahead. The Government clearly thinks there are storms coming and they have seemingly tried to provide some stability, hope and a safe path for the nation with the various Budget 2020 decisions made last week. This fourth Social Impact Dashboard continues to give updates across five key social areas. But it also gives an assessment of Budget 2020 responses in these five specific areas and views on whether or not strong recovery and rebuilding is possible with this allocated funding. Overall, in four of the five sections that we have monitored and advocated for in our Dashboards, the Government has committed some serious amounts of funding in preparation for the coming challenges.
So what now? Firstly, our Social Impact Dashboards will continue over the next months, but not fortnightly. We still believe this monitoring, tracking and assessing of the impacts of social policies and initiatives implemented, as well as frontline voices, is crucial in this recovery journey and so we commit to producing regular Dashboards. Secondly, we acknowledge and honour all of our frontline Salvation Army workers and church members who are still serving tirelessly on the frontlines within our communities. Thirdly, we also remember the thousands of people represented in these numbers and statistics we have reported on in our Dashboards, behind all of these numbers are real people facing hardship, distress and tough times. Finally, we mentioned Nehemiah in the previous Dashboard, the Jewish leader who led the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls around 445 BC. Despite massive opposition, the walls were amazingly rebuilt in 52 days! He definitely knew a thing or two about rebuilding and recovery. After the rebuilding, he left Jerusalem for a while and then came back to find that the walls were still strong, but the people were weak morally, socially and spiritually. Our prayer is that the recovery and rebuilding that comes from millions and billions of dollars being spent, numerous projects and initiatives and countless political promises, strengthens and empowers all people in our nation to be able to thrive, be safe with their families, have enough resources to make ends meet and positively contribute to New Zealand. Ma te Atua e manaaki!
Previous releases: Report 1 (9 April), Report 2 (24 April), Report 3 (8 May)