14 April 2008 Media Statement
First things first – fully fund Pathway to Partnership
If Tariana Turia wants a more effective community and voluntary sector she should focus first on ensuring those groups providing essential services to families are fully funded, says Labour’s Voluntary and Community Sector spokesman Rajen Prasad.
Dr Prasad was responding to reports about Mrs Turia seeking to set up a bulk fund for community groups.
“While not enough detail has been made available to discern exactly what’s under consideration, it is clear that Labour’s Pathway to Partnership was essentially a bulk fund for community organisations working with families.
“Under Pathway to Partnership, 850 of these organisations were to be fully funded by 2012 through a four year $446 million injection. This was to give the sector much-needed funding security, allowing them to plan ahead with certainty and to attract and retain qualified staff,” Dr Prasad said.
“Pathway to Partnership, announced in 2008, acknowledged that community organisations were sometimes better placed than core government agencies to provide practical support for families and was also designed to reduce duplication of services.
“Despite all this, the Government has repeatedly refused to guarantee the sector that these funding increases will be delivered.
“In times of economic hardships NGOs should be able to get on with helping ordinary New Zealanders but instead they could be too busy fund raising to help all those who need it,” Dr Prasad said.
“It is not a great state of affairs where the wealthy get tax cuts and essential community groups face potential funding cuts.
“As the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector,Tariana Turia needs to focus on first things first and give the sector what it needs to hear more than anything - and that is a commitment to Pathway to Partnership funding.”