Speech: Launch of the COGS Profile 2012/13Community and Voluntary Sector
E aku rangatira, tēnā koutou katoa. Ka nui te honore ki te mihi ki a koutou.
It is my great pleasure to join you this morning.
Thank you Ken and members of the National COGS Committee for inviting me to share in launching the COGS Profile.
Since it began in 1986, the Community Organisation Grants Scheme, affectionately known to us all as COGS, has been a vital source of government funding for non-profit community organisations.
COGS grants assist a wide range of social service organisations that support the needs of people in our communities, hapū, and iwi throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand.
At the heart of this unique funding programme is the expertise, local knowledge and commitment that each of you here today gives to your communities.
I thank you for your work assessing the thousands of applications received each year, and ensuring that COGS grants help to meet the needs of your community.
You may be aware that I have first-hand COGS experience having served my home community as Chair of the Aoraki Local Distribution Committee earlier in my career.
I really enjoyed the opportunities and challenges that COGS committee membership provides.
You certainly get to meet some amazing people who are striving to improve the life of people in their communities.
I want to thank the National COGS Committee members Ken, Jill, Bonnie, Linda and Rawiri for successfully completing your first year in office.
The NCC is responsible for providing governance to the 37 Local Distribution Committees, and establishing and monitoring polices and national standards.
The Committee also has the task of allocating the annual COGS appropriation using the approved formula to calculate what each local committee has to distribute.
The formula uses census data to calculate the degree of poverty and isolation in the population served by each committee.
The National Committee also has discretion regarding how 10 per cent of the budget is distributed, and takes a responsible approach when making such decisions.
One of the highlights of my role is the opportunity to meet community groups that receive COGS grants.
Earlier this year I enjoyed a visit to the Manurewa Marae where a COGS grant helped fund a youth development project.
The youth hub provides a range of youth education and leadership programmes, holistic health services and mentoring support.
Young people are engaged in marae-based learning and are involved with Māori culture and youth activities.
It is pleasing to hear that young people have felt better prepared for employment or further education after their participation in the marae-based activities.
It is timely to remind each of you that your LDC membership continues through to May next year.
The COGS election of committee members opens on 27 January next year.
I encourage those of you who are eligible to accept nomination as a candidate in the election.
Experienced LDC members together with newly elected members will contribute to a smooth transition when the new committees take office in June 2014.
It’s now my pleasure to launch the COGS Profile.
Copies have been sent to councils and libraries throughout New Zealand.
The COGS Profile is also available through the Department’s regional offices and can be downloaded from the ‘communitymatters website’.
My best wishes to you all for a safe and happy festive season. Thank you for helping to make a real difference in your community.
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.