Meet the members
by Kim Cable, Marketing Manager, Community Waikato
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.
Based in Hamilton, Community Waikato is a community organisation that builds the capacity and capability of the community sector in the Waikato by supporting and informing social service organisations. We work alongside groups and organisations understanding that they are the experts in what they do. We bring the resources and processes and the groups we work with hold the experience, knowledge and wisdom. Together we build on their strengths and develop their capacity.
Services that Community Waikato provide include: one-to-one advisory service; mentoring; facilitation; training; information; scholarships; advocacy; Tindall Foundation, and Len Reynolds Trust funding.
In 2000, Trust Waikato CE and Trustees saw that there was a need for capacity strengthening in the community sector in Waikato and set up the Social Service Waikato Trust. By 2002, the first staff and a kaumatua were appointed. In 2007, the Social Services Trust moved to its current premises at the south end of Victoria Street in Hamilton, and changed its name to Community Waikato. The geographic area that Community Waikato service covers is the same as the Trust Waikato funding area, and includes the districts of Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Waipa, Waikato, South Waikato, Waitomo, Otorohanga, Ruapehu and Hamilton City.
Currently Community Waikato employs 9 staff. Last year Holly Snape came on board as the newCommunity Waikato Chief Executive. Community wellbeing has been Holly’s driving force for more than a decade. Community development and community wellbeing are high priorities which we can enhance together by engaging in measures to address social, economic and environmental needs. Holly has also joined the board of Community Networks Aotearoa.
There are a number of challenges currently facing the not for profit sector. Changes in government contracting, changes in compliance for these contracts, the pressure on organisations to keep up with demand as inequality and poverty grows and the impact of contestable funding on sector relationships are all challenges that we need to address. But there are also growing opportunities, such as changes in technology that can revolutionise service delivery, the growing professionalism of the sector, the growth in consumer interest in supporting social enterprises, and the potential to build and capitalise on international relationships.
Following on from the highly successful Rising to the Challenge conference in 2015, on the 2-3 August 2017, Community Waikato are hosting another Community Waikato Conference for the community sector. The theme for this conference is ‘Thriving in the 21st Century’. The aim of this conference is to reignite our passions and motivate us to think and act differently. We need to acknowledge what we are doing well and challenge our pre-conceived ideas to think outside the square to ensure we thrive moving forward in the 21st century.
Our sector is operating in a challenging environment, both socially and financially. We need to work smarter and more efficiently to achieve positive outcomes for those we serve while remaining viable and true to our values. The increasing pressure on the community sector to achieve more with less requires us to challenge the way we have done things in the past.
Download and listen to Ros interview Brenda Pilott, National Manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, about the new requirements from MSD for contracted service providers to provide the Ministry with identifiable client data (scroll down one programme in the link to find this interview).
To read the ComVoices issues paper on this topic, mentioned in the interview, please visit our website http://communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz/resources/