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Funding to support voice of community

Hon Tariana Turia
Minister of Community & Voluntary Sector
28 May 2009

Funding to support voice of community

Budget 2009 has allocated $1.2 million to strengthen local networks and give a voice to community groups that are often not heard in government processes, Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Tariana Turia says.

“In a tight economic environment, finding local solutions to cross-community issues is vital and stronger networks will help us to achieve that.

“Stronger tangata whenua and community and voluntary sector networks will be instrumental in finding solutions to important issues for the sector, such as strengthening governance, sharing resources and good management practices."

Mrs Turia says the initiative was also necessary because local organisations often did not have the opportunity to engage in the policy processes of central government.

The $400,000 annual initiative over three years, beginning in 2009/10, will involve refreshing the membership of the Community Sector Taskforce, which has experience in working with and building local community networks.

Around 97,000 non-profit organisations make up the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand. They employ 105,000 paid staff and over one million volunteers, who together contribute 4.9 per cent to gross domestic product.

Overall, the sector contributes $9.8 billion of expenditure into the economy annually. Paid staff and volunteers represent 9.6 per cent of the labour force – a larger workforce than significant industries such as construction, transport and storage and government administration and defence.

ENDS

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