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Community-Govt. relationship report recieved

22 July 2002

Maharey receives Community-Govt. relationship report

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey is promising that Labour in government will continue to strengthen the community and voluntary sector and improve its relationship with government.

Steve Maharey met with Community-Government Relationship Steering Group Chair Dorothy Wilson in Waitakere this afternoon to receive the group’s report. The Steering Group was established in September 2001 to work on practical ways of improving the relationships between the community sector and government agencies.

“Over one million New Zealanders undertake some form of voluntary work in their communities and over $1.3 billion of taxpayer and other funds is invested annually in the services provided by community sector organisations. It is vital that these organisations and government have the best possible working relationship.

“Labour is committed to a full consideration of the report’s recommendations. We want to take practical and workable steps that will make a real difference for people who work in the community sector.

“In line with Labour’s social security policy released recently, Labour in government over the next three years will:
- make government services more co-ordinated and more flexible - so that common-sense solutions are found for people when they need them;
- continue to invest in the community and voluntary sector;
- continue to improve funding arrangements for community organisations – so they can get on with their real work of helping people; and
- make it easier for volunteers to get on with the important work they do without unnecessary barriers from government.

“As we saw last year during the 2001 International Year of the Volunteer, community and voluntary organisations sit at the heart of our communities. Whether it be coaching school sports teams, delivering meals on wheels or providing budget advice - they provide the “glue” that holds our communities together.

“Labour stands ready to be an active partner with community and voluntary agencies so that they can get on with their essential work,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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