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Network News March 2018

It’s the Well-being Era

This newsletter does have a focus on the new discussion we are hearing everywhere on well-being.  The strongest example of this are the four papers distributed by The Treasury. (links below).  These are an unprecedented view from The Treasury and these discussion papers are based in the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework.  The papers are on natural capital, social capital, human capital and wellbeing frameworks. Although they cannot be said to be the Treasury’s position on measuring intergenerational wellbeing and its sustainability in New Zealand, they are however an intention to encourage discussion on these topics.
The focus of Treasury in recent years has been increasingly on using a living standards framework to assess the impact of government policies on the wellbeing of New Zealanders, and there is interest in evaluating a range of different frameworks for measuring wellbeing.
This is a complex issue as Wellbeing is a multi-faceted concept involving significant value judgements and underlying causes maybe less easy to understand, however there seems to be a preference for the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) framework which is used for similar evaluation.
To read the discussion paper on Wellbeing Frameworks for the Treasury  go to:
Wellbeing Frameworks for the Treasury

The next two discussion papers are specific to Social Capital and Human Capital.  To be honest to read these is exciting because Treasury is talking about the value of people and communities and how that can be measured.  Human capital is defined as “an individual’s skills, knowledge, mental and physical health that enables them to participate fully in work, study, recreation and in society more broadly”.
Social Capital is defined as “the social connections, attitudes and norms that contribute to societal wellbeing by promoting coordination and collaboration between people and groups in society”.  I hope that they include government in that society.
The Value of New Zealand’s Human Capital
The Value of New Zealand’s Social Capital

The final discussion paper I recommend is that focused on Natural Capital.  This paper refers to all aspects of the natural environment and looks at key environmental indicators which are suggesting that the overall state of the environment is declining.  That Treasury are reviewing how the natural capital can be given an economic value and that the framework identifies the value people derive from not just using by also not-using natural capital is a fascinating and hopeful way of reviewing how we as a nation preserve that which has precious value to us.
The Value of New Zealand’s Natural Capital.

These are such important discussion papers, I would like to encourage everyone to sit with your friends, your workmates and your organisations, discuss these issues and feed back to Treasury all your thoughts.  These could be hugely influencial in many government decisions, and we must have our say on these serious issues while the opportunity is presented to us.
Higher Living Standards Discussion The Treasury

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.  This month we feature The Association of Community Access Broadcasters (ACAB).

Community Access Radio – A platform for people’s voices

12 radio stations, hundreds of volunteer groups, 800+ programmes, thousands of hours broadcast on-air each year – welcome to Community Access Radio. 

Community Access Radio stations produce the most diverse media content in the nation. The first station was founded in Wellington in 1981, for people and issues that were lacking representation in traditional media.  Over the next 36 years the sector grew to include 12 regional stations hosting women’s, ethnic, language, disability, diverse sexuality and identity, religious and ethical belief, and children’s and youth shows alongside community, arts, culture and niche music programming.

The Association of Community Access Broadcasters Aotearoa (ACAB) is the national membership group for the sector.  ACAB President, Kristen Paterson, says “One of the unique qualities of community access programmes is that they’re made by, for, and about the community. This means that on top of being accessible as platform of media representation, groups can create content in their own voice and through their own filter.”

From myriad languages to high school groups, from grassroots political activists to disability advocacy, from fringe festivals to local music showcases, programmes represent the beautiful culture and diverse identities, topics and opinions that make up Aotearoa.

Platforms like this are increasing important as mainstream media outlets deal with cutbacks, don’t focus of diversity or minority groups, and move away from hyperlocal coverage. Community Access stations continue to sit at the heart of the communities they serve, and provide an outlet for groups that lack the resources and time to create relationships with mainstream media.

Community Access stations also stream live online and host podcasts for on-demand listening and download, and share programmes for broadcast between stations.

If you are interested in making a programme contact the stations via the links below:

 Station Managers and Staff of ACAB

Jacinda’s little-noticed, biggest policy announcement for the well-being sector 
Garth Nowland-Foreman : Garth Nowland-Foreman, director LEAD Centre for Not for Profit Leadership, garth@lead.org.nz.

While new governments often come in with lots of changes to individual policy areas, that all have implications for our sector, our current government actually plans to change the goal-posts – and in a (potentially) good way.

Snuck in amongst announcing the new Child Poverty targets, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also announced in her first major speech of the year that by the 2019 Budget, the government would introduce a tool and framework to include wellbeing of New Zealanders and not just report on economic measures, like GDP.

While this might sound like a boring bit of bureaucratic tinkering only of interest to public finance geeks, it has the potential to shake the foundations of public policy. After all its a well-established principle that any organisation does more of whatever it measures – for better or for worse. It is perhaps no coincidence that she gave this speech at an nonprofit (St Peters, Wellington) to an audience filled with people from our sector.

And for years (internationally) we have been measuring the wrong thing, with our GDP fetish. As a recent UK  blog asked: what does heroin, a ‘paper’ cup that wont biodegrade for 500 years and Kim Jong-un’s smart new collection of intercontinental ballistic missiles have in common? They all contribute to growth of GDP.
* GDP only measures things that are bought or sold, so doesn’t include really important things like voluntary work, housework and caring, Increased (or reduced) leisure, etc.

* And it counts everything that is capable of being bought or sold – so spending more on prisons, fatal car crashes, or oil spills all add to our measures of ‘progress’.

* Its over-simplified averages hide how the wealth is (or is not) shared out. A very small elite may be reaping a disproportionate share of the growth, and the vast majority of citizens can be no better off in a highly “successful” economy measured by GDP.

* And the price paid is the only measure of progress, so a bloated US healthcare system with lots of inefficiencies, inflated by private profits, parasitical insurance companies and unnecessary procedures and litigation means healthcare makes up a whopping 17% of GDP, though America is lower on most measures of health status than New Zealand, where healthcare adds less than 10% to GDP.

* And perhaps most bizarrely of all, it doesn’t take into account using up or depleting natural assets. The value of minerals dug up and sold add to GDP, but the fact that we have lost them forever isn’t recognised. The loss of clean air or clean rivers is invisible to GDP. Its almost like only worrying about how much you spend and not caring whether you are running down your savings in order to do so!

Criticism of this crazy system is not new. In fact, one of the first people to put this issue on the international stage in 1988 with her classic book: “Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and Women are Worth” was the young Kiwi, Marylin Waring. And a fascinating article by two more kiwis, Caroline Saunders and Paul Dalziel, updates what has happened since then, in “Twenty-Five Years Counting for Nothing: Waring’s Critique of National Accounts”.

2018 New Zealand Business Survey

Please send this invitation to participate in the 2018 New Zealand Business Survey to your provider networks

Have your say about what it’s like to work with government 

Every year thousands of community service providers deliver social services across the country to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) works with government agencies to strengthen capability in the procurement and contract management of social services.

Each year MBIE runs an annual survey to understand suppliers’ and providers’ experiences of government procurement. For the first time in 2017, we released a companion report that focused on the results from community service providers. Companion Report 2017

We invite you to participate in this survey to have your say about what it’s like to work with government. The survey closes on Wednesday 10th April 2018. Your results are confidential.

Please share this invitation with your networks so more providers have an opportunity to participate.

The information from the survey informs the direction of our work.

The survey is now open and will close on Wednesday 10th April 2018. You can respond to this survey on your phone, tablet or computer.

Click here to start the survey

Time to learn from the past: Childrens Commissioner Andrew Becroft

“Survivors of abuse in state care will have the deep hurt they experienced investigated and acknowledged by this new inquiry”, said Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.
“I welcome the announcement of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in state care. I see this as a positive step forward for all of those who suffered the pain, fear and grief that result from abuse, while growing up with the trauma of being removed from their families. Nothing can restore their blighted childhoods, but I fundamentally hope that this will provide an opportunity for the survivors to feel genuinely listened to, and gain assistance, support and healing.
“We must aspire to a higher quality of care for all of our children. The Royal Commission will enable us to learn some hard-won lessons from the past and improve our protection and monitoring systems in the future. We must do all we can to ensure that these sad circumstances can never be repeated. As the lessons emerge, they need to be applied to the changes that that are already underway in our statutory care and protection system.
“Allowing the public to review the Terms of Reference before they are finalized will ensure that the inquiry is fully informed by the diverse range of public views.
“There will no doubt be recent lessons to be learned from the six-year Australia Royal Commission of inquiry into child abuse which conducted a thorough and sensitive and supportive process for all those that gave evidence, as well as the excellent work of the Confidential Learning and Advice Service run by Judge Henwood. My Office will provide whatever support and assistance we can offer as the inquiry progresses.

” About the Office of the Children’s Commissioner The Children’s Commissioner is an Independent Crown Entity, appointed by the Governor-General, carrying out responsibilities and functions set out in the Children’s Commissioner Act 2003. The Children’s Commissioner has a range of statutory powers to promote the rights, health, welfare, and wellbeing of children and young people from 0 to 18 years. These functions are undertaken through advocacy, public awareness, consultation, research, and investigations and monitoring. The role includes specific functions in respect of monitoring activities completed under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. The Children’s Commissioner also undertakes systemic advocacy functions and investigates particular issues with potential to threaten the health, safety, or wellbeing of children and young people.

The Children’s Commissioner has a particular responsibility to raise awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Children’s Commissioner’s activities must comply with the relevant provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989, Crown Entities Act 2004 and any other relevant legislation.

Special offer just for members of Community Networks Aotearoa and their networks – because we think you’re great!

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This is a package specifically created for community groups and organisations, with extremely discounted rates.

We are pleased to offer this opportunity not only to our member organisations but to their members as well. If you, or one of your network organisations, are interested in receiving an obligation free quote, please contact us for the special code you will require and Rothbury’s contact details.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Gill Greer CEO of the National Council of Women, Lyndy McIntyre discussing the Living Wage  and Jo Cribb regarding research on the governance capability of Social service NGOs.

To blog, or not to blog…

Here are the links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. Interesting reading as always…

The quest for global citizenship education by Ronja Levers, External Relations Co-ordinator Hui E!
Sanctions for Christmas by Trevor McGlinchey CEO New Zealand Council of Social Services
Lets campaign to stop predatory lenders by Soraiya Daud Communications Adviser National Building Financial Capability Trust
Lets do this – better by Brenda Pilott, Manager, Social Service Providers Aotearoa

Happy Easter, enjoy your break !

And don’t forget, we are 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  Our staff and our Executive Committee are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.
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