Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Community sector neglected by Govt during pandemic

The Government must re-establish the Community Sector Reference Group after neglecting the sector throughout the Covid lockdown, National’s Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Maureen Pugh says.

It’s been revealed through a written parliamentary question that the only engagement Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan had with the sector during the recent nationwide Level 4 lockdown was speaking at a church group’s virtual quarterly meeting.

“The Minister has failed to support the community sector when New Zealand needs it the most. Its leaders deserve an opportunity to voice their concerns for the sector to the Minister.

“It’s our volunteers and community groups who were key in keeping our vulnerable New Zealanders fed, sheltered and looked after during the lockdowns, but the Government has taken few measures to support them in doing this.”

In a 2020 survey of the community sector, 74 per cent of respondents reported a reduction or expected reduction in funding and 59 per cent indicated that they had to cut back on service delivery as a result of Covid-19, despite the increased demand.

“Throughout the March and April 2020 lockdown, the previous Minister formed the Community Sector Reference Group to meet with representatives from the sector and understand what government support they needed to sustain their essential services,” Ms Pugh says.

“Almost a year into her term as Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan has taken minimal action to re-establish this group, and members of the 2020 group have had few opportunities to communicate their needs to her.”

Ms Pugh has written to the Minister asking her to urgently re-establish the Community Sector Reference Group to hear what additional support the sector needs to sustain its essential services to families in need.

“The community sector is under increased pressure, and they are not receiving the support they need,” Ms Pugh says.

“Food banks, emergency accommodation providers, and other essential community services are continuing to operate in Auckland’s prolonged lockdown, and additional support will be required to maintain services.

“The Government should be partnering with those who are looking after our most vulnerable so they know what they need to be able to make a difference in those lives.”

Notes to editors:

WPQ is attached. Survey referenced can be found here.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19, 21/9: 1,123 Overall Cases, 4,800,000+ Vaccine Doses

15 new cases have been discovered in Auckland, which has moved to Level 3 as of Tuesday night. 844 of the Auckland cases have recovered alongside all of the Wellington cases... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Canada’s Election, And The AUKUS Defence Pact

Yesterday, Canada held an election in which everyone lost, including the voters. After holding its most expensive ( $C600 million) election campaign ever, the result was Groundhog Day, with the five main parties getting almost exactly the same number of seats as they did last time around, in 2019. Same overall result too: Liberals leader and PM Justin Trudeau will once again be leading a minority government... More>>


Government: Expert Group Appointed To Lead New Zealand’s Future Health System
An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says... More>>


Green Party: Kiwis Overseas Must Be Allowed To Vote Next Year
New Zealanders stranded overseas should be allowed to vote in next year’s local government elections and the 2023 general election, the Green Party said today. “The reality of this pandemic is lots of people cannot renew their voting rights when they are home as they normally would... More>>

Government: Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe

The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today... More>>


Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Child Poverty Action Group: Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown

The current lockdown has triggered the largest weekly increase in benefit recipient numbers since the first lockdown last year, and Child Poverty Action Group is concerned the Government isn't doing enough to assist affected families... More>>




InfoPages News Channels