Leaders from churches that form the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) network tabled proposals at a meeting in Wellington last week, calling for government action and partnership on safe and affordable housing, improved investment in whanau/families and increased support for refugees.
“The papers led to a robust engagement with political leaders.” said Archbishop Philip Richardson after the meeting on Wednesday 10 May, where Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army leaders jointly presented the NZCCSS research-backed statements.
Government ministers appreciated the quality of analysis in the papers, which drew on evidence from the 213 social service agencies linked to NZCCSS, who work with vulnerable New Zealanders through 1,024 programmes, delivered in 55 locations round the country.
Attending alongside Prime Minister Bill English and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, were Minister of Social Housing and Minister of Social Investment Amy Adams, and Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse, there to engage with the church leaders’ presentations related to their portfolios.
The church leaders’ statements can be read in full via the title links below:
The Housing paper builds a coordinated approach to housing that draws in community agencies, social services, iwi and government as partners in providing support for home ownership, affordable renting and new housing.
The Social Investment paper proposes a shift in our model of early intervention with at-risk families. The new model adopts a way of helping families survive and then thrive – before they reach critical condition.
The Refugee sponsorship paper offers policy drafting support from the churches, to fine tune the community refugee sponsorship pilot scheme proposed in a submission from Archbishop Philip Richardson and Archbishop Brown Turei last year. The scheme would enable local communities to safely and responsibly sponsor refugees above the current quota.