News

Network News July 2015

Meet the Members

Welcome to another article in the series introducing the wonderful members we serve and the work they are doing in their communities throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Located in the Waikato, Putaruru COSS (PCOSS) meets quarterly at the Putaruru Community Resource Centre.  A network of 25 groups covering an area including Tirau and Arapuni, as well as Putaruru, and stretching 26kms south to Tokoroa, they represent both urban and rural communities.  PCOSS receives no funding and but acts effectively as an informal network bringing together diverse groups and providing them with information between meetings via newsletters and emails.

The Resource Centre’s Communications Manager Adrienne Bell, serves as secretary to the networking group which includes organisations like Youth Matters, Progress to Health and the Health Consumer Service.  PCOSS also has links with neighbouring Tokoroa COSS, Community Waikato and local Putaruru College.  Many of the groups do not have premises so the Resource Centre serves as a hub for the wider community, and the services they provide.

Adrienne sees a lack of employment opportunities as being the biggest challenge facing the area following the closure of major employer Carter Holt Harvey five years ago and the subsequent impact on local business.  Although there has been no decrease in the population of Putaruru, there are increasing numbers of older residents which has influenced the types of services and community groups needed in the area as well as making the local rest home a major employer.

Younger residents are not forgotten however with a strong local focus on training opportunities.  The Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre has a campus in the area and Trade Training in Tokoroa, Wairaki Polytechnic and Te Wananga O Aotearoa all provide buses for Putaruru students to travel to their campuses with Waikato University planning to do the same in 2016.

A focus for both PCOSS and the Resource Centre is empowering people through information and education.  When not working for PCOSS and the Centre, Adrienne is a District Councillor, secretary to the WBOP Association of Household Budgeting Services and a teacher of the ukulele!  This ability to wear many varied hats is no doubt typical of our amazing members who serve their communities in rural and small town New Zealand. To contact PCOSS call (07) 883 8045 or email putarurubudgeting@xtra.co.nz

New reporting standards for charities – more info
Some of you may have attended the series of workshops run throughout the country from March-June explaining the new reporting standards which came into effect on 1 April. Based on the workshops, Charities Services has produced three videos about the new standards for tier 4 charities plus a handy booklet.  Visit http://bit.ly/1HuZD9j to view the videos and download the book.

On Air with Ros
Download and listen to the most recent broadcast of Collaborative Voices where Ros speaks to Ganesh Nana, Chief Economist with BERL, about what Budget 2015 will mean for the community and voluntary sector.

Health & Safety Reform Bill
As many of you will know the Health and Safety Reform Bill is currently under consideration and will affect volunteers as well as the paid workforce. WorkSafe New Zealand has prepared a series of regular updates on the bill which may be viewed here http://bit.ly/1efF17E. For information on how volunteers will be covered by the Bill please visit http://bit.ly/1GJfEl8

Milk and Money – Fonterra Grass Roots Fund
Do you know of a project based in a rural community which could use some funding? The Fonterra Grass Roots fund aims to support projects that fall within one of three categories: Bringing Communities Together, Caring for the Environment and, Making our Communities Safer.

Funding from $500 – $5,000 is available per each successful application and the Fund has supported over 1,500 initiatives including worm farms and recycling facilities for schools, seedlings and staff time for planting programmes and, providing equipment for emergency response services. Visit http://fonterrafgrf.appserver.co.nz/for more information.

“It’s just the vibe…”
Community Law Manual 2015/16

The updated Community Law manual hits the shelves this month. This edition features a new chapter, “You and the Government”, covering issues such as the role of the Ombudsemen and how to access information under the Official Information Act. Chapters covering consumer rights, credit and debt, child support, employment, driving and traffic laws have been overhauled and all other sections have been updated to ensure they’re legally accurate.

The manual is now available to order with huge discounts for NGOs.  It’s also available free online.  To order or for more information please email info@wclc.org.nz or for the online version visit http://www.communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/

Community Scoop
Community Scoop has been published by Scoop Media in association with ComVoices for the last three years however things are changing. Scoop is transforming itself into a social enterprise and has started to charge for its services in order to remain financially viable. Scoop will remain free to the public, but where the content is of professional use to business and institutions, they will have to pay via a licensing system based on the number of people in an organisation.

Here is the link to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. Interesting reading…
Responsible Lending. What is this all about? by Raewyn Fox, Chief Executive, Family Budgeting Services
Fathers Rock! by Sue McCabe, CEO, National Council of Women New Zealand

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Rising to the Challenge – Hamilton, 29 – 30 July 2015
Community Waikato invite you to this conference for the Waikato social services sector. Come and be inspired by your peers, share your challenges, ideas, plans and learning, hear about new ways of doing things, take a leadership role in discussing the issues that matter to you organisation. Visit http://bit.ly/1HxdpSM to find out more and to register.

Creating Transformative Change in Practice Organisations – Palmerston North, 2 – 4 November 2015
This three day strengths-based workshop facilitated by Massey University and Te Aroha Noa will enable practitioners from diverse backgrounds and agencies to explore change processes when working with individuals, groups and families.  For more information contact Sheryl Kirikiri S.Kirikiri@massey.ac.nz

Tonic Conference: Fresh Thinking for Community Groups – Lower Hutt, 19 – 20 November 2015
If you are looking for a dose of ideas, inspiration, networking and advice, you can’t go past the Tonic Conference.Visit http://bit.ly/1RxCtOK to find out more and to register. Early Bird closes 1 August.

And don’t forget, we’re here to help.  If you have any problems or issues, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact Ros at the CNA office on Wellington (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz  Both Ros and Fionn are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.

Photo: bruceandrobyn