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Community & Voluntary Sector Working Group

Community & Voluntary Sector Working Group announced

Former Waitakere City Deputy Mayor Dorothy Wilson is to chair a new working group being established to develop the framework for an agreement between the Government and the community and voluntary sector, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Steve Maharey announced today.

The contribution made by the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand has grown considerably in recent years and the Government wants to ensure it is fully recognised and valued. Nominations for seven non-government positions on the 10-member working party are now open and close on 23 June 2000. The working group has been asked to report back to the Minister by 30 September 2000.

"An independent and diverse community and voluntary sector is essential to the health and wellbeing of our society. Labour and the Alliance are serious about encouraging greater participation in voluntary organisations because we recognise their value in building stronger communities.

"Government relationships with community and voluntary sector have been characterised by mistrust and insecurity. We want to move past the narrow focus on what is in the contract to develop strong relationships based on the concept of partnership.

"$270,000 will be provided in the budget to resource the working group in 2000/01 - $200,000 in new funding and a further $70,000 of reprioritised expenditure within Vote:Social Services.

“Dorothy Wilson is well suited to lead the working group. She has a long history of involvement in community affairs, including leadership roles in local government and community organisations.

“We are seeking Mäori, pakeha, Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders with links to the grassroots in their own communities as well as the capacity to reflect the wider interests of the third sector to make up the remaining positions on the working group.

"Tomorrow the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mark Burton, and I will announce details of how the Government intends to mark the International Year of Volunteers being commemorated in 2001. Today's announcement that we have established the community and voluntary sector working group indicates the increasing importance of the third sector in the everyday lives of New Zealanders," Steve Maharey said.

ends

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