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Maharey Signals New Era Of Strong Partnerships

A new era of strong and active partnerships between government and community organisations was outlined by Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Speaking at Volunteering New Zealand's first national conference this morning, Mr Maharey outlined the government's response to the report of Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party. The report called for fundamental, long-term change in the relationship between central government and New Zealand's approximately 60,000 voluntary organisations.

"Reinvigorating our spirit of generosity and participation is the key to realising a vision of New Zealand as a vibrant and creative, successful and inclusive nation.

"Concrete work is now underway to progress the report's recommendations, including:

- the development of a formal Statement of Intent which outlines how state agencies intend changing the way they relate to non-government partners (by September);

- the establishment of a small community-based steering group, chaired by Dorothy Wilson who led the Working Party, is also to be formed to work through the report's other recommendations;

- demonstration partnership projects across a number of government agencies such as the Stronger Communities Action Fund and the recently established Pacific Social Service Consortiums (both coordinated by Child, Youth and Family);

- a injection of $2.19m over four years to support volunteering;and,

- work within the Ministry of Social Policy to lower the compliance costs faced by community provides who contract with government agencies.

"The 'third sector' is a major contributor to New Zealand society. Approximately 1.1 million New Zealanders do some form of voluntary work in their communities and over $1.3b of taxpayer and other funds is invested annually in the services provided by community organisations.

"The Labour-Alliance government wants to realise the potential offered by effective partnerships between government and the 'third sector'," Steve Maharey said.

Ends


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