INDEPENDENT NEWS

Voluntary Sector Asks Nats To Come Clean on Plans

Published: Thu 15 Sep 2005 10:36 AM
15 September 2005
For Immediate Release
Community And Voluntary Sector Calls On National Party To Come Clean About Its Intentions For The Sector
COMVOICES, an independent coalition of Tangata Whenua, and community and voluntary sector organisations is calling on the National Party to publicly release its community and voluntary sector policy.
The National Party has told the sector that it does have a policy but is not intending to publicly announce it before the election.
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA) National Coordinator Dave Henderson said the National Party’s deafening silence on its community and voluntary sector policy suggested that community groups could expect to take the brunt of National’s proposed tax cuts.
“Our advice from the National Party is that Don Brash is not announcing any more policy between now and the election and yet we have no formal policy announcement for the 60,000 Tangata Whenua, and community and voluntary organisations that cover every aspect of New Zealand society.
“The money for the National Party’s proposed tax cuts is going to have to come from somewhere. We want some assurances that it’s not going to impact on community and voluntary sector funding because that will mean cuts in services.
“Without a policy New Zealanders don’t have any idea what they are planning,” he said.
New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations’ Executive Director Tina Reid said it was irresponsible of the National Party not to release its policy in a transparent and public way before voters went to the polls on Saturday, 17 September 2005.
“The sector provides enormous value and touches all New Zealanders through everything from local sports and recreation clubs, playcentres and kohanga reo; as well as through the services of organisations like IHC, Citizens Advice Bureau and iwi-based service providers.
“It is insulting to the democratic process for a major political party to fail to release their policy on such a huge part of New Zealand society,” she said.
Iris Pahau, Community Sector Taskforce Development Manager, said voters deserved to know what National’s priorities for the sector were.
“Tangata Whenua who are involved in the community and voluntary sector are taking on more and more responsibility for providing government services. They will have a large role in determining what New Zealand will look like in the future and yet the National Party doesn’t even think that the sector warrants a policy announcement, let alone engagement,” she said.
ENDS

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