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PM & Cabinet negate their own commitment to Community

Thursday, 11 August 2011

PM and Cabinet negate their own supposed commitment to Community

Community organisations around the country will be deeply disappointed by the Government’s plan to axe the independent Charities Commission, said ANGOA Coordinator Dave Henderson.

“Government has made this decision despite strong contrary advice from organisations that work with the Commission,” he said.

“Worse - at the very same time - Prime Minister John Key welcomed community representatives at Parliament to sign up to Kia Tutahi – a new “Accord” that is supposed to signify a commitment by Government to a closer, more cooperative relationship with Communities.”

“Kia Tutahi was signed by the Prime Minister, and he committed Government to “acting in good faith”, “working cooperatively”, “being honest and open” and being “responsive to each other’s guidance and advice”. Now he has made a mockery of his own commitments.”

Dave Henderson said: “The Prime Minister and Cabinet have ignored every single concern we have raised about their proposal to merge the Commission into DIA – not one of them is addressed in the Cabinet papers.”

“This Government plans to unilaterally axe an entity which was established after over a decade of discussion with the sector and a detailed Select Committee process.”

“It is hard to see how the essential autonomy and independence of the Charities Commission can be maintained if it is absorbed into the Department of Internal Affairs.”

ANGOA believes that the plan to merge the Charities Commission with DIA will undo over a decades-worth of work within the NGO sector toward building an independent body that can act as a ‘guardian’ of what is charitable in New Zealand.

The independence of the Charities Commission was fundamental to the agreement between this sector and Government when the decision was made to proceed with the establishment of the Commission in 2005.

ENDS

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