Network News November 2019

Network News November 2019

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

  • Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice
  • Guest column: Hidden homelessness of older people
  • Meet the members: Public Health Assn of NZ
  • On Air
  • ComVoices blogs
  • Government reforms / consultations
  • Charities Services new resources
  • Inland Revenue update
  • Campaigns / programmes / events
  • Special offer for members

We encourage you to send this newsletter out through your networks.

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā koutou katoa

What can you post on Facebook that gets 2,556 people reading and 706 people engaging with it over three days?  A comment about how sick I am of the old mantra about people being asked to put all raised funding to clients only, and no overheads. Go to and scroll to 1 November.

This obviously has hit a nerve; perception is one of our biggest problems.  People seem to perceive that when non-profits raise money the majority of those funds go to paying wages and administration, and trips to Guatemala, and office parties, etc. etc. etc. People who don’t work for non-profits that is!

Anyone who works for a charity knows the truth; we must have reasonable administration.  Goodness knows many of us are funded for projects but not for running the projects.

Have you ever tried to bake a cake without any ingredients?  Have you ever said you will arrange a visit with a social worker when you have no social workers?  Without resources we simply can’t provide services; and its time all these taxpayers who have no trust in us loosened up a bit.

The truth is the majority of badly-paid, dedicated, loving employees for non-profits do a great deal of extra work for absolutely nothing because they hate letting down people who are desperate for help.  Waiting lists are an inevitable result of under-resourcing and when organisations fail, it usually isn’t because of a lack of need, but often because they don’t get enough money to actually do their job.

It’s time to start asking the more important question, “Will at least 25% of my contribution go to ensure your organisation can hire staff, lease premises and ensure your organisation will be sustainable for the sake of our vulnerable community?”

If the answer is yes, they will get my donation!

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 

Guest column: 

Hidden homelessness of older people

By Dr Bev James, Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment (Cresa)

We are all familiar with newspaper reports about the housing crisis and homelessness, and even about older people living in cars because they can’t find a place to live. But what is less obvious is the ‘hidden homelessness’ older people experience. As part of research about renting among older people, we conducted 108 interviews with renters aged 55 and older living in seven areas of New Zealand, to find out whether they had experienced homelessness.

Life When Renting is a four-year research programme funded through the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.

Ros' brother John beside his caravan

John Rice beside his caravan.

We used the Statistics NZ definition of homeless, which includes living without shelter (sleeping rough or in a makeshift shelter such as a shed or garage), temporary accommodation (in a camping group or emergency accommodation), living in uninhabitable (dilapidated) housing, or sharing accommodation with others because there is nowhere else to live.

We found that 19 of our 108 participants (17.5%) had been homeless in the previous five years. Of those:

  • Two of those had been homeless more than once in the past five years
  • Over half (11) became homeless when they were aged between 55-64.
  • The rest were over 65, with three people over 70 when they became homeless.
  • All except one had never experienced homelessness before – they were homeless for the first time in later life.

13 of the 19 eventually found housing for themselves, mainly through friends and contacts in their community. However, six were still homeless at the time of interview, and all of those were paying rent.

The homeless situations they experienced ranged widely, including rough sleeping, living in a car, bus, shed, garage, sleepout, emergency accommodation in a motel, a campground, couch surfing, living in a packing shed, in commercial premises, in a barn and in a condemned house.

There were two main reasons for becoming homeless: the first was unaffordable rent; the second was their tenancy being terminated because the house was sold or the landlord or landlord’s family wanted to live in the property.  Most older tenants have private landlords, and many are on periodic tenancies, which mean that they can be given 90 days’ notice (or in some situations 42 days’ notice) to leave. It can be very stressful trying to find another rental within that time.

The most recent national level data about homelessness (2013) found that 40,658 people were homeless. Of those, 5,971 were aged 55 and older. This was almost 15% of the homeless population.

CRESA has used its research findings to develop some practical information tools.

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: The Public Health Association of New Zealand – Kāhui Hauora Tūmatanui o Aotearoa  

The PHA is here to promote informed public debate on health and health services. Our members formulate and evaluate health policy, promote research and disseminate knowledge relevant to the health of New Zealanders. Our mission is to be a strong and informed advocate for health and equity across New Zealand.
Prudence Stone, CE, and staff of the PHA.

Our fortnightly newsletter, the Policy Spot, is used to support informed and co-ordinated action on public health issues and encourage the development of trained and effective people working for health. We have four active local branches and three caucuses for Asian, Pacific and Māori members to engage on their population’s particular public health issues.At branch level we recently held a DHB election campaign to scorecard the candidates to inform voter decision-making. At national level, we’re currently submitting on the Arms legislation bill, pregnancy warnings on alcohol labelling, and the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Plan for New Zealand.

To us, every issue should be seen through a public health lens. How good is policy if it is not analysed for the impact it will have on our wellbeing? How good is policy if it does not ensure equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders? Where there is risk to health and wellbeing, the PHA raises its voice and looks for stakeholders to raise their’s alongside us.

We recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as Aotearoa New Zealand’s founding document, defining respectful relationships between tangata whenua and tangata tiriti. The PHA is committed to ensuring that Te Tiriti values of respect, partnership, equality, and full participation infuse all our policies, actions and services.This means that our governance and decision-making must reflect Te Tiriti values – the specific needs of Māori, and kaupapa Māori solutions must be factored into all decision-making about public health.

Find out about joining the PHA; to discuss a public health issue, call 04 472 3060 and ask for Leah Bain, Māori Policy Advisor or Dr Prudence Stone, Chief Executive. To feature upcoming public health events or advocacy opportunities in our Policy Spot ask for Libby Grant, Communications Advisor.

Listen to Ros interview Dave Kennedy, Facilitator Strategic Planning for the Green Party and recent editor of Te Awa, the Green Party’s membership magazine. Ros talks to Dave about what non-profits can do in their working world and their outreach to make a contribution to fighting climate change and global warming.

The November interview will be with Professor Michael Macaulay, from the Victoria University School of Government, about ethics, lobbying and impeachment.

The December interview will be with Tim Barnett.  As well as a former Labour MP and past General Secretary of the Labour Party, Tim is now CEO of FINCAP.  We will be talking about financial capability and how to survive Christmas spending.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Brenda Pilott from Social Service Providers Aotearoa on Fair Pay, Dr Ganesh Nana on Budget 2019, Sarah Doherty, about Navigator, and Tracy Martin, Minister for Children, Seniors and Internal Affairs.

ComVoices blogs

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

  • Exploiting temporary migrants
    In New Zealand, temporary migrant workers, including international students, are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, says Nicola Sutton, Chief Executive of English Language Partners NZ.
  • Home is more than a roof over our heads
    …but it’s a start. And today one of the country’s many community housing trusts opened a new housing development designed to put a warm, dry, temporary roof over some of Auckland’s many families in need. By Cushla Managh of Community Housing Aotearoa

Government reforms/ consultations



Public submissions are now being called for New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. This omnibus bill deals with social assistance for older people. Submissions close on 1 December.

Reforms to note

Submissions on the Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly Review of Retirement Income Policies have closed. If you would still like to share your thoughts, email for discussion following the delivery of the Review report and recommendations in December.

Charities Services new resources

Here are some useful new resources:

Governance information for new officers: This resource is a starting point to help you understand your role as an officer and how you can contribute to governing your charity well.

How to complete your performance report and annual return: This short, simple guide outlines what you will need to complete your performance report and annual return easily and accurately.

Inland Revenue update

KiwiSaver for employers

As an employer your main tasks for KiwiSaver are checking if your new employees are eligible to be auto-enrolled, enrolling them if they are, and making KiwiSaver deductions and contributions.

IRD has new content, navigation and design about KiwiSaver online.

Campaigns / programmes / events

Abuse in Care: Royal Commission of Inquiry
The Contextual Hearing is being held in Auckland until 8 November. You can watch the live stream here.

Child Poverty Action Group’s (CPAG) 2019 Summit – Whakamana Tāngata: Where to from here. 
Monday 18 November, Nordmeyer Lecture Theatre, Otago University, Wellington City. This year’s CPAG social welfare summit offers Government and stakeholders some answers to the question: when it comes to reducing child poverty, where to from here? Register now.

Do you or your organisation have a campaign or event you would like to highlight? If so send through a brief description to

Special offer for members of Community Networks Aotearoa and their networks 

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.

About Community Networks Aotearoa

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.


  • 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.

Photo: bruceandrobyn