Network News April 2015

More effective social services?

The draft findings and recommendations from the NZ Productivity Commission inquiry are now out and submissions are invited by 24 June before it makes its final report. The draft report says users should be given greater say in the services they receive, and government departments should take a step back.

The report also suggests a competitive market based on tendering would encourage providers to offer better services as a means to secure clients.  This could lead to further changes to the way people access social services in next month’s budget according to Acting Prime Minister Bill English.

Community Networks Aotearoa was one of many organisations in the sector to make a submission to the inquiry (read our submission) and will be looking closely at the draft report.

To make a submission on the draft report (by 24 June), visit the Productivity Commission website.

Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill – impact on voluntary and community groups

This bill proposes amendments to the Policing Act 2008 to enable cost recovery for certain Police services where there is a degree of private benefit to the users of the service.  Changes to the Act may see charities and other community groups paying for the police vetting of staff and volunteers.
ComVoices, of which Community Networks Aotearoa is a member, believes that voluntary and community organisations should be exempt from paying for policing services and this should be enshrined in legislation.

“It is the State itself that requires that NGO’s vet a wide range of people who work for them as staff and volunteers.  It’s a non-negotiable activity for NGO’s.  The reason for wider vetting is for public safety and that is a core Police role.  It is neither fair nor reasonable that the sector should now be asked to carry these costs.” says Helga Vientjes, ComVoices Chair.

A Labour Party petition against this proposed change currently has over 18,500 signatures.  The Bill is now before the Law and Order Committee with a report due on 4 May.

Skype with Ros

The next Skype with Ros for CNA members will take place on Wednesday 13 May at 11am – 12 noon.

Ros will be joined by Scott Figenshow, Director of Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) for a conversation about social housing.  To take part please register your interest and provide your Skype contact name by emailing Fionn at by Wednesday 6 May.

If you have anything you specifically wish to discuss around social housing, please let Fionn know so we may give Scott advance notice.

CNA – Hui 2015

Plans are underway for CNA’s biennial Hui to be held later this year on 15/16 October in Wellington.  Delegates will enjoy two days of interesting speakers, panel discussion and an opportunity to meet, network and share information with each other about the current hot topics in our sector. (Attendees at Hui 2013 pictured below).

CNA will cover the costs of full registration (including one night’s accommodation) for one delegate from each of our member organisations however additional delegates and non-members are also welcome to attend (cost TBC). Put it in your diaries and watch this space for further info as it comes to hand.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Child Poverty and the Social Services (interactive workshops) – Hamilton (30 April), Gisborne (5 May), Napier (7 May), Whangarei (28 May) and Dunedin (4 June) 2015
Social Services Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) bring you their National Seminar Series. Each workshop will be facilitated by Mike O’Brien (Auckland University) jointly with an identified practitioner in the region. Contact to find out more.

Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) Conference – Wellington, 11 – 13 May 2015
Society is better off thanks to you. So to celebrate the good work you do, the theme for this year’s Annual Conference is “Proud to be a Fundraiser”.
Visit to find out more and to register.

Women in Not for Profit Leadership Summit – Auckland, 9 June 2015
Liquid Learning is delighted to present the Women in Not for Profit Leadership Summit 2015, an inspirational leadership development opportunity crafted for existing and emerging leaders across the NGO/Not for Profit sector.  The summit will be followed by a one day workshop. Visit to find out more and to register.

NZ Navigator – an online assessment tool for community organisations 

A total of 623 organisations have registered with NZ Navigator since the tool was launched a year ago, with 375 assessments being completed. Organisations from all over the country have accessed the tool and benefitted from the organisational insight it fosters. Assessments have been completed by organisations from a range of sectors including social services, health education and research.

NZ Navigator is focussed on building strong and effective organisations and communities, enabling users to assess the performance of their organisation by rating all the important areas of the organisation’s operation – direction, governance, leadership, people, administration, finances, communication, evaluation, and relationships.

Any community organisation can access the tool by registering on the website or if you have any questions please contact

To blog, or not to blog – that is the question

Here are the links to three of the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop.  Interesting reading…
“Oh the Places You’ll Go!” by Gabrielle O’Brien, CEO, Birthright New Zealand
Sweeping Changes for Social Services? by Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS)
Leading within Organisations for a Digital Future by Vanisa Dhiru, Executive Director, 2020 Trust

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  Both Ros and Fionn are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.

Photo: bruceandrobyn