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New national body for community sector

New national body for community sector

Two national community sector umbrella organisations have unveiled a proposal to merge and create a new body linking together the community and voluntary sector. The community sector is huge – most recent numbers include nearly 100,000 organisations, with 105,000 staff and 270 million volunteer hours per year, generating 4.9% of NZ's GDP.

The two organisations - ANGOA and Social Development Partners - have been in discussions since November last year. They have now issued a formal proposal for their amalgamation to more than 200 members of both organisations, as well as to other partners and interested organisations across the community sector.

The group says that they are committed to ensuring the amalgamated entity responds to the core function of promoting and strengthening the community sector.

Chair of ANGOA, Marion Blake, says it will be a forum for the sector, practical support for the sector, and a public voice for the sector.

"The new body would work to build a robust community sector, to advance national wellbeing and to strengthen the collective voice of the sector."

Both ANGOA and Social Development Partners have been well-respected bodies in the community sector over many years. "We have a great history of work to support our sector," says New Plymouth-based, Social Development Partners' President, Simon Cayley.

"When organisations can look back on decades of history they have a right to claim a great deal of wisdom. However, they also need to remain mindful that society and the needs it faces will have changed significantly over this period."

"This new body will build on and go beyond that work to build a strong sector and strong communities."

"The decision by ANGOA and Social Development Partners to join together demonstrates not only our desire to take our combined wisdom into the future, but also to do so within a new and vibrant structure that will be relevant to the sector of tomorrow," says Cayley.

The new body would be a Charitable Trust, governed by a Trust Board. There will be a series of online discussions and face-to-face meetings over three months. AGMs will be held in September and October to decide on the new body, which could be in place by the end of December.

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