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Signing up to Kia Tutahi only the first step

1 August 2010

Signing up to Kia Tutahi only the first step

A group of Community Sector organisations is urging the Government to take real action to build stronger relationships with the Sector.

Today marks the launch of the Kia Tutahi Standing Together Relationship Accord, which several members of ComVoices - a group of national Community Sector organisations – expect to sign.

Coordinator of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA), Dave Henderson, said he hoped the Accord would mean that the Government committed to implementing practical steps to improve its relationship with community-based organisations.

“What we’d like to see are respectful, balanced relationships between the Government and Community Sector. That means that both parties are accountable.

“This Government needs to better recognise and acknowledge the expertise of people who come from a community background and framework, especially in policy development. Some government agencies have made progress, but others are missing out on opportunities to create more effective policies and services for New Zealanders.

“Kia Tutahi is the latest in a long line of accords and papers that have aimed to outline how Government can work closely with the Community Sector. We really hope that this time there’s follow through.”

Tina Reid, Executive Director of the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (NZFVWO) said: “The success of any such accord will not depend on how many people sign today but on how much progress is made toward building better relationships.”

“We need to have a Government that recognises the Community Sector as an equal partner. That’s the best way for us to achieve stronger social and economic outcomes for New Zealand.”

The National Director of Prison Fellowship, Robin Gunston, said he was pleased that there was recognition that more work needed to be done to improve the relationship between Government and community organisations. Now, he said, the Government must implement the changes it has recommended.

“We strongly believe that Kia Tutahi must be meaningful in its ongoing action, especially where it comes to policy and contracts.”

ENDS

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