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Get active in Your community, Maharey urges

23 August 2000 Media Statement

Dunedin Volunteer Centre Speech
Get active in Your community, Maharey urges

23 August 2000

New Zealanders should become more involved in their community, Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey says.

Speaking to community groups in Dunedin this afternoon Mr Maharey said that while the role of voluntary agencies often went unrecognised, strong local organisations are essential to build strong communities. The Government wants to encourage New Zealanders to give of their time and energy within their communities and is working to actively support the community and voluntary sector.

"Next year New Zealand will mark the International Year of the Volunteer. This is a chance to recognise the hard work many people already do in their communities.

"Equally next year is an opportunity to impress upon New Zealanders that we each have a responsibility to give back to the community which nurtured us, so that the next generation gets the best possible start in life.

"The Government has established a working group to develop a new framework for the relationship between the State and community and voluntary organisations. We want to harness the expertise of people well connected to their local communities, like Dunedin Council of Social Services Executive Director Pam Warren, to provide the right platform for the community to thrive.

"Local people and businesses need to get involved in their communities. Strong thriving communities are built by effort of local people and this is what we must encourage," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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