Resources Must Follow DevolutionYouth Affairs
At a speech to the Association of Anglican Women in Kapiti today, Hon Deborah Morris welcomed moves to improve co-ordination and partnership across government agencies and community groups. The Minister stressed however that resources and support must follow wherever the responsibility for provision lies.
During the speech the Minister called for Ministers and Government agencies to further involve the Ministry of Youth Affairs in policy development, she stressed that the Ministry has a vital role to play in providing contestable advice and in facilitating inter agency work on issues involving young people.
"I believe that we need to further improve co-ordination - not in an attempt to save money, but as a concerted effort in delivering quality and relevant services to those who need them.
"Partnership and co-ordination are not vague or woolly bureaucratic ideas. They are powerful and effective tools that involve the Government, the voluntary sector, business and the community.
"This weekend at the National Party Conference, and in recent speeches, the Prime Minister and some National MPs have talked about devolving more responsibilities to families and community groups. I do think that this is the right way to move, but we must ensure that where government is devolving power and responsibility it does not wipe its hands totally clean.
"I believe that the real power for change lies in communities. Ultimately communities that work together with a vision are unstoppable. And the role of Government in all of this is to empower. This has to be true empowerment - not just the devolution of responsibility. It is all very well to devolve responsibility but the support mechanisms and resources have to be in place too," said Deborah Morris.