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Council agreement seeks to improve social outcomes


Council agreement seeks to improve social outcomes for Christchurch

A new Memorandum of Understanding between Christchurch City Council and the Ministry of Social Development will improve collaboration between central government and local government, whereby they will work more closely on addressing common issues at a regional level, in order to achieve better social outcomes for Christchurch.

Last year officials from the Ministry met with the Council to discuss improved collaboration between central government agencies in Christchurch and between those agencies and local government, non government and Maori. The Council suggested, and the Ministry officials agreed, that a pilot collaboration project be undertaken.

The Memorandum of Understanding describing the new collaborative relationship was signed last week by Councillor Ingrid Stonhill and Ross Judge, General Manager, Strategic Social Policy Group, Ministry of Social Development. It is the first agreement of its type in New Zealand.

The pilot collaboration project fits within the Ministry’s interest in getting better social policy outcomes for New Zealanders generally, and the Council’s interest in improving the health and well-being of the citizens of Christchurch.

Desired outcomes include demonstrable improvements in the delivery of social services to the people in Christchurch, enhancing and building on co-ordination and collaboration, and improved social outcomes of the people in Christchurch.

Christchurch City Councillor Ingrid Stonhill says that a closer working relationship between the Council and the Ministry of Social Development will achieve a better outcome for Christchurch.

“We have many common goals, so it makes sense to identify areas that we can work together to achieve them. The Council will be considered within the Ministry’s planning framework and vice versa, so that initiatives can compliment each other and leverage off each other. We can undertake local initiatives consistent with central government’s in certain areas, for example employment and education, and achieve a better outcome for all agencies and our community” says Cr Stonhill.

It is the intention of this collaborative project to build on, and support, existing collaborative initiatives and networks operating in Christchurch such as the Social Policy Interagency Network, Strengthening Families Committee, Safer Christchurch and Healthy Christchurch.

Formal communication and correspondence for this project will be between the Council’s social policy group and the Ministry’s Strategic Social Policy Group. A joint work plan, to guide the project’s activity, is to be completed and agreed between the parties by the end of this year.

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