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The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) is a policy team within the Policy Group of the Department of Internal Affairs. Its key functions are to:
- provide policy advice on community sector issues
- provide a contact point for the community and voluntary sector at the national policy level
- foster good practice in community-government engagement
- build knowledge of the community sector
Increasing understanding of the size and scope of the community and voluntary sector, and its vital contribution to New Zealand is a priority.
The OCVS works across government with the aim of achieving excellent relationships between government agencies and community, voluntary and Māori organisations. Principles to guide these relationships are outlined in the 2011 Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord, supported by a Code of Funding Practice and Ready Reference Engagement Guide.
Three formative documents that were important in the establishment of the OCVS were:
- the 2001 Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship
- the 2002 Government Policy on Volunteering
- He Waka Kotuia: Joining Together on a Shared Journey report by the 2002 Community-Government Relationship Steering Group.
Since these documents were produced, ANGOA completed a review of the Statement and the Building Better Government Engagement project produced a report on what else could be done to support the relationship between the government and communities. A Cabinet paper based on the recommendations from both these initiatives was presented to Cabinet in August 2009. More recently, the signing of the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord took place at Parliament on 1 August 2011.
The OCVS is active in documenting and promoting good practice models between government agencies and their community sector partners.
Two online toolkits provide guidance to government agencies when they are funding and developing relationships with non-profit organisations and communities.
» Go to the Good Practice Funding toolkit to access the Code of Funding Practice
» Go to the Good Practice Participate toolkit to learn about community engagement
As well as providing advice to the Minister for the Community and Voluntary, the OCVS has five inter-related parts to its work programme:
- supporting work to build the capacity of the sector, such as collaborating on development of useful resources like Keeping it Legal E Ai Ki Te Ture and Managing Well and promoting the introduction of payroll giving.
- building knowledge of the community and voluntary sector through ongoing research on giving and the now-completed Study of the NZ Non-Profit Sector that provided a clearer picture of the nature and extent of non-profit sector activity within New Zealand.
- providing other government agencies with policy advice on overcoming policy barriers and addressing issues of concern to the community and voluntary sector.
- actively supporting the development and promotion of good practice by government agencies when engaging with the sector, for example through our good practice seminar series.
- encouraging participation and promoting volunteering in line with the Government Policy on Volunteering, which strives towards “a society with a high level of volunteering, where the many contributions people make to the common good through volunteering and fulfilment of cultural obligations are actively supported and valued.” The OCVS work in this area is currently focused on supporting the Generosity Hub.
The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector moved from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) on 1 February 2011. The shift followed a State Services Commission review of the institutional and Vote arrangements for the community and voluntary sector, and brought the portfolio together into one Crown agency, rather than split between MSD and DIA.
» Read more about the OCVS team.
We take a collaborative approach to our work - involving a range of community and government stakeholders in our project teams and reference groups to ensure a broad range of ideas and perspectives contribute to the focus and progress of our activities.
Different individuals and organisations have contributed to projects including:
We report to the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Hon. Jo Goodhew.
» Go to the Beehive website to read Ministerial announcements related to the Community and Voluntary Sector portfolio
Past Ministers for the Community & Voluntary Sector:
- 31 Oct 2007 - 19 Nov 2008: Ruth Dyson
- 19 Oct 2005 - 31 Oct 2007: Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
- 24 Oct 2004 - 19 Oct 2005: Rick Barker
- 30 April 2004 - 24 Oct 2004: Steve Maharey (Acting Minister)
- 2002 - 30 April 2004: Tariana Turia
- 10 Dec 1999 - 15 Aug 2002: Steve Maharey (Minister responsible for the Community and Voluntary Sector)
The other part of the community and voluntary sector portfolio
The OCVS works closely with our colleagues in the Department of Internal Affairs, who have other community and voluntary sector portfolio responsibilities.