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Important Mayoral Membership

*Tamaki Community Board Offers To Pay Important Mayoral Membership***

The Tamaki Community Board has offered to pay the $5,000 fee for Auckland City Council's membership of the Mayors*'* Taskforce for Jobs for the upcoming 2008–2009 financial year.

In March, Mayor John Banks announced that Auckland City Council would be withdrawing from the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs. At last night's Auckland City Council Annual Plan hearings, Board Chair Kate Sutton said that the Tamaki Community Board would pay the membership if the Council was not willing to pay.

Ms Sutton said, "Membership of the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs is $5,000 per year and membership means that we can access additional funding for the people of Auckland in excess of $400,000 annually from the Ministry of Social Development.

"Although $5,000 is a lot of money for a Community Board to pay, Tamaki Community Board members believe it is vitally important for Auckland's Mayor to join with the other Mayors of New Zealand to help all our young people be employed.

"We also think it's foolish to not access significant government funding when the Council can do this by paying a small fee.

"The Tamaki community was due to receive funding for a Youth Transitions service to help young school leavers into work, training or further study. Without Taskforce membership, Tamaki is unlikely to get government funding for this very important initiative."

ENDS


*Additional information*

The Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs is a nationwide network working on the issues of job creation and skill development in local communities. Begun in 2000 with 7 Mayors, the Taskforce now has a membership of 71, which is 97% of New Zealand's 73 Mayors. Currently only the Mayors from Chatham Islands Council and Wanganui District Council do not belong to the Taskforce, while the Auckland City Council membership instigated by Mayor Dick Hubbard will conclude on 30 June 2008.

The Taskforce's vision is that all young people under 25 years of age have the opportunity, and are encouraged, to be in paid work, in training or education, or in productive activities in our communities.

The Mayors' Task Force for Jobs makes a significant contribution to job creation and employment growth in the Auckland region through a number of local cadet, apprenticeship and job assistance schemes, particularly directed at unemployed young people and, to some extent, at migrants. Membership also helps develop a climate of co-operation between member local authorities to solve wider problems such as skills shortages

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