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Government invests in strong communities

Hon Ruth Dyson
Social Development and Employment

Government invests in strong communities

This government’s investment in strong families and communities will be significantly advanced through Budget 2008, Social Development and Employment Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

This includes $446.5 million announced by the Prime Minister in February, to fully fund contracted essential services delivered by community organisations for vulnerable families, children and young people. This includes $133.1 million of reprioritised spending. These organisations will also receive regular funding increases to reflect changes in cost and demand.

“This government’s record of lifting children out of poverty, reducing unemployment, and improving the skills of our young people could not have been achieved without the strong support and close relationship between Government and community organisations,” said Ruth Dyson.

“The new funding model further promotes that cooperative approach, and we are now concentrating more on early intervention and positive results for children, young people, families and communities.

“The focus on achieving good outcomes is reinforced with a $24.6 million boost to assist 7,500 caregivers caring for more than 10,000 children. This new funding enables the Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Orphan’s Benefit (UCB/OB) to match the Foster Care Allowance (FCA) weekly rates from 1 April 2009. This is not only a positive investment in our children but is also recognition of the valuable role that carers – particularly grandparents – play when children cannot be with their parents.”

Budget 2008 will further strengthen partnerships with community groups through a number of initiatives, such as:
• $2 million over four years to support strong ethnic communities, to expand participation and capacity, and support advice forums and events. This funding demonstrates the government's commitment to meaningful dialogue between communities, promotion of intercultural skills for Government, business and the community, and raising awareness and the quality of debate in New Zealand in relation to diversity and cultural identity.
• $1 million in 2008/09 for the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association (RNZRSA) to support veterans’ welfare.
• $368,000 for the newly established Vietnam Veterans and Their Families Trust.


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