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Community and Government Sector Steering Group

5 September 2001 Media Statement

Community and Government Sector Steering Group appointed

A ten member Steering Group to work on practical ways of improving the relationships between the community sector and government agencies was announced today by Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey.

The Minister said the Steering Group’s work programme would be based on the recommendations of the Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party, which reported to the Government in April.

“The Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party looked at the reasons why the community sector’s relationship with government was under strain and what might be done about it.

“The Government largely agreed with the Working Party’s recommendations and I have asked for a joint community and government work programme to look at three main areas:

- improving participatory processes around policy development and policy making;

- improving funding and accountability arrangements; and

- strengthening the community sector.

“Threading through each of these work streams will be work to improve public servants understanding of community and voluntary sector organisations.

“The Steering Group will lead the work, monitor progress and report directly to me.

“Dorothy Wilson, who was an excellent chair of the Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party, has agreed to make her expertise and time available for the follow-up work and will chair the Steering Group.

“The other members of the steering group who will be working with Dorothy are:

- Enid Leighton, General Manager, Ngati Awa Social and Health Service from Whakatane;

- Tuari Potiki, Social Development Manager, Ngai Tahu Development Corporation from Christchurch;

- Tina Reid, Executive Director of the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations from Wellington;

. . / 2

- Major Campbell Roberts, Salvation Army Division Commander from Christchurch;

- Samuelu (Sam) Sefuiva, General Manager, Auckland People's Centre from Auckland;

- John Stansfield, Programme Leader of UNITEC's Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management, from Auckland;

- Pat Webster, Executive Director, Council for International Development from Nelson;

- Don Clarke, Specialist: Development, Evaluation, Analysis and Programme Support, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and,

- Mike Hollings, General Manager Maori Development Policy, Te Puni Kokiri.

"Enid Leighton, John Stansfield and Don Clarke were also members of the Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party.

“The Steering Group will report to me in June 2002,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

The Community and Voluntary Sector Working Party's April 2001 report can be accessed at www.mosp.govt.nz/voluntary/

Background information: Community and Government Relationship

Phase Two work programme

The Working Party identified five areas for action:

- concerns about the relationship between iwi and the Crown;

- a sense by iwi and community organisations that they’ve been excluded from the policy process and decision-making and want a more participatory style of government;

- frustration with government funding and accountability arrangements, especially contracting;

- the sector is fragile but viable and needs strengthening; and,

- concern about the “culture of government” - that officials lack understanding of community and iwi organisations.

As recommended by the Working Party, the five areas of concern have been collapsed into three main areas of work:

1. Better participatory processes around developing and making policy

2. Improving funding and accountability arrangements

3. Strengthening the community sector.

“Culture of government”

Work on improving public servants understanding of community and voluntary sector organisations will thread through each of these work streams.

Relationship between iwi and the Crown

To address the concerns about the relationship between iwi and the Crown, the Working Party proposed the establishment of a highly mandated body - such as a Treaty of Waitangi Commission - to consider Crown / iwi relationships and to advise on future directions. Ministers, in particular the Prime Minister and the Minister of Maori Affairs, want to consider the wider issues further before responding.

The development of a formal Statement of Intent

A Government Statement of Intent for an Improved Relationship with the Community Sector will be developed to provide a clear signal that the Government is committed to a new way of working with the sector.


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