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Relationships Aotearoa hanging on at 'awful' 11th hour

The Chairwoman of Relationships Aotearoa anxiously left the Beehive today following a last ditch meeting with the Social Development Minister over funding.

"Eleventh hour is always, always pretty awful," Jane Allison said.

Relationships Aotearoa advertises itself as New Zealand's largest provider of professional counselling and relationship education services, which include support in cases of domestic abuse and family violence.

It will be forced to close its door unless it gets more Government funding.

New board members met with Minister Anne Tolley this morning and will meet with more officials this afternoon as it works to make changes in order to keep that money.

Earlier, the Finance Minister, Bill English, said there would be no more money for the non-governmental organisation.

Asked if she felt more positive after the meeting with Ms Tolley, Ms Allison said: "It remains to be seen, we have certainly conveyed to the minister that we are a much fitter organisation than she had the impression of, that some of the figures are a bit different and we hope we can prove that in further meetings this afternoon with officials.

"The point is, we made the changes."

She says in the last 12 months the organisation has appointed a new management team, has more accountability, changed client outcomes and kept records of productivity.

"We are often the last resort for people."

Yesterday, Labour MP Grant Robertson says thousands of New Zealanders are under threat if Relationships Aotearoa closes down.

"This is devastating news for vulnerable people in New Zealand," Mr Robertson told ONE News.

"These services are essential to health and well-being to thousands of New Zealanders."

The non-government agency - which gets around $8 million in funding from the Ministries of Social Development, Justice and Corrections - is continuing meetings with the Government, hoping to reach a resolution.

It's understood Relationships Aotearoa currently provides advice to around 7,000 clients.

The organisation has around 180 staff across the country.

Last ditch talks have so far failed to secure the future of Relationship Aotearoa. Source: 1 NEWS


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