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Making it Happen in the Far North

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

1 April 2014

Making it Happen in the Far North

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has thanked the Far North communities of Te Hiku o Te Ika for laying out their plan of what social services are required in the district to support people in need.

“Last year I launched the ‘Make it Happen Te Hiku’ project, asking the community to tell me what services they need, and how they want them delivered,” Mrs Bennett said.

“This is a new initiative where the community was given a blank sheet of paper, and challenged to come up with a plan to ensure social spending in Kaitaia and the wider district is effective.”

Today, that report is being released and signals the beginning of work between the Te Hiku community, social service agencies and government to implement the plan.

Approximately 1,250 people from Te Hiku took part in consultation last year, expressing a desire to build a more prosperous region, with a strong emphasis on improving health and wellbeing.

The report identifies a range of areas to focus on, including:
• increasing enrolment rates in Kura Kaupapa and early childhood education
• increasing NCEA achievement rates
• raising medium household incomes
• reducing youth offending

A community-led governance group will lead work to address these issues.

The Make it Happen Te Hiku Community Report is closely linked with and supports the Te Hiku Social Development and Wellbeing Accord signed by the Prime Minister and Iwi leaders last year.

The Accord involves nine government agencies working alongside Te Hiku to determine the interventions needed in the community, before collaborative work begins.

“As I said when I put the challenge to Te Hiku last year, the way it's always been done doesn't have to be how it's done now,” Mrs Bennett said.

“We have a great opportunity to actually turn things around for this community, and with the support from Iwi, NGOs, and over 1,200 residents who contributed to this report, we have a community-led plan to turn talk into action for Te Hiku.”

Copies of the Make it Happen Te Hiku Community Report are available at: www.msd.govt.nz/

ENDS

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