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.”
Kiwis looking to give back to their community by broadening their horizons through international travel and study will get a chance to apply for funding to do so, says Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Alfred Ngaro.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) Fellowship and partner Fellowship – the Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowship, open today for funding applications.
“The WCMT Fellowship gives ordinary kiwis the opportunity to travel and bring back learnings that have an extraordinary impact on their communities and industries,” says Mr Ngaro.
“The 17 fellows that received fellowships last year each brought back inspiration, new networks and knowledge that are making an impact.
“From animal welfare, and prisoner rehabilitation to primary industry production and youth economic development, the fields of study of our fellows are incredibly diverse.
“With the addition of the Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowship, which has been offered only twice before – in 2013 and 2015, we’re also encouraging emerging writers to immerse themselves in another culture, so their horizons can shift and expand and, on returning, look at their homeland with fresh eyes.”
Applications close on 2 August and decisions will be made by 20 October 2017 at the latest. Around $100,000 is distributed each year.
More information can be found on www.communitymatters.govt.nz or call 0800 824 824 for further assistance.
With Student Volunteer Week celebrations kicking off, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Alfred Ngaro says young people have an opportunity to learn new skills, contribute to the causes they value and be part of a national movement this week.
Student Volunteer Week is in its third year in New Zealand and runs from 1-7 May.
“Student Volunteer Week celebrates those students already making a difference in their communities and encourages others to give it a go,” says Mr Ngaro.
“Schools, universities and volunteer organisations take part in the celebrations and there are special events and opportunities available for us all to look into.
“Volunteering does so much for New Zealand. Every year volunteers contribute about $3.5 billion in labour. But what’s also important is the impact that volunteering has on those who volunteer.
“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.
“I’d encourage all our students to look up the opportunities and events in their area and to give volunteering a go.”
More information about Student Volunteer Week, including events, is available at www.studentvolunteerweek.nz
Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro has confirmed plans for 117 more social and transitional houses in Rotorua.
"We’re aiming to have 37 transitional houses available by the end of the year and 80 new social housing properties over the next three years,” Mr Ngaro says.
“The properties will likely be a mixture of new builds and existing properties and we’re encouraging community housing providers to partner with the Ministry of Social Development to help us reach this ambitious goal.”
“This is a statement of intent that we take the issue of housing in Rotorua seriously and that we have a plan to address the need. We are working hard to address the current and future demands on social housing.”
Mr Ngaro inspected some of the 37 new transitional homes in a visit to the area with local MP Todd McClay today.
“These new properties will be a welcome addition to Rotorua’s social infrastructure and the plan for 80 new social housing places represents an almost 13 per cent increase on the number we currently have,” says Mr Ngaro.
This year, the Government will spend $2.3 billion to support more than 310,000 kiwi households with their housing costs.
Volunteering is one of the best ways we can honour the ANZAC spirt, says Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro.
‘Serve for New Zealand’, an initiative run by Christchurch’s Student Volunteer Army (SVA), in partnership with the RSA and the University of Canterbury, invites New Zealanders to pledge an hour or more of their time to give back to the community.
“Anzac Day gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice and service our veterans and those currently serving in our armed forces have made to New Zealand,” says Mr Ngaro.
“One way we can honour that service is by giving back to our communities.
“Whether it’s spending some time with residents at a local resthome, helping a neighbour or taking part in a community project, even the smallest of gestures can make a big difference in someone’s life.
“Kiwis are an incredibly generous bunch, every year our volunteers contribute about $3.5 billion in labour. That’s a huge number and it’s something we should all encourage more of.”
To pledge to Serve for New Zealand on Anzac Day, people can register online at www.servefor.nz.
Nine of New Zealand’s brightest and most inspiring young Pacific students have just received Government scholarships to pursue their dreams says Pacific Peoples Minister Alfred Ngaro.
This is the second year that the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships have been available.
The scholarships of up to $25,000 each are paid over three years and awarded to Pacific students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at a tertiary level.
“There were 53 applicants for the scholarships this year and I know that the selection panel had a really tough time narrowing it down to this select group,” says Mr Ngaro.
“These really are our best and brightest. These are students who are not only stepping up to embrace the opportunities available to them in one of New Zealand’s fastest growing sectors but also showing leadership in their communities.
“One of our students is a science mentor in South Auckland primary schools, another volunteers his time at an afterschool homework centre for Tongan youth. We’ve even got one student who has taken the things she’s learned through her study and has built three reef monitoring structures to monitor coral ecosytems in her village of Saoluafata (in Samoa).
“I’m so pleased that these scholarships are encouraging our young people to consider a career in STEM”.
Further details about the winners can be found at www.mpp.govt.nz/young-people/toloa/scholarships/2017-toloa-tertiary-scholarship-winners/