Community and Voluntary Sector Policy

A strong, independent Tangata Whenua, Community & Voluntary sector contributing to enhance our social, environmental, cultural, physical, spiritual and economic wellbeing. 

The community and voluntary sector (including tangata whenua) plays a key role in our economic, social, cultural, and environmental life.
We would fund a sector-led review to strengthen the relationship between the sector and the government.

Advocacy is important, including political advocacy, and we would ensure that advocacy doesn’t prevent community groups from receiving funding or gaining charitable status.

We would increase grants funding and decrease reliance on profits from pub pokies, which cause huge harm in our communities.
We’d also work towards a tax regime that better allows community organisations to thrive.

Key Principles

  • Government recognises and respects the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary sector
  • All Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations related to the Sector are honoured
  • A best practice model for funding and accountability relationships is enacted
  • The tax regime assists the sector to thrive while reducing compliance costs

Specific Policy Points

Encouraging Government Support

  • Strengthen the role of the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
  • Reduce the functions of the Charities Commission so that it focuses on registration and associated tax issues

Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi Obligations

  • Recognise cultural differences around concepts of 'volunteering'
  • Support hapu and iwi based initiatives through COGS and Lotteries

Creating and Enacting a Best Practice Funding and Accountability Model

  • Fund a sector-led review with Government of all funding and contracting relationships with the sector, with a view to developing a Code of Practice endorsed by the sector and Government.
  • Increase Community Organisations Grants Scheme (COGS) funding to $34m per annum
  • Have a limit on tax-deductible donations to registered charities, initially to be set at $20,000

Recognise the Community and Voluntary Sector's Independence

  • Require all Government departments and agencies to independence of NGOs without prejudice in regards to funding, contracting or tax status

Supporting Research, Education and Training

  • Substantially increase Government investment in research about and for the sector
  • Support quality education and training programmes which increase sector capacity

Recognising and Supporting the Role and Worth of Volunteers

  • Ensure Government recognizes the contribution of volunteers, and foster a culture which promotes and supports volunteering as a key part of community life
  • Ensure that voluntary work is not used to replace paid work
  • Oppose compulsory work schemes as these are counter-productive and destroy real jobs

Reducing Dependence on Gambling

  • Remove pokies from our communities by working towards getting rid of all pub non casino gaming machines
  • Establish a special fund of $150 million to mitigate the impact of ending pub pokie grants to community and voluntary sector organizations

Supporting community economic development

  • Create and maintain an enabling environment for community banks and credit unions
  • Support the development of local currency and time banking schemes
  • Support local community development and transition town initiatives aimed at dealing with the impacts of climate change and peak oil
  • Support the maintenance and development of local markets including crafts and farmers' markets.

Read the full policy here