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Strengthening Our Communities

7 March 2001 Hon Jim Anderton Speech Notes


Speech notes for Hohepa Canterbury Homes fundraising launch

4.30 pm Tuesday 13 March 2001

23 Barrington Street
Christchurch

I am honoured to be asked here today to officially launch the campaign to raise funds for building new facilities for Hohepa Canterbury.

One of the strong motivations that led me to enter politics was a concern that all New Zealanders were given the opportunity to lead as successful and fulfilling lives as possible.

This means ensuring security and opportunity for all of us regardless of our incomes, backgrounds or capabilities.

One issue that generates a significant amount of traffic through my Wigram electorate office is facilities and support for people who have intellectual and physical disabilities.

Family after family has come to me in desperation because they have not been able to get adequate help or care for a family member who has different needs than most other New Zealanders.

In the last 20 or so years while the income gap between the haves and the have-nots has increased, the burden of poverty has been pushed onto those who are least able to bear it.

People with disabilities and their families have had to work harder than other families. However they have been supported by dedicated professional staff and institutions such as those of Hohepa Canterbury.

I am impressed with you and your work. You have opened your doors and your hearts to people who were de-institutionalised by government policies. Your resident and day pupil numbers have risen dramatically from when you started and when I first visited you. Rather than turning people away you want to improve your facilities to cater for more who need the help you can provide.

One thing that strikes me about your work is your unwaivering dedication to people with intellectual disabilities, and your commitment to partnerships to achieve your goals.

I see in your newsletters you work with other professional groups, and you involve the families of your residents and day pupils. I am impressed with your approach to fundraising and the co-operative style you are developing to raise money.

I know we cannot solve our problems and address issues by working in isolation. Partnership is the way you are achieving your aims here at Hohepa, and partnership is a cornerstone of this Government's work to improve the standard of living for all New Zealanders.

As a nation we need to work together to create the New Zealand we want.

It is partnership that founded this Government. Labour and the Alliance work together. We also work with other parties to govern this country.

We meet and listen to business, local authorities, iwi, communities and individuals in order to fulfil our commitment to rebuild New Zealand.

One of the major goals of this Labour Alliance Coalition Government has been to deliver on what we promised. A government that delivers on its promises is something New Zealanders have not been used to and has been hard for many to believe would ever exist again. But that is exactly what we have set out to do.

We have increased benefits and superannuation. We have restored income-related rents for houses and we are lowering the level of unemployment.

I continue to be impressed at Kiwis determination and innovation to do better.

Hohepa Canterbury today launches a programme to raise $1.5 million dollars. You are going to build a new recreation centre and to make a range of other changes to your facilities which are now too small for your excellent work.

Like me the timeframe you have is three years. Personally I want more than three years while you would probably like to do it in a lot less.

I have been impressed with the business like manner in which you are setting out to achieve your objectives and the partnerships you are creating to make this a reality.

Your Fundraising Management Team is committed and organised. I have seen some evidence of the ways they have broken your target down to manageable and staged bites to make it more achievable.

The proposals you have put together show a realistic understanding of what is possible and how you will achieve what you need.

The materials I have seen from your fundraising team show discipline and some great ideas.

I wish you all the best for this visionary effort. I welcome your commitment to making your residents and day pupils lives better.

You are making families and New Zealand better and I am proud you are in my electorate just down the road from where I live.

I look forward to returning here in a little over three years.

At that time, I hope to be able to open your new facilities and compare again what we have all achieved in the intervening years.

Ends

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