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Communities miss out in Budget

Budget 2017 has left community and NGO providers feeling exposed about the services they provide to vulnerable families especially in smaller towns and communities, says Labour’s Whānau Ora Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.

“Approximately $40m will go into Whānau Ora to work with an extra 2500 families. Commissioning agencies will be celebrating but sadly it has come at the expense of other service providers who make a critical difference to vulnerable families with complex needs.

“Leading up to the election many providers had been informed that their funding commitments would only continue until June after which time, they will know whether or not funding will continue for the next financial year. 

“The Budget appears to be cherry-picking service models that create competition within communities rather than addressing the complex needs for whānau that require a better range of service supports. 

“The Government has rejected the concerns coming from the community and the voluntary sector that seeks to build capacity and strengthen the provision of services for whānau with complex needs. 

“Sadly this Budget is a hotchpotch of initiatives that appear to make it easier to live in poverty. If ever there was ever a tolerance for growing levels of inequality and poverty it is under this Government. 

“We need a whole new approach, one that focusses on creating more local jobs for local people, lifting household incomes and strengthening whole of community responses to complex need,” says Nanaia Mahuta.