WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Fears of post-election social funding change

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services is calling on political parties to agree to continue to fully fund essential social services next year and beyond.
As economic hardship boosts demand for the social services of not-for-profit organisations,  NZCCSS president Ross Kendrew says many providers of government contracted social services have existed for many years on funding of less than 60 percent of the value of those services.
‘This has never been good enough and that is why we welcomed the announcement in February that the emphasis would shift to a partnership-based model consisting of more secure funding across the board, as well as a move to results-based full funding as soon as practical.
‘If we are going to work towards a true partnership with government, we need to know whether there is a cross-party commitment to an objective partnership approach to achieve these goals,’ says Ross Kendrew.
NZCCSS says the current Pathway to Partnership model needs to be allowed to run its course before its success can be judged.
As well, the next government needs to do more to place its approach to essential social services within the context of an overarching framework for the development of all non-government social services in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The country needs a framework for service development that recognises the mosaic of services that exist to support families.
‘The Pathway to Partnership model being implemented by the Ministry of Social Development currently lacks that framework.’
Putting the right model in place is more important than the level of funding, Ross Kendrew says.
‘At least now have some acknowledgement of the need for a pathway, that can begin to address the real needs for sustainable investment.
The need for this overdue investment may even mean wider funding options as different needs arise, he says.