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Relationships Aotearoa - our story

Relationships Aotearoa - our story

“ There has been a lot of media since yesterday about Relationships Aotearoa (RA) not meeting our contracted volumes and needing successive bail outs. We would like to set the record straight,” says Dr Jane Allison, new Interim Board Chair of Relationships Aotearoa (RA).

“This is our story:
• 60,000 clients, 25-30,000 seen nationally each year and 30,000 for ChCh Earthquake since the first earthquakes - demand for this service is still growing.
7,000 clients disrupted immediately – involving CYFS, mental health, courts & police. Stress for these clients can trigger suicidal acts or homicidal violence. At best it breaks the trust and engagement with clinicians.
• Successive funding cuts since 2012 of nearly $5 million. Not funding top ups, just cuts that were not coordinated among departments or with reasonable timeframes.
We responded as best we could saving nearly $4.5 million. After one off costs of a substantive change we were going close to break even this year but an unfunded requirement to train for new MoJ contracts changed this.
• Separate ring-fenced and audited $1.3m to build an integrated IT and clinical practice system based on internationally researched evidence that monitors the effectiveness of our client interventions, so we spent the right amount of time in the right way with clients. We have better outcomes for less money than MSD does.
Ring-fenced money was not allowed for service delivery and this was not bail out funding - and this was audited. RA was the only NGO that succeeded in delivering a leading edge system that government wanted so they can log on to check our productivity and client outcomes. We have other NGOs asking us to provide this service for them as well. This is crucial sector capability.
• RA funded the shortfall of unrealistic contracts on a promise that government knew they were underfunded and was putting more realistic outcome-based contracts in place after the budget. We were told to be prepared and we are. We were told to be patient but this has created the present crisis.”

“We are battling for our clients and our highly trained committed staff, says Dr Allison.

ENDS

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