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Government Backs By-Community, For Community

10 December 2000

Local solutions to local welfare problems are being promoted in 2001 through the Government's new $1.5 million Stronger Communities Action Fund, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey was announcing the seven communities who will be the first to trial the Government's new Stronger Communities Action Fund in 2001. The communities will be given responsibility for determining and purchasing the mix of social services appropriate to promote the well being of children and families in their area.

"Partnership with local communities has great potential to significantly improve the quality and range of social services available to New Zealanders.

"The seven communities (and the lead coordinating bodies) that will trial the Stronger Communities Action Fund in 2001 are:
 Hokianga (coordinated by Nga Puhi);
 Ranui (coordinated by Waitakere City Council);
 Glen Innes (coordinated by Auckland City Council);
 Whakatane (coordinated by Ngati Awa);
 Mangakino (coordinated by Taupo District Council);
 Porirua (coordinated by Pacific Safer Community Council); and,
 Invercargill (coordinated by Ngai Tahu).

"Funding for each individual area will be announced next year.

"These initial communities were chosen according to criteria developed by Child, Youth and Family which balanced social need, the presence of a solid organisation to manage the available funding and the desire to trial the programme in a range of communities.

"Depending on how well the programme works in practice additional communities may also be invited to join the trial. Child, Youth and Family will be providing support for the management bodies involved in the trial and assessing the results of the project.

“The Government is very keen to support local communities in identifying and meeting their own needs. The Stronger Communities Action Fund is the start of bringing more power to the their arm,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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