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B2000: Closing the Gaps together

Hon Mark Gosche
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

15 June 2000


Closing the Gaps together

Today’s budget announcement will strengthen Pacific communities and ensure Government policies are closely monitored, says Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche.

“It recognises that the only way we can close disparity gaps between Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders is by working together,” he said.

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs will be boosted by:
 $563,000 per annum to contract Pacific community workers throughout the country;
 $630,000 per annum to boost its own capacity to monitor all government policies that impact on Pacific peoples; and
 $100,000 per annum in capital funding.

The extra funding to bolster the ministry’s organisational capacity reflects a 20% increase in ongoing funding for policy advice and monitoring – the first increase in the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs history.

“Today’s announcement reflects a new direction and a new partnership between Pacific communities and the Government,” said Mr Gosche.

“The extra funding will bolster the ability of Pacific communities to set their own goals and develop their own strategies. Building on existing networks that work for Pacific peoples will be a key focus for the ministry,” said Mr Gosche.

“For the first time in its history the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs will finally have the ability to closely monitor Government policies that impact on Pacific peoples in New Zealand.”

“Furthermore the performance agreements of most public service chief executives now includes a clause on their responsiveness to Pacific New Zealanders.”

“Closing social disparity gaps that exist between Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders cannot be solved by the Government alone and nor can they be solved by Pacific communities working in isolation,” said Mr Gosche.


ENDS


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