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Media Release: No time for complacency

(09/03/2009)

Church leaders and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) are calling for more coordination of the responses to the growing recession, across all sectors.

"We know from the experience of difficult economic times in the past, that a lack of coordinated or holistic responses can entrench, rather than lessen social harm,” says Shaun Robinson, NZCCSS President.

“We know that the social dislocation caused by long periods of unemployment and/ or low levels of income can result in a much lower state of physical, mental, social, cultural and spiritual wellbeing, and that this can too easily lead to long-term social harm, particularly for children”.

“We have included the idea of a quarterly national forum in a five page ‘Together We Can’ paper we have sent to the Prime Minister,” says Shaun Robinson.

“It is encouraging that the Government is moving to involve representatives from the community and voluntary sector in the process for the 2009-2010 Budget negotiations. The suggested quarterly forum would build on this dialogue with the social sector and bring all sectors of New Zealand together to face the recession crisis”.

“The forum should include having a monitoring system in place to ensure that all impacts of the recession – social impacts as well as economic and job-related impacts – are being closely tracked and that all sectors are collectively addressing the total picture.”

“The difficult times ahead could in fact bring us all closer together and lead us to develop a society that works together for everyone's benefit with more just and compassionate values within our communities, economy and families”.

“This is a time to explore responses to social needs that will improve our society into the future, such as caring for older New Zealanders, building more social housing, and supporting disadvantaged children in education. These are areas that can create more jobgs now and support New Zealand’s long term social and economic prosperity”.

“Our Churches and their social services provide key networks within our communities. We are signalling to the Government, as strongly as we can, that we want to work together to provide support for those New Zealanders most affected by the economic crisis. Together we can… achieve a lot now, and for the future”.

The ‘Together We Can’ paper is the outcome of a meeting between leaders of the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army churches and NZCCSS Council members held on Friday 27 February.

 

 

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