Last month, we learned that the government would let Relationships Aotearoa, its contractor for court-ordered counselling services, fold. The consequences of that decision? Its clients will be abandoned:
Relationships Aotearoa says thousands of its clients will be left without counselling support when it closes its doors on Tuesday because the Government has failed to line up other services to help.
Two weeks ago Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said she was "delighted that a number of well-respected providers have come forward" to ensure the continuation of services to the 7000 clients Relationships Aotearoa is thought to work with.
But the agency, which the Government refused to bail out, closes its doors at 5pm on Tuesday and at this point the only organisation still at the negotiating table is Stand Children's Service.
Basicly, the other providers the government said they had lined up to take over the work have backed out because they are unable to do it. And that means that it just won't be done, and as a result victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence won't get the counselling they need. A vital government service, and its just going to cease to exist because a contract ended (rather like rape crisis centres, really).
It gets worse: the government apparently has no idea how many clients Relationships Aotearoa was serving, and therefore how many people are going to be cut off by their budget cut (you'd have thought it would be in the contracts MSD signed, and that it would have been strictly enforced, but apparently not). So, they have no idea what the impact of this is going to be. The whole thing is turning into a total clusterfuck.