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Government Told To Use Money Where Most Effective

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-THE-NATIONAL-COLLECTIVE INDEPENDENT WOMEN’S REFUGES

The Government has been told it must adequately support community organisations which are proving themselves in the area of delivering welfare and social services.

The call comes from National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges chief executive Merepeka Raukawa-Tait in response to comments by Associate Social Services Minister Tariana Turia who has accused the Child, Youth and Family Services of "downright prejudice".

Mrs Turia accused her own agency of having "absolute mistrust" of Maori families and iwi networks.

Mrs Raukawa -Tait says Mrs Turia is dead right. "What this Government must realise is that if the gaps between Maori and non-Maori are to be bridged this cannot be done without using third sector organisations which have proved themselves to be the best deliverers of assistance.

"It is a waste of taxpayers money to keep pouring money at the bureaucracy hoping it will solve Maori problems. This hasn't worked in the past, it is not working today and it won't work in the future." Mrs Raukawa-Tait says Women's Refuge, for example, has not had an increase in its funding from the Government for the past four years despite looking after 6000 women and 10,000 children in their safe houses around New Zealand together with undertaking a huge amount of work in the community.

"We are doing this on the smell of an oily rag, our workers both paid and unpaid are exhausted, but we keep going. If we had the resources we need we really could be making a major impact in addressing what is a major issue for this country." She says instead of putting an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff the Government must give organisations such as Women's Refuge tthe resources to do the job "The government must look to organisations such as Women's Refuge who have a commitment to ensuring all women , including Maori, have targeted assistance." Women's Refuge applauds the Associate Minister's statement says Mrs Raukawa-Tait.

"The 'absolute mistrust' has been evident towards Women's Refuge too by a number of Government agencies over the years. There is no other option now for those who have achieved nothing for Maori in the past but to get out of the road for those who can," she says.

ENDS

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