Backing communities to drive social cohesion

The Government is supporting more opportunities for communities to come together and build on the values we share, strengthening New Zealand’s social cohesion.

Today Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion has been released, including a community fund supporting initiatives that bring out the best of our communities.

“We are delivering on recommendations in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the March 15 mosque attacks, ensuring New Zealand is a place where everyone feels connected, respected and safe,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“New Zealand is one of the most diverse nations in the world, and already ranks highly for a number of social cohesion outcomes by OECD standards. However, we know this is not experienced equally by all groups and there is more work to be done.

“It is clear that community initiatives have a big impact on bringing people together and breaking down barriers, whether it be sports days, A&P shows or cultural events. We are launching a community fund to support groups to do more of what strengthens our communities,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

The strategic framework, and related tools and resources were also launched today at Takapūwāhia Marae in Porirua.

“It is important that we have a shared understanding of what social cohesion is and take actions we know can strengthen it,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“Strengthening social cohesion in New Zealand is a collective effort. Everyone has a role to play including government, communities, NGOs and the private sector. The tools released today will help guide our collective action.

“Te Tiriti o Waitangi makes Aotearoa unique and lays the foundation by embedding important values like manaakitanga and whanaungatanga at the heart of what we do. It helps us ensure that everyone is respected and that social connections are strengthened.

“Our diversity as a nation is a source of strength. We now need to take tangible steps to become more inclusive so that our diverse communities can thrive and we all have a role to play in making this happen,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

From today, communities will be able to apply to the Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion community fund and access the tools and resources via the Ministry of Social Development website.