Ākina Welcomes Hon Poto Williams as Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

Ākina Foundation CE Louise Aitken welcomes Hon Poto Williams to the position of Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector. The appointment was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle.

“On behalf of the Ākina whānau I’d like to congratulate Poto Williams on her appointment as a Minister,” says Louise. “I’m really looking forward to talking with her about the power of social enterprise and what lies ahead for businesses that deliver positive impact in New Zealand.”

The change comes as Ākina begins the second year of the Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme, which is a partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs and supported by the Community Enterprise Network Trust.

Ms Aitken says that the remaining two years of the programme will focus on laying the groundwork for ongoing positive change for social enterprises in New Zealand. “We’re working to make it easier for social enterprises to access finance, easier for them to tap into markets, and we’re exploring ways for enterprises to measure and scale their impact  – so it’s a really exciting time for Poto to be joining,” she says.

The government-funded programme comes under the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, and has the goal of creating the overall conditions for a thriving social enterprise sector.

Minister Williams takes over from Hon Peeni Henare, who has been Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector since the formation of the Coalition Government in October 2017.

“We’re so grateful to Peeni for the energy and insight he’s brought to our partnership” says Louise “We wish him all the very best in his new role as Minister for Civil Defence and for continued success with Whānau Ora”.

The new Ministerial responsibilities for Hon Poto Williams take effect from Wednesday 3 July.