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Tariana Turia sees early impacts of global capital

Tariana Turia sees early impacts of global capital crisis hitting Community and Voluntary Sector

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

Thursday 27 November 2008

It has taken just one week into the job for new Minister of the Community and Voluntary Sector, Tariana Turia, to identify direct repercussions happening at home in response to the global capital crisis.

“This morning, the Bay Trust announced it was temporarily suspending the bulk of its grant programme as a result of the effects of ‘unprecedented worldwide financial difficulties’ “ said Mrs Turia.

“The release announced that the value of the investments had fallen considerably and as a result the Trust was suspending their grants programme, a programme that has exceeded $4 million a year in recent years”.

“It is perhaps timely to remember that over one million volunteers gave more than 270 million hours of unpaid work to community groups in 2004 – at an estimated $3.31 billion” said Mrs Turia.

“The generosity and the spirit of manaakitanga demonstrated by so many New Zealanders is overwhelming” said Mrs Turia.

“These groups play a huge role in supporting community well-being and development through the contribution they make to education, health, tourism, housing, social services, sport and recreation and broader community development”.

“This contribution is vital in the creation of strong and sustainable communities” said Mrs Turia.

“The shock, therefore, of funding shortfalls in response to the economic downturn is severe, and will have ripple effects across many areas” said Mrs Turia.

“The support that organisations like the Bay Trust provide to our communities is an investment in community growth and capacity” said Mrs Turia. “Local sources tell me that the backing of the Trust has been an invaluable mechanism for building and maintaining community cohesion, and the decision to pull the funding will create immediate pressures across the wider Bay of Plenty. Contributions such as reimbursement of petrol costs, or payments of an honorarium, are often important means of making it possible for volunteers to volunteer ".

“As Minister for the Community and Voluntary sector I will be keeping a close eye on the situation, to ensure Government is fully appraised of the likely effects across our communities; effects which must be fully considered in any proposals for transitional relief”.

ENDS

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