6. NIKKI KAYE (National—Auckland Central) to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: What support is the Government giving to non-governmental organisations in Christchurch affected by the earthquake?
Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development and Employment) : A lot of hard work has gone in very quickly. Funding coordination and facilities have been provided. On the Friday directly after the earthquake the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and I had a conference call with 17 major non-governmental organisations to work through what support is needed and how we can help. To help we have also hired the Christchurch netball clubrooms at Hagley Park for non-governmental organisations to use as needed.
Katrina Shanks: What other Government support has been available in Christchurch?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: We have used the Community Response Fund underspend to ensure continuity of payment for those non-governmental organisations that need it; we did that really quickly. A key focus has also been trauma counselling. We have 262 counsellors on the ground and others around the country. We will also have a number of counsellors and welfare volunteers at the memorial service tomorrow—350 in total. And, of course, the Student Volunteer Army has been out in great force. We were able to provide them with $20,000 worth of funding.
Hon Annette King: Will she oppose the recommendation from the Hon Tariana Turia to cut funding for Te Rito Family Violence Prevention Strategy and from the Child Advocacy Group’s budget, in light of the report from the Minister of Women’s Affairs of increased family violence after the earthquake?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: Budget bids are yet to be assessed by Cabinet. They will be made in due course.