Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga social agency unfazed by new client disclosure rule

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Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services executive director Tommy Wilson says he's comfortable about handing over client details to Government for funding. Photo/File.
Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services executive director Tommy Wilson says he's comfortable about handing over client details to Government for funding. Photo/File.

The head of a Tauranga social agency says he is unfazed by having to disclose client details to the Government in exchange for funding.

Women's Refuge, budgeting agencies and other community groups would be required to disclose their client's details such as their name, address, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, iwi, country of birth, number of dependent children, and the services received, by next July.

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services executive director Tommy Wilson said he and his organisation were unfazed by the new disclosure funding policy.

"I am fully aware of the new direction of the Ministry of Social Development which is outcome-based and we are completely comfortable with that.

"I know [MSD] Minister Anne Tolley wants to fix up the problem of professional agency hoppers . . . We agree that we need to ensure those with the greatest need get most of the funding rather than any sort of back-room dividing up of a pool of money."

Mr Wilson said he hoped weeding out professional "agency hoppers" ultimately might lead to more funding for agencies which were already focused on the Government's objectives for results-based outcomes for their clients.

He did not see any perceived danger or risk of genuine clients becoming reluctant to come forward to seek help due to the new disclosure funding policy, he said.

Ministry of Social Development deputy chief executive Murray Edridge said all 823 agencies funded by the ministry's $330m community investment arm would have to provide client details for funding by next July.

The data would be used to track the outcome of services under Finance Minister Bill English's "social investment" approach to check whether services helped people overcome their problems or were recycled back into the social support system.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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