Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Alfred Ngaro says National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to mark the contribution of volunteers across the country and to get involved.
National Volunteer Week runs from 18-24 June.
“Volunteering does so much for New Zealand. Every week over 400,000 kiwis volunteer for registered charities. That obviously doesn’t represent all the other sectors where volunteers play a vital role, but adds up to over 2 million hours contributed to our communities,” says Mr Ngaro.
“From sports, recreation, arts, culture and heritage to emergency and social services, health, education, conservation, and the environment, volunteers contribute to almost every sector in New Zealand.
“It’s not just about numbers either. This year’s theme is ‘Live, Laugh, Share, Volunteer’ and that’s a great reflection of what volunteering gives to volunteers and communities.
“Whether it’s a general feeling of satisfaction at making a difference, the social nature of many opportunities or the new skills you may acquire, volunteering has as much to offer volunteers as it does to communities more generally.
“Volunteering is about sharing – your time, your energy and your resources. This week is about celebrating that. I’d encourage everyone to look up the opportunities and events in their area and to give volunteering a go.”
More information about National Volunteer Week, including suggestions of how to take part is available at www.nationalvolunteerweek.nz
More transitional housing is coming online every week across New Zealand, helping more vulnerable families in urgent need of housing.
“We’ve made a commitment to help New Zealanders find their feet in tough times, and our transitional housing places do just that,” Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.
“Nationwide we now have 1004 safe, warm and dry transitional places for families in need. This means 4000 households a year can benefit from the progress we’ve made so far. We’re on track to achieve our aim of 2150 places by the end of the year, which means many more will benefit.”
Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro says more places are scheduled to open in the coming weeks and months, particularly in Auckland.
“As winter sets in, it becomes even more important that families in need have access to safe, warm and dry housing, so these 1000 transitional places will be a significant help ,” Mr Ngaro says.
“441 of these 1000 places are in Auckland, where demand is highest. This means we can support 1764 Auckland families with a safe and secure place to stay while we find them.”
“The 2150 transitional housing places are just one part of our plan to support New Zealanders in need of housing, from urgent shelter to long-term social housing. We are also increasing the number of social houses from 66,000 today to 72,000 over the next three years,” Ms Adams says.
Hundreds of families in the Hawkes Bay will be helped through the Government’s social housing plans for the region, Ministers say.
“We’ve made a commitment to help New Zealanders find their feet when times are tough, and our plans for the Hawkes Bay will do just that,” Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.
Plans for 195 social housing places and 129 short-term transitional housing places will benefit around 711 local families a year.
“Our plans for the region are a recognition that access to safe, warm and dry housing is a growing area of concern, and we’re working hard to address those demands.
“We’re on track to have the short-term transitional housing places available by the end of the year, and expect to see the new social housing places coming on board over the next three years.”
Associate Minister for Social Housing, Alfred Ngaro visited one of the newly opened transitional housing places in Hastings today.
Mr Ngaro met with staff at the Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga run property to hear about the difference that transitional housing is making in the area.
“Every day, we’re hearing stories from our frontline about the great work being done by our community housing providers to help people in need,” says Mr Ngaro.
“This isn’t just about housing. The investment of $354 million the Government made last year into transitional housing recognises that many of our struggling families are facing further challenges. That’s why we’ve partnered with some fantastic community housing providers to make sure they’re getting further help to get back on their feet – from budgeting advice to cooking lessons or parenting support.
“Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga are a great example. They’re working extremely hard to help those in our community who need help to get back on their feet which is why it’s great that we’re able to support even more transitional housing developments”.
We’ve now secured 30 of our planned transitional housing places, meaning that we’re already in a position to help 120 local families this year, with more places scheduled to open in the coming weeks and months.”
The Minister for Pacific Peoples and the Community and Voluntary Sector, Alfred Ngaro, says this year’s Queens Birthday Honours list recognises the depth of leadership and commitment of those working in the community.
58 leaders have been honoured for their service, including eight from the Pacific community.
“These honours are an important, and well-deserved, recognition of people who have worked tirelessly in their communities to make a difference,” says Mr Ngaro.
“I’d like to congratulate them all.
“I’m particularly pleased to see La’auli Michael Jones has been recognised as a Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM).
“Most New Zealanders recognise La’auli as the most outstanding rugby player of his generation, but what they see less of is the commitment he puts into volunteering and into supporting Pasifika and Maori communities.
“Whether as Chairman of the Village Community Trust, a member of the Pacific Advancement Senior School (PASS) Board or as a coach for his son’s school rugby team; La’auli is dedicated to empowering Pacific youth and community.
“I’m proud to call La’auli a friend and proud to see his, and so many of our other dedicated leaders recognised in this year’s honours list.”
Mr Michael Niko Jones, MNZM, of Auckland. For services to the Pacific community and youth.
Ms Mary Tupai Ama, of Auckland. For services to the arts and the Pacific community.
Mr Roy James Austin, of Auckland. For services to children's health and the community.
Mr William Robert Dunbar, of Cromwell. For services to health and the community.
Mr Craig Clifford Emeny, of the Chatham Islands. For services to aviation and the community.
Assistant Commissioner Wallace Patrick Haumaha, QSM, of Wellington. For services to the New Zealand Police and Māori, Pacific and ethnic communities.
Mrs Janis Irene Ballantyne, of Te Awamutu. For services to education and the community.
Mr Stephen Edward Canny, of Invercargill. For services to the community, governance and cycling.
Mr Hamish Angus Crooks, of Auckland. For services to the Pacific community.
Ms Anne Crummer, of Auckland. For services to music.
Mr William Thomas Gray, QSM, JP, of Tolaga Bay. For services to Māori and the community.
Inspector Karen Lee Henrikson, of Hamilton. For services to the New Zealand Police and the community.
Mrs Sally Tupetalamataone Ikinofo, of Auckland. For services to education and Māori and Pacific communities.
Mr Robert Akhtar Zainal Khan, of Auckland. For services to broadcasting and the Indian community.
Mr Mereford Michael Meredith, of Auckland. For services as a restaurateur and to philanthropy.
Mr Lee Michael Christopher Robinson, of Christchurch. For services to the community and sport.
Mr John Roy-Wojciechowski, of Auckland. For services to the Polish community and philanthropy.
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Mr Toro Edward Reginald Waaka, of Napier. For services to Māori and the community.
Ms Mary Anne Garner, of Nelson. For services to the community.
Mrs Mary Bernadette Gavin, of Nelson. For services to women and the community.
Mr Michael John Gorman, of Christchurch. For services to the community.
Mrs Deirdre Anne Jolly, of Alexandra. For services to the community.
Mrs Mokataufoou Togakilo Sipeli, of Wellington. For services to the Niue community and education.
Mr Kerry John Bensemann, of Christchurch. For services to the community.
Mrs Beryl Mary Bowers, of Picton. For services to the community.
Mr Dermot Peter Byrne, JP, of Wellington. For services to the community.
Mrs Annie Naw Coates, of Wellington. For services to ethnic communities.
Mr Neville Terence Coslett, JP, of Papamoa. For services to the community.
Mrs Ana Maria de Vos Sanchez, JP, of Auckland. For services to ethnic communities.
Mr Brian Robert Dodds, of Balclutha. For services to healthcare and the community.
Mrs Doris Christine Dunn, of Auckland. For services to the community.
Ms Merrilyn Frances George, of Ohakune. For services to education and the community.
Mrs Jacqueline Barbara Grinder, of Matamata. For services to the community.
Mr Michael James Hanrahan, of Ashburton. For services to the community.
Mr Duncan John Hart, JP, of Marton. For services to the community.
Mrs Sandra Barbara Anne Hunter, of Matamata. For services to the community.
Mr Kulwinder Singh Jhamat, of Pokeno. For services to the Indian community.
Mr William Richard Johns, JP, of Christchurch. For services to the community.
Mrs Julia Rosemary Lowe, JP, of Paeroa. For services to the community.
Mrs Railene Denise Mabin, of Waipukurau. For services to the Plunket Society.
Mrs Shirley Ann May, of Kaikohe. For services to music and the community.
Ms Dorothy Margaret McKinnon, of Whanganui. For services to the community.
Mrs Janet Elaine McRobbie, of Pokeno. For services to Girl Guides and the community.
Mr William Kevin Moore, of Twizel. For services to outdoor education and the community.
Mr James Edward Morgan, of Hastings. For services to the community.
Miss Ann Shirley Muir, of Whangarei. For services to bowls and the community.
Mrs Iris Mae Officer-Holmes, of Ashburton. For services to the community.
Mr Michael Francis O'Neill, of Gore. For services to the New Zealand Fire Service and the community.
Mr Brian Scott Palliser, of Christchurch. For services to the community.
Mr Barry Richard Pomeroy, of Nelson. For services to veterans and the community.
Almost 220 new social and transitional places are on the way for Tauranga and Papamoa, the Government has today confirmed.
“We’re on track to have 68 short term transitional housing places available in Tauranga and Papamoa by the end of the year. This will mean we can support up to 272 families in Tauranga and Papamoa every year while long term solutions are found,” says Ms Adams.
“Of those 68 places, 21 places are already open.
"Across the wider Bay of Plenty region, we will be providing a total of 146 transitional housing places meaning we'll be able to help 584 families every year,” says Ms Adams.
“These houses are in addition to the 290 social houses we’re planning to secure in the Bay of Plenty. These new properties will be a welcome addition to the region, which is an area of growing need.”
Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro officially opened the newest transitional places to be run by Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust, in Tauranga today with local MPs Simon Bridges and Todd Muller.
The trio met with residents and staff to hear about the difference that transitional housing is making in Tauranga.
“Every day, we’re hearing stories from our frontline about the great work being done by our community housing providers to help people in need,” says Mr Ngaro.
“Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust are a great example. They’re working extremely hard to help those in our community who need help to get back on their feet which is why it’s great that we’re able to support even more developments like this one.”
Ms Adams says the plans for the Bay of Plenty are a recognition that the Government takes the issue of housing in Tauranga and the wider region seriously and that new supply is being provided.
“We are working hard alongside providers to address the demand on social housing and help those most in need of warm, safe housing.”
The Ministers acknowledged local MPs Simon Bridges and Todd Muller for being strong local advocates for housing in their electorate.
Each week, the Government spends $1.8 million to support more than 27,000 households in the Bay of Plenty with their housing costs.
The Government will invest $6 million over four years to support prosperous and more resilient communities, Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro says.
$1.5 million has been added to the Department of Internal Affairs baseline funding, which means the Community and Voluntary sector will receive a further $6 million in just four years with the additional funding set to continue after 2020/21.
"We want to partner with communities to help them achieve their aspirations, build on their strengths, increase community engagement, enhance local leadership and establish sustainable and measurable plans for their futures,” says Mr Ngaro.
“Communities are often very aware of the opportunities for change within their own backyards and those solutions that will have the greatest impact.
“That’s why we’ve set aside a further $1 million every year for the next four years for the Community- Led Development Programme. This will allow us to support even more communities every year.
“The Government also recognises the significant contribution that volunteering makes to New Zealand.
“Volunteers contribute about $3.5 billion in labour every year which is why we’re doubling the amount of funding available under the Support for Volunteering fund from $500,000 to $1million every year for the next four years.
“We know that a strong and resilient community and voluntary sector contributes to a productive and competitive economy, and improved social outcomes for all New Zealanders, which is why we’ve amped up our investment in the sector.”
Funding for those wanting to build leadership and capability in volunteering, social enterprise and the community is available from today, says Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro.
The Community Leadership Fund opens today with $500,000 available.
“The Community and Voluntary sector makes a massive contribution to New Zealand every day,” says Mr Ngaro.
“This is only the second year the fund has been available and recognises the support, capacity building and guidance that many of New Zealand’s community leadership groups provide.
“Last year we were able to fund six organisations including The Volunteer Army who were using the grant to support its work with schools to develop our future volunteers.
Nationally-focused not-for-profits who provide leadership and capability building can submit their applications between now and 12 July 2017, with decisions to be made by the end of August.
More information can be found on www.communitymatters.govt.nz.
Ua saunoa le Minisita o le Matagaluega mo Tagata Pasifika i Niu Sila, Alfred Ngaro – “O le vaiaso o le gagana Samoa, o se avanoa mo Niu Sila atoa e ma’au ma fiafia fa’atasi i le felanulanua’i o gagana ma aganu’u taitasi, aemaise ia maua’a le gagana”
Sāmoan Language week gives all New Zealanders the opportunity to celebrate our diversity and keep the language alive says Minister for Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro.
“I’d love to see more of our young people, regardless of their ethnicity, leading the way and embracing Gagana Sāmoa,” says Mr Ngaro.
“Regardless of your heritage there’s no doubt that Gagana Sāmoa and Fa’a Sāmoa make a massive contribution to modern New Zealand.
“With renewed interest internationally in Pacific cultures, in large part because of the hugely successful Moana film, Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa presents an opportunity for us to showcase and celebrate Gagana Sāmoa.
“I’d encourage everyone to give Gagana Sāmoa a go this week whether through song, dance, or using words and phrases.”
Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa runs from Sunday 28 May through to Saturday 3 June 2017.
The theme for the week this year is “Ma’au i lou ofaga. Maua’a lou fa’asinomaga”, or in English, “keep your identity alive to thrive”.
Further information about Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa including a calendar of events and language resources can be found at www.mpp.govt.nz/language-culture-and-identity/pacific-language-weeks/
Investment in Budget 2017 will help improve outcomes for our Pacific communities in New Zealand, Pacific Peoples Minister Alfred Ngaro says.
The Ministry will receive $3 million over four years to increase its policy, research and evaluation capabilities.
“My expectation is that the Ministry will be the hub for Pacific knowledge and intelligence and the first stop for those looking to make improvements for our people. This funding will help work towards those ambitions,” says Mr Ngaro.
“It also builds on the achievements we’ve made in the projects funded through previous budgets.
“While we’ve made huge strides in tackling some of the issues that Pacific peoples face, whether that’s health, education, employment or incomes, the Government is committed to continuous improvement.
“I’ve asked the Ministry to look for those opportunities where Pacific people can lead the mainstream, including across Government. This funding will help the Ministry identify what policies, projects and programmes are likely to have the biggest impact for our people, especially as Pacific communities continue to grow in New Zealand.”
The Relocation from Auckland grant is helping kiwi families become more independent and saving tax payer’s money, says Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro.
“I’m thrilled with the success of this programme,” says Mr Ngaro.
“On average we’re saving the taxpayer $170 a week in subsidised housing costs for every family that moves out of Auckland. With the average grant being about $4,637 the Government is seeing a saving in costs well within a year of people moving.
“In fact in just three years time we’ll have saved well over $6 million in tax payer’s money, simply by offering these families the option of a fresh start.
“More importantly, this grant is giving struggling kiwis a new home and community, cheaper accommodation and the potential to become more independent, while also freeing up social housing for those who need it in Auckland.”
The scheme which was introduced in June 2016 has now helped 150 families to move into private housing and a further 163 households have now moved into social housing outside of Auckland.
“With a monthly average of 30 families choosing to set down roots somewhere new, we’re well on track to have 400 families finding and settling in communities that are a much better fit for them by the end of June.”