Relationships Aotearoa closes

By Te Ao Māori News

Relationships Aotearoa closes its doors at 5pm today after the Government axed funding for the national counselling agency.

A failure to meet delivery on 30% of its contracts led to the Government’s decision not to continue its annual funding of $8mil.

Negotiations with the ministries of Social Development, Corrections and Justice on a rescue package broke down when the Government refused to guarantee a $1.5mil deficit.

In a press statement today Relationships Aotearoa Chief Executive Jacqui Akuhata-Brown paid tribute to the organisation’s staff, “The last few weeks have been exceedingly difficult for staff as we have tried to support clients through an extremely short transition.”

“I am immensely proud of the way staff have handled the work needed to contact clients, break the news of our closing and support them in any way they could with the time remaining,” said Mrs Akuhata-Brown.      
Barnardos, Family Works, Lifeline, Stand Children's Services and Vitae have all put their hands up to take on Relationship Aotearoa’s clients, with Stand also taking over managerial responsibility for the organisation’s 70 staff.

“Our hope is the sector will get behind Stand, Lifeline and the other providers who take on this work,” said Mrs Akuhata-Brown.