Transition planning for Relationships Aotearoa clients underway
Social Development Ministry Deputy Chief Executive Murray Edridge is confident that Relationships Aotearoa clients will
be well served with Stand and other providers supporting the transition.
“Stand, Lifeline and Vitae are reputable and experienced counselling service providers and between the three agencies
can deliver appropriate services to RA clients including family violence and trauma counselling. Barnardos and Family
Works while not actively involved at this stage remain on hand if needed,” says Mr Edridge.
“Stand has infrastructure in place to take on and manage clinical staff. Since Friday, half of the 70 RA clinical staff
members have contacted Stand wanting to join them including RA’s clinical management team. Vitae has the ability to take
on any RA contractors wishing to continue with their clients.
“Lifeline remains a contact point for any clients or other people needing information or counselling services in the
interim. Lifeline also has offices throughout the country where face to face counselling can occur, it runs a suicide
prevention helpline and all of its operators are trained in suicide prevention. People can ring the Lifeline Helpline on
0800 543 354.
“MSD has current contracts with all the providers that are easily adjusted to incorporate this new work. The annual
funding for RA of $4.7 million remains available for national counselling services.
“RA is being deliberately obstructive. RA is insolvent and made the decision to close tomorrow despite being funded
until 30 June 2015.
“I’m urging RA to work with Stand so that clients can remain connected with those counsellors transferring to Stand.
“The Privacy Commissioner has indicated that it is a straightforward exercise for Stand to take over the client files.
“As soon as RA hands over the client information, detailed planning for regional services can be completed. In the
meantime existing RA clients can ring Lifeline,” says Mr Edridge