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Huge interest in new voluntary sector group

30 June 2000 Media Statement

Huge interest in new voluntary sector working group

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey said he was pleased with the high level of interest being shown in the Government's plans to develop an agreement with the voluntary sector.

Three hundred and forty nominations have been received to fill seven positions on a new working party charged with develop the framework for an agreement between the Government and the community and voluntary sector. The working group is to be chaired by former Waitakere City Deputy Mayor Dorothy Wilson.

Steve Maharey said that 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.

"The level of interest shown in the working group reflects the importance people place on getting the relationship right.

"Over recent years the relationship between Government and the community and voluntary sector has been characterised by mistrust and insecurity. If successful partnerships are to be created we must move away from a narrow focus on contractualism and instead promote an honest flow of communication between both parties.

"The working party is being asked to consult widely amongst community and voluntary sector groups and to report back to the Government by 30 October on how we can progress our plans to develop a formal agreement with the sector.

"A selection panel is currently considering the nominations that have been received. Cabinet will appoint the members of the working party by the end of July," Steve Maharey said.

More information about the Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party can be found on the Ministry of Social Policy website at www.msp.govt.nz.

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