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Councillor sceptical of new relationship agreement

Councillor sceptical of new government relationship agreement

A Gisborne District Councillor is not convinced a new document being signed around the country is worth the paper it is written on.

Manu Caddie says the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord may be a step backwards compared to a previous agreement signed by the Labour-led government in 2001.

According to Mr Caddie the Accord being signed in Gisborne today has removed any concrete commitments about consultation, involvement in policy development and resourcing for communities replacing the previous document with very high level 'principles' which may mean very little in practice” says Mr Caddie. "At this time we need to have greater clarity about central government's commitment to support the priorities of local communities, not vague platitudes that have taken 18 months to progress with no specific agreements on the most important aspects of the relationship.

The 2001 agreement was criticised as not concrete enough by both the Office of the Community & Voluntary Sector's own review and the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations independent review. The Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord was supposed to be response to that but instead it has gone backwards.

Mr Caddie says the Accord has also fudged who the agreement is with. The original 2001 agreement was focused on the relationship between the Crown and non-governmental community organisations but the new Accord is with "the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand".

Mr Caddie participated in early stages of the Accord development process but says many individuals and organisations in the community sector became disillusioned with the process and are very disappointed with the document as it stands.


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