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Sponsorship Scheme enhances Treaty knowledge

Regional Sponsorship Scheme events to enhance knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi

New Plymouth, Nelson and Coromandel community groups are the first to receive Sponsorship Scheme funding under the Treaty of Waitangi Unit Information Programme, Tia Barrett, Director of the State Services Commission's Treaty of Waitangi Unit, announced today.

The Sponsorship Scheme was announced late last year. The Scheme gives community-based groups access to funding for seminars, workshops or hui centred around enhancing knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Sponsorship Panel has now considered the first group of applications from community groups. The Panel includes two members of the Information Programme's Advisory Board, officials from Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the Treaty of Waitangi Information Unit.

"The Panel's recommendations to fund three applications from community groups in New Plymouth, Nelson and Coromandel were approved by the Treaty Unit's Advisory Board.

"The New Plymouth forum is being organised by the local Waitangi Day organising group and will be recorded and broadcast on National Radio at 10 pm on Waitangi Day. With the backing of the New Plymouth District Council, the forum will feature local and national speakers discussing the Treaty of Waitangi and its effects on the past, present and future of New Zealand. It is open to the public, free of charge, and the organisers hope people will engage in discussion during the forum," Mr Barrett said.

"In Nelson, the Tasman Bays Heritage Trust is holding a weekend workshop for community members involved in the heritage sector, including volunteers, to look at Treaty issues in general and their relevance to the region.

"A one-day seminar at Colville in the Coromandel is intended to improve understanding of the Treaty by community members and organisations."

Mr Barrett said that the Sponsorship Scheme has had a good initial response.

"We are looking forward to receiving more applications from local and community-based groups. Applications received will be looked at every two months, with the next round being considered at the end of March," Mr Barrett said.

Further information on the Sponsorship Scheme, and application forms, can be accessed at www.ssc.govt.nz

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