SpeakEasy Notes

Five tables – Five Experts – Five Topics

With the topics chosen by our Members, each table also had a starter question to kick off conversation or to be ignored in favour of particular questions brought to the table. These bullet point notes are to remind you of topics, ideas, thoughts, difficulties, things discussed, and to inspire further conversations.

Advocacy & Community Action

with Liz Davies

Starter Question: How do you deal with challenging employees?


  • What do we mean by Advocacy – National/ Local?
    • Community Action is local
    • Advocacy is strategic
  • Some would say that advocacy is protesting, (e.g. Nuclear Free NZ, racism, 1981 Tour), but protest is actually community action.
  • Community action and advocacy have to be connected
  • Advocacy
    • Members’ rights, views; meeting needs; on their behalf to funders
    • Connecting our community to the decision makers
  • Local social services
    • Helping people to access the services and to navigate the system
    • Access to services by individuals, feeds up to Govt.
  • Tension between advocacy and community action – Difficulty of funders having opinions on actions of community groups
  • Ways to advocate include letter writing, submissions
  • Socialink writes submissions, research provides evidence based, brings agencies together
  • Listen across the sectors and networks to get a wider view
  • Who will fund the advocacy work? – Get ‘operational funding’ rather than advocacy funding
  • It can be difficult if you are not in Wellington and your local MP is not in Govt.
  • CNA is there to send information to move forward anonymously
  • Facilitate Networking
    • Issues in common
    • Doing annual surveys
    • Connecting people and organisations
    • CEs and leaders come together to unite – Speaking up on behalf of the community
  • There is a difference in ideas of Local Govt. and Social Services on the view/definition of community
  • Advocacy is about having the right to voice your opinion
  • What does advocacy look like in a collective world view – mana of the people and the voice flows from that
  • COVID – People are more aware of value of community and community organisations

We hope that this reminds you of some of the conversations that were had and may bring up some points to discuss within and around your organisation(s).

Photo: Orinoko42