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Big gains for community sector: Green Party policy

7 August 2008
Please Note: Embargoed until 5pm

Big gains for community sector: Green Party policy launch

The Green Party believes the New Zealand economy and society would benefit hugely if the community sector was properly resourced and enabled to meet its full potential.

Speaking at the launch of the Green's policy for the 2008 election this afternoon, Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Sue Bradford announced a number of key new policies, including:

* Increasing COGS (Community Organisations Grants Scheme) funding to $34m a year up from $14m a year

* Strengthening the role of the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

* Funding a sector-led group to carry out serious and ongoing work on strengthening the NGO/Government relationship

* Developing a code of practice for funding and accountability arrangements between Government and NGOs, with comprehensive input from the community sector

* Re-establishing a Community Economic Development function within Government, following the loss of the Community Employment Group a few years ago

* Increased support for advocacy organisations, and Government recognition of the right of community groups to politically advocate for their issues even when in receipt of Government contracts or funding

* Working to get rid of pub pokies, eventually replacing pokie grants with a special $150m fund so the community and voluntary sector groups are no longer themselves addicted to the proceeds of gambling

Green Party Co Leader Russel Norman said in welcoming NGO leaders to the policy launch: "The Green Party takes the community and voluntary sector seriously. We know that as we face the challenges of the impact of climate change, peak oil and global recession head on, community organisations are going to play a vital role in nurturing and protecting our people and our environment."

The summary and full policy is available at this web link: http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/community


ENDS

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