Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

To improve well-being, govt must fund NGOs fairly

The government’s plans to enhance well-being and tackle a number of social challenges in Aotearoa New Zealand are unachievable without the community / NGO sector being properly supported, ANZASW Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed said today.

“Non-government social service providers are potential game-changers in communities with the lowest levels of well-being according to the government’s own metrics,” Sandford-Reed said.

“Yet, like so many of the people they serve, these organisations have been struggling to make ends meet for years. We know from members and service users that the programmes provided are making a difference, but at the same time they are falling behind in their ability to meet the demand in their communities because of under-resourcing,” she noted.

“If the government is serious about reducing poor social statistics and promoting well-being this should be the very next item on their agenda,” she continued.

The severity of the shortfall was highlighted in ‘Social Service System: The Funding Gap and How to Bridge it,’ an independent report commissioned by the Social Services Providers Aotearoa (SSPA), which was released this week. It shows that community social services are being under-funded by $633 million and that social service providers are receiving only two thirds of the costs they require to deliver their programmes.

“At a time when there is a high demand for social services, and data on social indicators of well-being are delivering a stark message, it is unjustifiable that funding gap for social services in the irreplaceable community-based NGO sector is well over half a billion dollars,” Sandford-Reed said.

“Among the hardest hit by this under-funding crisis are Māori Providers employing social workers who are working on the frontlines of the crises that the government says it wants to end,” she added.

“Take the dire statistics on suicide in the Māori community, for example: to meaningfully address the issue, community-based organisations need to recruit and retain experienced staff and receive sustainable funding, rather than relying on philanthropic funders to fill the gaps. The only way this can be done is by the government making commitments,” she observed.

A big part of this is for Government to ensure pay parity for social workers in the NGO sector so that social work professionals are not drawn away to statutory agencies where the pay can be as much as a third higher,” Sandford-Reed said.

“To this end, the Public Service Association has filed a pay equity claim for NGO social workers, a move which we fully support,” she added.

“Social services in this country are already close to being a two-tier system, given the pay and funding divides between state agencies and community organisations,” she noted.

“It is often claimed that the NGO sector does not work with the same level of complex family and community situations that Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children, does therefore pay disparity is acceptable. Yet both sectors engage in similarly challenging work, often supporting both children / tamariki and their caregivers, engaging with the whole family / whānau as they address multiple, inter-connected issues; in many cases in direct partnership with state agencies,” Sandford-Reed observed.

“It is often the NGO social worker who is the first to assess whether a person is being neglected or abused and who takes a range of actions to address this. They consequently are often the first to draw attention to a situation of vulnerability, who is most likely exposed to the most graphic detail of this, then has to make immediate and complex decisions to involve other services,” she continued.

“We hope that politicians across the political spectrum heed this report and adopt its recommendations, including fully funding all essential services provided by NGOs,” she concluded.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels