Network News – Sep/Oct 2019

Network News September/October 2019

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

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.

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

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā koutou katoa

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the lack of newsletter last month.  Sadly my brother in Invercargill died suddenly and I was away from work for some weeks.  This held up the publishing of the newsletter.

We are still basking in the reaction following our biannual joint conference that we held with The NZ Council of Christian Social Services.  Wow, conference work is exhausting but most people had a great time!  We had some amazing speakers, some amazing food, lots of amazing people, and a conference dog 🙂  Yep, a little dog in a purse, who won everybody over with her sweetness and placidity. Our outgoing staff member Sarah Doherty has written our guest column summing up the conference.

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: Sarah Doherty

Tatou Tatou E! The value of relationships in building wellbeing, was the joint conference recently hosted by Community Networks Aotearoa and the New Zealand Christian Council of Social Services. Held in Wellington, this was the third time that we had partnered to bring this hui to the community sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Designed to provide the opportunity to step away from the day-to-day demands and engage in the deeper conversations that we often don’t get time for, the conference programme included a combination of inspirational keynote presentations, dynamic panel discussions and practical workshops.

The conference opened with a keynote from Professor Cindy Kiro of Auckland University who set the scene for a challenging and inspiring two days. Cindy chaired the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, who delivered the report: Whakamana Tāngata – Restoring dignity to social security in New Zealand.

Kath Harrison, from Belong Blue Mountains in New South Wales, shared how they had worked with the community to create sustainable change in the wake of the environmental impact of devastating wildfires, and the economic pressures on the neighbourhood centres that merged to form Belong Blue Mountains.

Panapa Ehau of Hikurangi Enterprises ended the first day with an inspiring address about Business as Unusual. They work in community-led economic development in the Waiapu Valley and the wider East Coast. The Hikurangi Cannabis Company grows hemp and is developing medical cannabis in New Zealand. It’s an inspiring story.

Panel discussions covered a range of topics. The political panel included four Members of Parliament: Carmel Sepuloni, Jan Logie, Tracey Martin, and Alfred Ngaro. Chaired by Bryce Edwards, it was a lively and vigorous discussion with great questions from the floor.

Day two continued as stimulating as the first day. Sasha McMeeking of University of Canterbury discussed the idea of changing social change and challenged everyone to really think about how we work for change. Associate Professor Damon Salesa of Auckland University, closed out the conference looking to New Zealand’s Pacific Futures, and thinking critically about inclusion and diversity.

The community panel discussed how community organisations can sustain their response to exclusion and discrimination following events in Christchurch. Jayden Cromb, Liz Hawes, Anjum Rahman and Mike Reid all brought diverse perspectives to an issue that we will need to keep working on throughout New Zealand for some time to come.

Our reflections after the event with our conference partners, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, affirmed our thoughts that this conference was unique in its offering. It was a conversation about social justice in Aotearoa New Zealand rather than a particular specialty or sector within social services, for example, aged care, social services, vulnerable children, etc. That made for an interesting mix of perspectives, both within the programme and across the participants.

The panels brought diverse voices, the keynotes were inspiring and the workshops were packed with practical application. It’s not easy stuff that we are all grappling with and we have come away with plenty of food for thought.

We ended the conference tired and satisfied, and so very grateful to everyone who participated. We count Tatou Tatou E! a success!


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:  

Otorohanga Support House Whare Awhina

The Otorohanga Support House Whare Awhina is a central hub that was created almost 30 years ago. We provide vital services to support our rurally located community. We provide a venue for voluntary groups and social service agencies to engage with their clients, to promote wellbeing, safety and positive changes and support in times of stress and crisis for the Otorohanga and the wider King County community.

We ensure that we meet our objective to provide welfare and support services that are accessible to the whole community, are community oriented, have proven accountability and ethical practices and foster an environment of mutual respect and trust. Services delivered are: counselling services, wrap-around social work, family harm support, budgeting, foodbank, community health transport and citizens advice bureau.

The Support House also supports smaller volunteer groups, government agencies, health and educational services; keeping all up-to-date with new initiatives and changes at a local, regional and national level.

Annually we engage with more than 3000 individuals. Referrals increase with local promotions and we are currently taking part in a multi-agency family harm pilot. We support the journey of the people in our community to enhance their wellbeing.

Along with the daily administration work and funding requirements, a large portion of my role is to connect with the agencies and with our community via newsletters, groups, in person and via emails and phone communication. I promote the Support House through network meetings and deliver presentations to local clubs and groups. It’s a role that I’ve now held for nine years and have grown with and learnt so much along the way!

I work with an amazing team and we are fully supported by a great Executive Committee. I would like to say, on behalf of all of the staff, that we are proud of the services we deliver.

Deb Hill

CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 

The conference is over but we have some extras for you to view.

When speakers present without notes, we don’t have their verbatim words, but wherever possible we have posted their presentations, and any notes we could get, on the Tātou tātou e! website.
See the Presentations

We have also set up a gallery so you can view some of the photos that were taken during conference.  We didn’t get as many pictures as we would have liked, but this is a great bunch of pics.
See the Gallery

Selection of images conference

Listen to Ros interview Brett Jeffrey: CEO of AUSAE on the Incorporated Societies Act currently being reviewed by Parliament.

We have three fascinating interviews coming up so listen out for them.  Ros will be interviewing Dave Kennedy, Facilitator Strategic Planning for the Green Party and recent editor of Te Awa, the Green Party’s membership magazine. Ros will be talking 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.

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 


Reforms to note

  • The Incorporated Societies Act review is currently under review and MP Hon Kris Faafoi has already provided a cabinet paper on proposed changes.  You can catch up with this paper and other information here.
  • The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. Public consultation on the review recently closed, but you can keep up to date on the review here.
  • The Government is reviewing the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. Read more here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released. Read more here.

Changes to Inland Revenue

Moving away from cheques

Inland Revenue is becoming increasingly digital. Soon this will include a move away from cheques.

From 1 March 2020, IRD will no longer accept cheques. This includes post-dated cheques (cheques dated after 1 March 2020).

Here is a link to a factsheet which outlines the range of alternative payment options to choose from and answers some Frequently Asked Questions.

Campaigns / programmes / events

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

  • Prime Minister, you can fix equal pay.  Get involved or find out more.
  • Funding for sexual violence prevention and support services. See more here.
  • Why we need to transform our welfare system. Read more here
  • Let’s build an Aotearoa where we all learn NZ’s history, te reo is taught and celebrated widely and Tiriti is honoured. Sign the petition here. 
  • An interactive tool that you can use to find out what life is like for families on low incomes.  Pick a path here.

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.

Photo: bruceandrobyn