See how Sio deals with the challenge of satisfying a hunger for $8m of handouts from a pot of $2.95m

When Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio advised us that 264 groups and individuals had successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, we went looking for the other number.

We refer to the number of groups and individuals who applied for handouts from a scheme aimed at helping Pacific communities to drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions.

We hoped also to find a list of successful projects, too.  Maybe it’s there on the ministry’s website, but our search this morning (not exhaustive, we acknowledge) failed to uncover it.

But Sio’s press statement did give a measure of demand for funding.

“When applications closed for the Fund, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples received over 500 applications of a total value of about $8 million sought by church groups, not-for-profits, charitable trusts, education facilities and social enterprises from around the country, far more than the allocated Fund of $2.95 million over two years.” 

We would like to think those applications were made BEFORE applications closed.

More important, however, is Sio’s response to the challenge of meeting a demand for $8 million from a fund of  $2.95 million.  He says he has

“ … asked the Ministry to work with other government agencies who are providing community targeted funds to assess the oversubscribed applications for this fund as a pathway moving forward. These groups have put a lot of effort in ensuring their applications had substance and merit consideration for COVID-19 community responses.

“I’m keen to see the other applications find support where appropriate, as the Government is committed to paving a pathway of recovery, and prosperity for our Pacific communities.”   

He further said:

“It’s important this Fund not only supports strong Pacific initiatives that provide solutions to respond and recover from COVID-19, but that we are also working together towards achieving the vision and goals of Pacific peoples in the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou report. I want to see more Pacific peoples thriving, prosperous and resilient peoples of Aotearoa, New Zealand

This lofty language is apt to camouflage the reality that this is one more of umpteen troughs filled by taxpayers and used by governments to curry favour with constituents in an array of ministerial bailiwicks.

Politicians prefer to talk of investments, of course:

“The Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund is one of five investments that the Government approved in Budget 2020 so that the Ministry for Pacific Peoples can support more new initiatives identified by Pacific churches and community groups in their COVID-19 response, recovery and rebuild plans,” says Aupito William Sio.

This Fund has three categories to pilot and test a broad range of Pacific initiatives and solutions from grassroots, emerging to established organisations, including:

  • Grassroots initiatives: which will fund up to $5,000 to groups who have a new idea;
  • Acceleration initiatives: funding of up to $10,000 for groups who have already tested ideas and have shown some good results in their own community; and
  • Lift-off initiatives: funding of up to $50,000 for groups who have already tested ideas and have shown some good results in their community, and are looking to collaborate with other community groups to improve or scale up an idea for the region, or across several regions or nationwide.

For more information on MPP’s community funding, visit: https://www.mpp.govt.nz/community-funding/

And if you find a list of successful applicants and their projects, drop us a line.

We do know you will learn that applications for the Community COVID-19 Funds are now closed.

 Latest from the Beehive

 9 OCTOBER 2020

Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions.

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