Relationships Aotearoa to close today

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, June 9th, 2015 - 19 comments
Categories: class war, john key, making shit up, national, radio, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,


I blogged about this previously.  Relationships Aotearoa will close its doors today and the actions the Government has taken to address related issues are looking increasingly inept.

From Radio New Zealand yesterday morning:

The Ministry of Social Development has met with five other providers; Barnardos, Presbyterian Support, Stand Children’s Service, Lifeline and one other unnamed group.

Relationships Aotearoa strategic adviser Cary Hayward said the only organisation still at the negotiating table was Stand Children’s Service.

He said the Ministry had given assurance that five providers were lined up but that was not the case.

“It’s clear that they weren’t in a position to be able to take on Relationships Aotearoa’s work, but we are fortunate to be able to be working with Stand Children’s Service to transition a proportion of our clients and our staff.”

The ministry said it talked to five agencies and Stand Children’s Services agreed to be the main provider. It would take on about 70 clinical staff, of which about 25 percent have transferred.

Deputy chief executive of community investment Murray Edridge said all five agencies were still working with the ministry.

The Government had previously suggested that plans were in place to cover clients if and when Relationships Aotearoa closed its doors.  In fact on May 26 officials made the announcement about the  five organisations being prepared to take over.

Last night MSD branded Radio New Zealand’s claim as mischievous nonsense and then stated that three of the five entities had agreed to take primary rules and two others would take “supporting roles”.  Time will tell but I suspect that the next few weeks is going to show the transition process to be a colossal f*&k up.

MSD also tried to blame Relationships Aotearoa for current problems, and claimed that it was being obstructive to the hand over, particularly in relation to the exchange of clients’ personal information.  Relationships Aotearoa is justifiably resistant to handing over personal information and client’s files.  Some of the organisation’s clients have complex needs and have through long term contact built up trust in their counsellor.  The easiest way to destroy this faith is for a stranger to suddenly contact one of these persons obviously having at least some of that client’s information which may be incredibly sensitive.

MSD suggested that Privacy Commissioner John Edwards supported its view that there were no significant privacy issues.  He appeared on Morning Report this morning to clarify that this was not the case.  Earlier commentary suggested that he was annoyed that MSD had misrepresented his view.

In Edwards’ view if agreement to hand over information between the provider and client was reached there is no problem but otherwise the situation is fraught.  He also agreed with the view that the hand over was being rushed.  MSD’s view that as funder it has full rights to clients’ information is clearly not correct.

Relationships Aotearoa has had its overall funding slashed continuously since 2008.  It has managed a steep decline of funding reasonably well and has significantly reduced staff numbers.  With a bit of help from the Government it could have continued to have reduced expenses until it could live within Government’s expectations.  That the Government was not prepared to do this shows its complete indifference to those amongst us in need.

And if you recent examples of the Government’s priorities?

But it would not prepay Relationships Aotearoa the sum of $1 million and resign existing contracts to stop it from falling over.

National Ltd TM.  Preferring the rich to the poor and needy for ever.

19 comments on “Relationships Aotearoa to close today ”

  1. OMBE 1

    RA was poorly run, and obstuctive. It did not co-operate with Audit NZ or MSD in terms of use of funding requriements ie. so how many people did you actually provide counselling to ? (look at the RA annual report and teh numbers they claimed now). The sense of entitlement from RA management has not been supportable by any verifiable facts for the money they received. Murray Edridge provided a very informative and factual analysis on Duncan Garner Drive/Radio Live which makes me believe that the SFO will likely get involved once the receivers have started their job tomorrow.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Edridge is the person who has been trying to beat up RA for refusing to hand over clients information.

      If you have a look at its funding over the past few years it has suffered significant cuts which it has managed. It still had reserves according to its last annual return. My very strong impression is that it has made responsible decisions in the face of overwhelming pressure. And the last return has a multitude of figures in it.

      Funnily enough I cannot find a link for your Garner-Edridge interview. When did it happen?

      • OMBE 1.1.1

        Try the audio link for yesterday at 5.15pm

        Look through teh annual reports of RA
        and look at the chnages in cost overheads. Last yeat they claim they helped 27,600 people. During the media recently the number was just 7000. MSD have been trying for some time to get a verification for on teh numbers and have been stonewalled by RA managment.

        • mickysavage

          I listened to it and I do not agree with your analysis.

          RA had legal advice which they followed. They should not be criticised for doing this.

          The organisation has been in crisis because of the Government’s actions. That it has not been able to respond quickly is not surprising.

          Your SFO comment is specially disingenuous. A liquidator is to be appointed and Everidge said that he did not know what the results would be. There was nothing that he said which could even be implied as indicating the SFO would get involved.

        • tracey

          How long have MSD been concerned?

      • mpledger 1.1.2

        If you look at Murray Edridge linked in profile
        you can see he was chief executive at Barnardos before going to MSD. I guess we must judge it a conincidence that Barnados was one of the groups supposed to take over part of RA’s job.

        • Sirenia

          Barnados does not generally do counselling, so it was strange that they were on the list, unless they were considering a whole new counselling business. But there could be some historic antagonism going on between RA and others. Stand, which has got the bulk of the contract, is the old Children’s Health Camps which also seems strange. Not known for counselling expertise for adults.

    • tracey 1.2

      Thanks OMBE, can you link to the pertinent parts of the report?

      Do you know how long MSD have been worried about RA?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      “Verifiable facts.”

      Well we know that no-one else is prepared to do the work they were doing, so it looks like the only person with a fact-free analysis is you. Do you often allow yourself to be duped like this?

  2. Sirenia 2

    This is very serious mishandling by the Minister and MSD. There are hundreds of vulnerable children and families involved and relationships developed with counsellors over a long time. There are also complex relationships between those vulnerable families and other agencies such as family court, CYFs, schools etc. Relationships Aotearoa counsellors often played a facilitation role among people and agencies around that family. Some files will be large and complex. People are not widgets to be shipped around.

    We are risking lives and deaths with this mess. If there really were governance issues with RA then governance help could easily have been provided and the organisation could have continued. I am astounded at how badly this has been handled by government.

  3. Charles 3

    MSD actively engaged in undermining social development
    MSD misrepresenting views
    MSD trying to measure specific psychological indicators with unrelated material acquisitions…

    “Sounds like they’re out of touch, or incompetent, or both. Ra ra ra! down with MSD, who needs the Orwellian named MSD anyway? Labour created that mess! Who needs the government involved in social development of anything..?”

    Now who would benefit from promoting that mindset? Hmm. I wonder. Expect to see the end of MSD, should National win another election, maybe sooner.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Sorry, but as someone who has been involved in seeking funding from MSD this bit is incorrect:

    “MSD’s view that as funder it has full rights to clients’ information is clearly not correct.”

    It is written into the contract that they have full access to client files. (Of course the Privacy Commissioner is correct to express the horror of that, given that clients have NO IDEA that this is the case, and given that the information belongs to the client, not the contracting NGO….it’s not as if they are asking their clients to agree to sharing of personal information with funders in most cases…ugh. No doubt if clients were presented with a form *consenting* to info sharing this would be framed as “their choice” to share information with the funder in exchange for critical assistance – double ugh).

    This was one of the reasons I resigned last year from an organisation who was about to agree this type of funding out of desperation in an ever tightening funding environment. Clients with *extreme* backgrounds deserve better than to be placed in this predicament.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Thanks AWW. I see similar forms quite regularly. It is fascinating what the Privacy Act can do to the even apparently clear forms and the ethical obligations that counsellors have makes this a much more difficult issue than MSD thinks.

  5. mac1 5

    I get the feeling that I am seeing another potential debacle like the teacher pay system changeover whereby the change was made before ensuring that the new systems were capable of handling the change.

    A similar case is in the situation of the sale of community housing to the Salvation Army who ended up not wanting a bar of it.

    This government calls itself good managers?

    • Sirenia 5.1

      Although this time we have no Campbell Live to champion it on behalf of those wronged. We are also talking about some of the most vulnerable, traumatised and at risk children and adults in the country. Unless this is sorted quickly there will be consequences.

      It is really tough being a contractor to government these days with huge and moving hoops to jump through as well as a constant requirement to do more with less. Bullying is not unknown.

  6. Sirenia 6

    $1m would have kept RA open. Yet Stand, the old Children Health Camps, gets $3m to take over some of the contracts. Something not right in this equation.

  7. adam 7

    Now who are Serco again?

    Do MP’s own shears?

    Opps nothing to see here… move along.

  8. heather 8

    I have to say the old Children’s Health camps would have to be the most peculiar organisation to take over Relationship Services work.
    What do we know of this organisation? what experience have they in providing the complex work of Relationship Services?
    What is happening to those people who do not have a councellor to work with at the moment? Is the Government going to say sorry, again, if someone dies?
    Did the contract for Relationship Services change with MSD, did they, Iike other organisations have to provide more services for less funding?
    Why did all the other organisations turn down the work? possible for the same reason Salvation Army turned down the State Housing.
    There are so many unanswered questions in this sorry saga.

  9. Seal 9

    MSD has a stated aim to reduce the number of NGOs that it funds. It is going to be very specific about targeting. Expect massive cuts to many agencies and services.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    14 hours ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    17 hours ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    18 hours ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    20 hours ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    2 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    2 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    2 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    2 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    2 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    3 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    4 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    4 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    6 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    1 week ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    1 week ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-02-23T15:25:46+00:00