Network News

Network News March 2019

Network News March 2019

Community Networks Aotearoa is an umbrella organisation for local community networks. Our goal is to empower and strengthen the community sector by supporting community networks across Aotearoa.

We:

  • Provide advice and support to members
  • Connect community networks nationally
  • Use our collective voice to advocate for policy change and raise awareness of issues affecting the community sector

To find out more visit our website here.

This newsletter covers topical issues in the community sector. In this newsletter:

  • Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice
  • Guest column – Paul Barber
  • Meet the members – Community Networks Wellington
  • Charities Act review
  • Save the date! CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • IRD changes
  • On Air
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • Things to note before you go
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā Koutou Katoa

Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been up to.

There’s a number of significant reforms underway right now, including a review of the Charities Act which you can read more about in this newsletter. Over the next couple of months we’ll be busy feeding into these reforms and ensuring the interests and role of the community sector is at the forefront.

At the end of the newsletter there’s a list of government reforms / consultations, I encourage you to have your say. Many of these reforms will have far reaching consequences, so it’s important we take this opportunity to be heard.

There are two things happening right now that I want to highlight:

  • The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed and the Department of Internal Affairs has released a discussion document, please do have your say, the review could have major consequences for charities. In this newsletter we’ve included information on the review, and an overview of what some of the issues for charities might be.
  • Do you know there have been changes to COGs funding? It appears that some money from rural areas has been reallocated to urban areas, leaving some rural COGs funding severely depleted. We are not aware of any consultation on this with communities, and we are looking into what has happened and why. Watch this space!

Also, please remember the joint conference of  CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services is on 27th and 28th August. All are welcome. Every year we’ve held the conference it has been a blast, and we expect the same with this year! You can read more about in this newsletter.

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

Guest column: Paul Barber
Some small steps to greater fairness: looking at tax from the community sector perspective

The pressures and stresses of the unfairness and inequalities in our social and economic system impact directly on the whānau, families and communities that community-based organisations work in. 

It plays out in two ways, firstly, poverty, hardship, and missed opportunities for the people living in those communities, and secondly, inadequate levels of funding and other resourcing for the organisations that want to make difference for their communities.

Rebalancing our social system is going to take some national-level change to the structures of our laws and systems that affect all of us every day. That is why the work of the Tax Working Group (TWG) is important. Tax affects everyone both in how much we pay ourselves and in the benefit we receive through government-funded services and support. The TWG is clear that tax plays a vital role in reducing inequality in our society but it is not doing this nearly as well as it was 30 years ago.

The final report of the TWG says about $8 billion dollars could be raised over the first five years of a capital gains tax (CGT). It has suggested ways that $8 billion could be redistributed through tax cuts to the lower income earners.

Research by polling company UMR done in 2018 shows two thirds of New Zealanders support a capital gains tax that excludes the family home.

New Zealand really is an oddity among the other wealthy countries because it does not have a meaningful capital gains tax or other wealth taxes. It is the wealthiest 20% of our population benefit from these un-taxed gains, they would be the ones who would have to pay almost all of any CGT. It seems perfectly reasonable to ask them to pay their fair share of tax.

Reducing tax for low and middle income earners and taxing the gains from capital income for the wealthy would be very welcome steps towards more fairness and greater equality in this country. But the TWG report itself admits the package it is proposing would only have a small impact on reducing inequality.

More needs to be done and soon for a fairer and more coherent tax system.

First priority has to be making the ways the tax and the welfare systems interact. The rate at which Working for Families or the Accommodation Supplement reduces as your income rises can mean losing most of every extra dollar earned through lost entitlements.

Secondly, a higher tax rate for the highest incomes (e.g. over $100,000) needs to be introduced to make the tax system more progressive. The TWG proposal give people earning over $100,00 the same tax break as those earning $22,500, but a higher tax rate for the high earners would correct this unfairness.

Thirdly, the people who most need help will not get it through income tax cuts. They will need significant increases in core welfare benefits that are indexed to wages to keep them out of poverty.

See here for full coverage of the TWG report and media reaction. Read the TWG Final Report and the many background papers on the TWG website here.

Paul Barber, Policy Advisor, NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Meet the Members – Community Networks Wellington 

Community Networks Wellington is a non-profit organisation that provides a shared platform for Wellington’s community organisations. We aim to connect services together and to be a voice for the community sector in Wellington City. Our network meets monthly and we share information in our newsletter. We also connect with key organisations and people in our region and work to determine, strengthen, and share our voice. ​

There is no doubt the current environment has a number of challenges for community organisations. More than ever it feels that there is a need for organisations that bring together people working in community to connect, share information and collaborate. We carry out an annual network survey that informs our work and direction, and is a basis for conversations with our local council and other government organisations. The top five priorities that came out of our last survey were mental health and addictions, housing and homelessness, social isolation, funding for the community sector and poverty and financial inequality.

To progress these key issues, last year in partnership with Wellington City Council, we organised the Wellington City Social Forum. The two-day social sector gathering brought together practitioners, policy-makers and providers of services. Over two days people joined together to discuss the issues and plot a way forward. The forum was an excellent opportunity to build a collaborative response to the city’s social needs.

More information on Community Networks Wellington can be found here.

Important – Charities Act Review 

The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The Department of Internal Affairs has released a discussion document (consultation is open until 30 April 2019) and are holding a series of community meetings in March and April 2019 – more information on the review and meetings can be found here.

Sue Barker and Dave Henderson have received funding from a group of 12 community trusts and foundations to make sure there is a strong community voice in the review. Included below is information they have put together on why you should take part in the review. They have also provided information on issues charities should look out for in the review – to read a copy click here.

Review of the Charities Act 2005 – why you should get involved
Dave Henderson and Sue Barker

Every charity should be concerned about the way the current regime is being administered: good charities are being deregistered, good community organisations are being refused registration as a charity even though their funders require it, and up to one third of organisations applying for charitable status are being persuaded to withdraw their application.

At some stage, your charitable purposes may require you to point out deficiencies in government policy, yet many charities are careful what they say because of the threat of deregistration. The situation is not limited to advocacy; good charities are being affected in many other areas, including: social enterprise, economic development, sport, social housing, arts, and many others.

The review of the Charities Act could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a world-leading framework of charity law in New Zealand: one that facilitates, rather than frustrates, charitable work.

However, it will not happen by accident: it is essential that charities get engaged with the review.

Save the date! 2019 CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services joint conference 27th and 28th August 2019

CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing.

We know wellbeing is a key focus for this Government, so the conference is an excellent opportunity to hear about how the community sector fits into the Government’s priorities and highlight the important role of the sector in building wellbeing. The conference will be jam packed with thought-provoking speakers with lots of opportunities for connecting with others across the country.

Once registration opens we’ll let you know, we’ll also put information up on our website.

IRD changes

Please find below information from IRD on upcoming changes.

Start payday filing now

Has your organisations started payday filing yet? Payday filing will soon be compulsory, so get on board now. All employers need to be payday filing from 1 April, which means you will have to:

  • File employment information every payday instead of an Employer monthly schedule (IR348)
  • Provide new and departing employees’ address information, as well as their date of birth – if they have provided it to you, and
  • File electronically (from payday compatible software or through myIR) if your annual PAYE/ESCT is $50,000 or more.
  • Depending on the method you choose to start payday filing, you will need to do one of the following:
    • If you’re using software, check if it is payday filing compatible.
    • If you’re filing through myIR, make sure are familiar with the new Payroll Returns account in the My business section.
    • If you’re filing through paper, make sure you have the new forms to fill in.

Want more information? Inland Revenue’s payday filing website has plenty of resources to help, and why not register today for our webinar on 25 March? It’s a great opportunity to ask our panel of IR experts any burning questions you’ve got about payday filing.

Getting ready to support you

We’ve been busy holding dress rehearsals to test our timing and sequencing ahead of April, when the next wave of changes to make our tax system more straightforward will come into effect.

To minimise disruption for our customers and limit the time our services will be unavailable, the dates we have chosen take advantage of the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays. So what this will mean for you is our:

  • core systems, our front of office counters and our contact centres will shut down from the afternoon of Thursday 18th April 2019,
  • systems and services will be back open on the morning of Friday 26th April 2019.

Upgrading IR’s website – new content on beta site

We’re completely redeveloping our website, including the look and feel, content, and the platform it sits on, to provide our customers with a great online experience. We’re building content in sections on a beta, or test site, and our third round of content – income tax, will be available from early March.

We want to make the new IR website the best it can be, so, as with previous beta releases, we’re keen to receive your feedback.

You can access the beta site via a link on the current IR website’s homepage, as well as through links on the Child Support and Working for Families landing pages. In early March a link will also be available from the income tax landing page. Please take a look and complete the survey to share your thoughts.

New website goes live in April

Our new website will go live as part of our next transformation release and will be available from the morning of Friday 26 April. It will feature:

  • A new homepage
  • A new look and feel, and layout
  • Content previously tested on the beta site – Working for Families, Child Support, income tax
  • Global search across the new site and all content on the old site
  • Seamless navigation across both the new and old sites.

Not all content will be on the new website initially, but our global search will help you find what you’re after and the improved navigation and site structure will enable you to seamlessly move between the two sites.

We’ll continue to test further content on the beta site and then publish to the new site in the months following the April transformation release. We hope to have all our content on the new website by late 2019.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Jo Cribb on a governance project she’s involved in (along with CNA).

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Chris Glaudel from Community Housing Aotearoa, Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Rata Kamau from IRD.

To blog, or not to blog…

Here are the links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. We recommend a browsing through these blogs. They are fascinating reading as always…

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • Important – The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. Have your say here. The Department of Internal Affairs is holding a series of community meetings in March and April 2019 about the review – more information can be found here.
  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is visiting towns and cities across New Zealand to hear what people want from their criminal justice system. Find out more here (including a list of public forums).
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. The review is keen to hear your thoughts on what system level changes could improve the performance of our health and disability system. For more information click here.

Other reforms to note

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is advising on the future of the welfare system. The Group has delivered its advice to Ministers and the report will be made public late March / early April. More information can be found here.
  • Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here.
  • The Government is reforming the State Sector Act. More information on the review can be found here.
  • The Tax Working Group is examining the structure, fairness and balance of New Zealand’s tax system. The Government has now received the Group’s final report – more information and the report can be found here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, the Government will formally respond in March. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation. The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group has released its recommendations. For more information click here.

Things to note before you go

Strategic Grants have been running a number of online and face to face training opportunities, teaching best-practice processes, strategies and skills required to successfully and sustainably access grants funding for projects. Learn more and book online here. The next event is:

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

Facing an increase in your insurance premium? Then Community Networks Aotearoa in association with Rothbury Insurance Brokers can help!

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.

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  Our staff and our Executive Committee are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.

Copyright © 2019 Community Networks Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

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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!

Facing an increase in your insurance premium? Then Community Networks Aotearoa in association with Rothbury Insurance Brokers can help!

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.
Copyright © 2018 Community Networks Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

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Network News July 2017

Election Briefing from ComVoices  

As you may be aware, C.N.A is very involved with ComVoices.  A Wellington based group of national NGOs who network, share information and talk with politicians and others about the issues of the time as regards the Community and Voluntary sector.

We have monthly meetings and sometimes hold events. A ComVoices sub-group worked very hard, and with quite a lot of profile on the vexed issue of identifiable client level data.

At the moment, ComVoices is very happy to have a shift in focus regarding the data to the Social Investment Agency under the intelligent eye of Minister Amy Adams where it is hoped that working together with Statistics and the Privacy Commissioner, the NGO sector can have meaningful dialogue about the collection of sensitive information.

However.. an election looms and there are many more issues of importance to consider. As in years before, ComVoices sent out a survey called State of the Sector Survey to test the state of play for community services.

The results of this survey have led to our Communities Count document which we have sent to representatives of all parties and ComVoices members are now personally visiting MPs to discuss the document further.

This document is an Election Briefing from ComVoices where we ask political parties to focus on three issues and the practical ways government and community services could work together more effectively to make a difference.

We ask that parties consider our input when developing policy.

If you wish to see this paper (Communities Count) and use it for your own discussions with your local MPs please feel free to link to this site and download it.

Also please feel free to share it with your newsletters and those in your distribution groups.
http://communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017-06-ComVoices-election-briefing-.pdf

If you want us to send it directly via an email for printing off, just contact us at info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

Empowerment & Success: A Positive Path for the NGO Sector

In his latest blog on Community Scoop, Trevor McGlinchey sets the scene for the upcoming joint conference from NZCCSS and Community Networks Aotearoa.

The conference, which will be held on 26/27 October at the Quality Hotel Lincoln Green in Auckland, promises to be a thought provoking two-day event with a range of interesting and inspirational speakers from NZ and across the Tasman. The conference is open to all people interested in our sector – our member organisations, their member organisations and networks, our colleagues and stake holders.

For further info and to register please visit http://empowerment.nz (Please don’t forget to like our Facebook page as well for ongoing updates).

 

 

From Ros Rice, Executive Officer, Community Networks Aotearoa…

Did you meet me on the CNA/Child Matters tour during the last 3 months? 

It all started about two years ago when Scott Miller from Volunteering New Zealand and I were talking about the horrendous statistics of child abuse in New Zealand. We are just a small country with the population of a small city, yet on average one child is killed every 5 weeks.

One of the ways we can change this, is plug all the places where abusers can get access to children. Scott and I realised that although those working with vulnerable children were aware of policies and checking procedures with staff and volunteers, many other organisations who didn’t work in that field were unaware that they needed to ‘’up their game’’.

Scott and I had the access to organisations who work with volunteers and other NGOs around the country, but we were not the experts, so we invited Child Matters from Hamilton to join us to help spread the message about the Vulnerable Children’s Act and other important child safety issues.

Scott and I had the access to organisations who work with volunteers and other NGOs around the country, but we were not the experts, so we invited Child Matters from Hamilton to join us to help spread the message about the Vulnerable Children’s Act and other important child safety issues.  

Scott had to withdraw from the project, but C.N.A and Child Matters persevered. Then this February MSD provided us with funding to run the tour. We visited 13 centres around the country and spoke to literally hundreds of people. It was a 90 minute seminar, but hopefully we left people with more understanding about how to write policies, how to safety check your workers and where to go to find resources and information.

If you wish to see the slides from the presentation please click below. You can also access two videos, and some definitions that explain how we describe different forms of child abuse.
http://communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz/roadshow-for-volunteers-and-volunteering-organisations-your-responsibility-in-safeguarding-children/

The statistics in our country (2015-2016 –142,249 Reports of Concern to Child Youth and Family) are our national shame. Everyone needs to step up, step out and speak out against this horror being inflicted on so many of our children.

PS: sorry to all those who were annoyed with my interrupting interpretive habit. 🙂
PPS: Big thanks to the Ministry of Social Development for supporting this tour with some funding.

Download and listen to Ros interview Moyna Fletcher, Child Protection Consultant with Child Matters, about the Vulnerable Children Act (2014).

 

 

 

Queen’s Birthday Honour

We were pleased and proud to learn that Deirdre Jolly of Alexandra COSS was recently named  a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for services to the community. Deirdre is a long time member of Community Networks Aotearoa and has worked tirelessly for her community for a great many years. A well deserved accolade.

Need some professional skills pro-bono?

HelpTank is a digital marketplace connecting skilled professionals able to donate their time and skills pro-bono, and not for profit organisations that can benefit from their expertise right now.

The Who Did You Help Today Trust developed HelpTank following research showing that community groups can struggle to find and engage the skills they need. Meanwhile individuals with specific skills also report it challenging to find a volunteer role that suits them.

Head to https://helptank.nz/ to see how HelpTank can support you and your organisation.

Community Law Manual 2017-2018 now available. 

The Community Law Manual is an easy-to-read, practical guide to everyday New Zealand law. Aimed at everyone who works with high-needs people in vulnerable communities, this edition has had a lot of legal work – to keep pace with rapid law change and to continue to refocus on law that’s most useful for our most vulnerable. It has a brand new chapter on Immigration and several other chapters have been rewritten to make them even more practical and accessible.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

  • The standard rate for the Community Law Manual is $150 + GST.
  • NGO bulk orders of 10 or are eligible for discounts. Depending on how many you order, copies can drop by more than 25%.
  • For more information on bulk purchase rates, email info@wclc.org.nz

Place an order for the Community Law Manual by:

To blog, or not to blog…

Here are the links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. Interesting reading as always…
“Don’t Panic!” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Dianne Armstrong, CFRE, Arthritis New Zealand
Not rocket science at all… by Anaru Fraser, General Manager, Hui E!
How do we know we’re making a difference? by Josie Pagani, Director, Council for International Development
A Royal Salute? by Phil McCarthy, Director, Prison Fellowship of New Zealand
Celebrate Our Uniqueness – Plan the Way Forward by Trevor McGlinchey, CEO, NZCCSS
Budget 2017 – where’s the Justice? by Katie Bruce, Director, Just Speak
Having a choice – “some people have all the luck!” by Gabrielle O’Brien, Chief Executive, Birthright New Zealand
On the darker side of volunteer work by Scott Miller, Chief Executive, Volunteering New Zealand
Budget 2017 and the voices of young people by Anya Satyanand, Executive Officer, Ara Taiohi

Upcoming Conferences

Beyond Boundaries: Collaboration in Action – Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) – 4-5 September, Wellington
This year’s SSPA conference is for all those working in social services whether as practitioners, administrators, researchers or policy makers. For further info please visit https://www.sspa.org.nz/

PIVOT Linking Vision to Action – Volunteering New Zealand – 30 October, Auckland
National conference featuring  Rob Jackson, volunteer management expert and world-class speaker. For further info please visit http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/

Our Planet.Our Struggle.Our future. – CIVICUS and Pacific Island Association of NGOs (PIANGO) – 4-8 December, Suva, Fiji
International Civil Society Week (ICSW) is a key global gathering for civil society and other stakeholders to engage constructively in finding common solutions to global challenges. For the first time in more than 20 years of global convening, CIVICUS will hold its flagship event in the Pacific region. For further info please visit http://www.civicus.org/index.php/icsw-2017

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.

Network News May/June 2017

MSD IT Inquiry Not Enough

Media Release 12 April 2017

The announcement of an enquiry into the privacy failure of MSD’s online reporting platform for community organisations required to provide individual client data (ICLD) addresses only one of the Privacy Commissioner’s four recommendations, says ComVoices.

“The just announced enquiry is deflecting us from the real question”, said Trevor McGlinchey, ComVoices Spokesperson.  “The question at the heart of the enquiry should be why are we collecting data that the Privacy Commissioner has said is ‘…excessive, disproportionate to government’s legitimate needs and therefore inconsistent with the privacy principles’?”.

“The staff of social services organisations have a range of professional bodies which provide ethical guidelines about maintaining the privacy of clients.  Not only will these organisations be breaking these ethical guidelines, they will also be forced to work in direct contravention of the Privacy Commissioner’s findings.”

At the moment service providers have been told they must continue to collect the private data of their clients to provide to MSD at a future date.  They have not been told who will be held to account for breaking the privacy principles set out in the Privacy Act.

“The community sector is waiting for leadership from the Minister and MSD about the important issues raised in the Privacy Commissioner’s report,” says McGlinchey.  “This mass collection of data is inappropriate and will directly affect many New Zealand families. This level of surveillance will cause others not to seek help so that they do not become labelled as ‘vulnerable’ and included as a named statistic on a government database. As always the NGO sector is happy to work alongside MSD to find a more appropriate solution to their data needs.”

ComVoices is calling on the Government to put an immediate hold on this policy while it addresses the issues raised by the Privacy Commissioner.

Contact Trevor McGlinchey, ComVoices Spokesperson, phone 04 473 2627

Read more >

Network News April 2017

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.

Inclusive NZ – the story so far
by Deb Stringer, Communications and Marketing Officer, Inclusive NZ

In essence, Inclusive NZ is a federation of organisations and individuals involved in the provision of employment and community support services for disabled people.

But when you really break it down, there’s definitely a bit more to us and the work we do!

Whatever the work though, our main driving forces are always centred on our ultimate goal to make ‘New Zealand 100 per cent accessible to all’ and to remain relevant to the members’ we serve.

Remaining true to our members has not changed since our inception back in 1982, however the name of the organisation has undergone a few name changes over the years.

The most recent one came in early 2015 which saw us move away from the New Zealand Federation of Vocational and Support Services (NZ VASS) in favour of the name Inclusive NZ.

Name changes aren’t the only thing that has evolved over the years, either, and we now support 72 members and member organisations, which hail from all over the country!

To help support our members, the Inclusive NZ team consisting of Tess, Wendy, Deb and Leanne work very hard in a number of different ways.

Firstly, we have a strong belief that our goal of inclusive communities cannot be achieved without active engagement with both the disability sector and wider community sector.

This means that we work with government agencies, disabled people’s organisations, the business sector and other NGOs, and represent our members on a number of advisory groups and networks.

Access to opportunities for learning and information is also a big part of our work, so we offer our members a number of opportunities to network and learn through the various forums, workshops and conferences we regularly hold.

Professional development is another area we throw our support behind and through administering the Training and Workforce Development Fund, on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development, we are able to support those working in the sector to undertake further training opportunities.

In recent times we have been thinking about how we can further support our members, others working in the sector, and the work they do in new and different ways.

That is why we launched the Action Research Project – a project which seeks to build the evidence base around what employment, participation and inclusion services do.

Anyone is able to participate in the project and all they have to do is:

  • Pick a topic that is of interest to them and/or the organisation they  work for
  • Register their project with Inclusive NZ (registration form available on our website)
  • Undertake the research using an action research methodology
  • Share their findings at the Inclusive NZ Action Conference (October 30 – 31st 2017)

We will be providing support and resources to all those who participate!

To find out more and to register your project, visit the Action Research Project Section of the Inclusive NZ website. We would love to have you on board!

For further info about Inclusive NZ visit http://www.inclusive.nz/ or “like” them on Facebook

Read more >

Network News March 2017

Roadshow for Volunteers and Volunteering Organisations: Your responsibility in safeguarding children

Child Matters and Community Networks Aotearoa are jointly delivering a nationwide roadshow providing presentations to volunteers and volunteering organisations.

This roadshow will provide education and information to those in the volunteering and community sectors to assist in understanding roles and responsibilities when engaging with vulnerable children and provide access to resources to assist in developing safe child protection systems and environments.

This free presentation is aimed at:

  • Volunteers

  • Community sector organisations

  • Community organisation Board members

Presentation Outline:

  • Introduction to the Vulnerable Children Act (2014) and how this impacts on volunteers and volunteering organisations

  • Understand the role we play in keeping vulnerable children in their communities safe

  • Provision of reference material to support the development of Child Protection Policies, safety checking and safe working practices

  • Overview of child abuse in NZ

  • The importance of organisational child protection policies and how to implement these to keep children, volunteers and community groups safe

Read more >

Network News February 2017

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.

For further info about Community Waikato visit www.communitywaikato.org.nz  “like” us on Facebook or contact robyn@communitywaikato.org.nz

 

on_airDownload 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/

Read more >

Network News December 2016

Introducing Neighbourhood Support New Zealand (NSNZ)

by Kelsey Scarr, National Manager, NSNZ

Kia Ora to all members, sponsors and stakeholders who are reading this great publication. It is an honour for me to have an article in this newsletter, so a big thank you to Ros and Fionn at Community Networks Aotearoa for the opportunity.

 My name is Kelsey Scarr and I am the National Manager of Neighbourhood Support New Zealand (NSNZ) based in Wellington. I have been in this role since October 2016 and came into this role with passion and the drive to see our organisation grow and be seen as a leader in the community safety and not for profit sectors.

In my previous role I was the Manager of Hutt Safe City Group Charitable Trust which is an organisation based in the Hutt Valley encompassing the governance and administration of four portfolios including Neighbourhood Support, Community Patrols, Junior Neighbourhood Support (JNS) and administration of the CCTV Camera structure. I was in this role for five and a half years and thoroughly enjoyed my role. Hutt Safe City is unique because it works very well and brings together groups that are sometimes fragmented in other cities.

It has been a busy year for Neighbourhood Support both at a national level, and for our fantastic champion groups and committees at local level. We are soon to be announcing our national affiliation package and contestable funding round for the betterment of offices and coordinators throughout New Zealand. This will create a consistent package for all affiliated areas along with striving to increase nationwide opportunities for joint communication, increasing working synergies with key stakeholders, investing in people and refreshing our public image. Read more >

Network News November 2016

“Most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth.” – Ken Robinson

On Wednesday 19 October in conjunction with our colleagues from Inclusive NZ, we welcomed our members to Wellington for our first joint Hui. Delegates from both umbrella organisations came from throughout the country for the chance to make connections and explore opportunities for collaboration.

The day began separately with the business of our AGMs before coming together for a World Café.  One important item of business at CNA’s AGM was the election of our Executive Committee for 2016 – 18.  The following were elected: Andrew Beyer, Tess Casey, Denise Lormans, Alan Shanks, Holly Snape, Jo Taylor and Christine West. For further info about the new Exec click here

Following lunch we were joined by Wallace Chapman, host of television’s “Back Benches” (described by The Herald as a sort of “Top Gear” of politics). Wallace expertly facilitated a panel of politicians including Grant Robertson (Labour Party), Jan Logie (Green Party), Ria Pond (NZ First), Ian McKelvie (National Party) and Marama Fox (Maori Party). One of the most popular sessions of the day, the politicians delivered plenty of lively debate on issues including the resourcing of the community and voluntary sector, the ability for all to access education despite personal circumstance and, the increased requirement for evidence and data.

Our guest speaker Brayden Smith of Grant Thornton, wrapped up our day with an informative and very useful presentation on changes affecting the sector.  Among other items, Brayden discussed the new Charities Services reporting requirements and how charities are responding to the new Statement of Service Performance.

It was a pleasure to have so many of our members here in Wellington and the Executive Committee, Ros and Fionn extend their heartfelt thanks to all participants who took time out from their busy schedules to make the Hui such a success – delegates, Wallace, Brayden, the politicians and of course our wonderful colleagues at Inclusive NZ.

Our next major event will be our conference in 2017 and we look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, here’s some pics from the Hui…

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The holes are getting bigger in the safety net provided by the community sector

 

ComVoices has recently released the results of its second State of the Sector Survey.

“The second ComVoices State of the Sector Survey of the Community Sector shows that stresses on our organisations are increasing” says Scott Miller, Chair of ComVoices.

“We are facing greater demand for our services, are dealing with greater complexity with less funding from government, and have a greater reliance on alternative funding sources to support the delivery of services.

“The crisis in the sector is worsening and despite discussions with government and its agencies no one appears to be listening” he says.
Read more >

Network News October 2016

Proposed Changes to the Incorporated Societies Act

Following on from the article of the same name in the April issue of this publication, we can let you know that a template to assist with the rewriting of constitutions is now available on our website at http://communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz/resources/  This is a combined trust/society template so take out what doesn’t apply to your organisation. The template has been produced by the Southland Community Law Centre and updated to include the contact officer and mediation/arbitration requirements of the new Act.

The good news is that all changes will have a lengthy “Transition” period of at least two years. This will enable all incorporated societies to take time to revise their constitutions and ensure that they comply with the requirements of the new Act and Regulations once they are passed and put into place.

On the road again…

by Ros Rice, Executive Officer, Community Networks Aotearoa

Two things I love: going down South to where I grew up, and meeting people from C.N.A’s membership face to face. Lucky old me, I got to do both last week in my road trip around the Deep South.

Firstly let me encourage all of you to fly into Queenstown some time in your life in winter or springtime.  The flight dropping down below the snow covered peaks into the intense sunshine and clear air of Central Otago is awe inspiring and I couldn’t stop grinning. As a child my family used to drive up to Queenstown to stay with my granddad and I always feel this deep connection when I arrive there.

A fabulous drive through the Kawaru Gorge and then into Alexandra, another town I spent time in during my childhood. Staying with the beautiful Liz Duggan (Alexandra Blossom Festival Senior Queen) and dinner with Liz and Deidre, Secretary and Chair respectively of Alexandra Council of Social Services, followed by an early AGM the next day. Central Otago is blessed with amazing community minded people, and organisations that look out for people in their area. It’s an honour to meet with many of them.

However, not much time to spare as following the AGM, I was in the car and heading south to Invercargill. The countryside of Southland is green, lush and beautiful, so I took the route through Nightcaps to Gore to feast my eyes on the way. Gore to Invercargill is a quick trip again down memory lane but as hard as I looked I couldn’t see the recently collapsed vat at the Fonterra factory in Edendale.

I made it in time for the meeting in Invercargill at 2.30pm. I don’t think a lot of northern living people realise that Central is only a couple of hours away from Invercargill. Many of my school friends used to take jaunts up to Coronet Peak for a weekend’s skiing when I was a teenager.

I met another group of people who are dedicated and involved in the Southland community. I remembered this time to take a picture at the end of the meeting, although several had to leave before then. Lovely to see everyone, and I was able to hand out information and brochures and some of our C.N.A pens – I like bearing gifts 🙂


Next morning bright and early I was back on the road, heading back to Gore to meet with another C.N.A member, the Community Networking Trust. This had to be a fast meeting as I had another couple of hours on the road to get to Dunedin by midday to meet with people from Connect South. Yes, the Dunedin Council of Social Services (DCOSS) has rebranded. Not a lot of people, but it was just an informal chat, and that’s okay.

Then a couple of days with my daughter and grandchildren.  For the first time ever I stayed in an Airbnb. I got the use of a lovely little cottage all on my own for a very low cost.

Sunday (Day 5) I arrived back home in Wellington exhausted but worth every second. I believe it is important to meet people face to face and to find out what is happening for them. They also can meet me. Too often it is easy to sit in an office in Wellington and lose touch with membership, but C.N.A is ‘the voice of the regions’ and that voice needs to be authentic.

If you want a visit from me at any time.  Just contact C.N.A and if I can do it… I will.  See you soon.

On Air with Ros

Download and listen to Ros talk with Stephanie Clare the new CEO of Age Concern New Zealand.

 

 

Making written submissions to influence policy

(from Vol 55, September Issue 2016, Kumara Vine, Community Waikato)

Making submissions is an effective tool that anyone can use so that their voices and views are heard concerning government policies or legislation. It is worth the effort to set aside time to prepare, and to present, written and oral submissions about issues and causes that you are passionate about, and you believe needs change!

1. Define the Problem!
Firstly, it’s important to understand your own concerns about the changes you want made to policies or proposed legislation. So, ask these four key questions to help clarify your thinking and views:

WHY …is it a problem? WHO …is it a problem for? HOW …serious is the problem? WHAT…evidence do you have about the problem? What do you think are the causes?
Read more >

Photo: bruceandrobyn