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Funding Change Significant Move in Right Direction

NATIONAL COLLECTIVE of INDEPENDENT WOMEN’S REFUGES INC.

MEDIA RELEASE – 12 FEBRUARY 2008

Funding Change a Significant Move in Right Direction

Women’s Refuge says today’s announcement by the Prime Minister of a change in future funding arrangements is a very promising and long overdue step in the right direction.

The Chief Executive of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, Heather Henare, says the Government’s move to improved and more sustainable funding should provide greater relief and certainty to Refuges throughout the country.

“We’ve been telling Ministers and officials for some time now about the incredible strain and pressure Refuges, staff and volunteers have been working under to deliver services.”

Ms Henare says Women’s Refuge has been lobbying for sustainable funding for a long time, and was deeply disappointed last year’s budget bid was rejected.

“A cost analysis we did with Child Youth and Family showed we were only getting about 44-percent Government funding for the services we’re providing.”

She says today’s move is definitely a step in the right direction and will help Women’s Refuge regain some of the financial ground has lost so badly in recent years.

“I am encouraged to see this shift, but we will now have to see just what it means in terms of actual additional dollars to help meet the real cost of our services for women and children.”

Ms Henare says she was briefed this afternoon by the Minister of Social Development Ruth Dyson and told her that she is very heartened to see the Government recognising the terrific strain the NGO sector has been under providing vital services to the community.

“Under this new regime we look forward to getting 100-percent funding for existing services.”

Ms Henare says she notes the emphasis the Government is placing on the NGO sector working collaboratively and says this is something Women’s Refuge and other groups it has been working alongside to eliminate family violence are also committed to.


ENDS

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