News

Network News – December 2018

Network News – December 2018

Network News December 2018

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
  • Meet the Members – Skylight Trust
  • CNA office closed 24th Dec to the 4th Jan
  • IRD changes coming up
  • Governance and the community sector
  • Save the date! CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • Online resources
  • Child Poverty Action Group Campaign – Welfare fit for Families
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

Seasons greetings! And just like that we’ve hit December. It’s been a big year, with many significant reforms underway.

I know this has put many not for profit / community organisations under pressure as they’ve tried to provide meaningful input while dealing with pressured day to day goings on.

Next year will be critical as many of the reforms begin to take shape and we start seeing concrete proposals, and CNA will be in there pushing the interests of community and needs of community organisations. Fittingly, at the end of December I, along with Brenda Pilot, Social Service Providers Aotearoa and Trevor McGlinchey, NZ Council of Christian Social Services, will be meeting with Grant Robertson to talk about the role of community in improving wellbeing and the needs of the sector. I’ll provide an update in the new year.

As well as responding to reforms, CNA has its own projects underway to support the community sector (see the governance project included in this newsletter).

But, for now, I hope you all get some well deserved rest and relaxation over the coming weeks, and fingers crossed enjoy some sunshine!

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.

Meet the Members – Skylight Trust 

Skylight’s mission is to build resilient children, young people, whānau and communities. Skylight supports children, young people and their whānau to navigate through tough times by delivering the right help, at the right time, in the right way.

A committed and experienced Board of Trustees guides the services and activities. The organisation is led by the Chief Executive Heather Henare. Alongside Heather is an external financial controller, ensuring transparency and quality, independent audit practices.

Skylight delivers a high quality one-stop-shop through the Resilience Hub. Anyone can access a suite of digital products and resources.

Skylight’s services and programmes are built on trauma informed practice, with a focus on building resilience. Skylight delivers services directly to children, young people, and their whānau. Skylight builds the capability through the wider sector through training and professional development. Skylight has developed partnerships with a network of organisations and counsellors throughout Aotearoa that work with us to deliver services.

Skylight is connecting services through the Resilience Hub, an accessible platform that leverages existing specialist services provided by Skylight partners and others, alongside the specific services that Skylight offers. The Hub provides online resources for people to build a kete of resilience tools to draw on in challenging times, including for parents and care givers, and those supporting others in times of need. It brings together resources from the community, and shares these through the Hub to support building resilience.

The Hub features two web-series that deal with real issues affecting young people across the country. One tackling the issue of Rangatahi and their experiences with suicide, the other based on the power of resilience. For communities, professionals, groups and individuals there is online training content, access to knowledge and tools to help get them through difficult times. This ensures users have access to a holistic suite of the services that people need.

Skylight has a national network of specialist facilitators and trainers and builds community knowledge and capability through national partnerships and networks.

Skylight delivers:

*Resilience Programmes * School Programmes * Suicide Prevention Programmes * Post Suicide Support * Support Groups * Professional Development * Counselling * Training * Resource Centre * Games/DVD/Library * Specialist Support Information * Research * Children’s Programmes * Advocacy and support * Suicide Services * Webinars * Web series

The work Skylight does is extensive; we support over 20,000 people annually in communities throughout New Zealand. 
We rely on the generous support we receive through donations and sponsorship.

To get more information click here or email: info@skylight.org.nz

CNA office closed over Christmas / New Year

The CNA office will be closed 24th December to the 4th January. The first newsletter of the year will be sent out at the beginning of February.

IRD changes coming up

IRD has some big changes coming up, and they will probably affect you.

For employers, a big change is payday filing. While it’s currently voluntary, it becomes mandatory in April next year. This means that you need to get your organisation ready to start payday filing as soon as possible before it becomes compulsory.

Inland Revenue’s website provides you with important information about payday filing and videos to help you get ready. On the payday filing webpage you’ll find:

  • An explanation of payday filing in a nutshell
  • The benefits of payday filing for employers and employees
  • Ways to payday file, including how to payday file through the file upload or online entry methods
  • How to switch to payday filing now, and how to let us know you are shifting to payday filing

IRD are really keen to work with organisations to make this change as easy as possible and help solve any problems, if you’re not sure about what the changes involve, send them an email – IRTransformation@ird.govt.nz

IRD also have other changes coming up, for example, next April (2019), subject to the passing of legislation, IRD are implementing changes to simplify the end of year tax processes.

All individuals, whose only income is from salary or wages and investment income, where tax has already been deducted, will receive an end-of-year assessment that shows their income, deductions and tax payable. It will also include if the customer is owed a refund or has a tax bill.

You can find out more about changes coming up here.

Governance in the community sector 

Here at CNA we’ve fielded a lot of feedback from organisations seeking information on good governance, or help with governance issues. So we’ve set about with a group of other organisations and interested people to explore how we can better support good governance in the community sector.

As no doubt you’ll know, the community sector is hugely important to Aotearoa. From housing and health to emergency support and everything in-between, the community sector plays a critical role in individual family, whānau and community wellbeing. So it’s important community organisations are well supported.

We know a crucial part of this support is much needed resource, and that’s something we’re pushing with Government. But another aspect to being a well supported organisation is having good governance that enables the organisation to fulfill its purpose. Governance is important because it provides strategic guidance for an organisation, however we know many community organisations struggle to find governance support that’s accessible, affordable and relevant to the community sector.

So we’ve teamed up with a group of other interested people and organisations with experience in community sector governance to look at how practical support can be given to boards and committees, and how we can promote the value of good governance.

More information will be provided in the new year, but any initial feedback would be very welcome.

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 their joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington.

Registrations will open in the new year, but in the meantime save the date!

Online resources

As 2019 approaches many organisations will be thinking about strategic planning, so we thought it timely to put out a reminder about some of the great online resources out there.

One is Community Research, where you can find webinars, research and resources for the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector.

Another great online resource is CommunityNet Aotearoa, an online hub where you can find and share resources designed to strengthen community organisations.

Lastly check out NZ Navigator, it’s focused 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.

Looking for something but can’t find it? Get in touch and we’ll see how we can help you.

Child Poverty Action Group Campaign – Welfare fit for Families  

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has launched a new campaign – Welfare fit for Families.

No-one is immune from life’s challenges, and when situations arise that negatively impact on a parent’s ability to provide for their family, assurance that they can continue to lead a life that is free from harm associated with poverty is vital.

CPAG welcomes 2018 developments such as the Families Package and the Government’s acknowledgement – in the form of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group – that great effort is required to reverse nearly two generations of poverty entrenchment. A Child Poverty Reduction Bill in the house, as well as increases to Working for Families and other supplements are all developments to be celebrated, and will make a difference for some.

But for many other families – those who have very low incomes – more significant improvements are needed, including long-term policies to ensure that welfare benefits and tax credits do not follow a pattern of falling far behind the rising costs of living and housing.

As part of the campaign, CPAG has released a set of recommendations, you can read them here.

Last month CPAG also teamed up with Action Station bring the voices of those affected by welfare reform to the fore. Understanding people’s lived experiences of poverty and the welfare system is critical to building a welfare system that works.

Between 18 and 31 October 2018, 267 people contributed their perspectives, insights and experiences of the welfare system. The findings have been collated in the a report – Welfare for Wellbeing.

The report, submitted to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, included an overwhelming trend of people having negative experiences with Work and Income and a desperate lack of income to afford basic needs:

  • Four out of five respondents had negative experiences.
  • 84 percent of people said they do not currently receive enough income to live with dignity and participate fully in the community.

You can read the report here.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Chris Glaudel from Community Housing Aotearoa.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services, Rata Kamau from IRD, Alfred Ngaro, National MP and Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • 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).

Other reforms to note

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group – consultation has now closed. The Group will deliver its advice in a report to Ministers by February 2019, and Cabinet will make decisions on the Government’s response in March. 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 Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019. For more information click 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.

  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.

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…

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.

Network News – November 2018

Network News – November 2018

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Network News November 2018

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
  • Meet the Members – Southland Interagency Forum
  • CNA AGM and Hui
  • Have your say: ComVoices state of the sector survey 2018
  • Why we must stop intellectualizing and take more actions
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

As the year begins its wrap up I hope things are not too hectic for you, I know things are continuing at full pace here!

CNA has just had its biannual Hui – every second year we hold a hui to give members an opportunity to learn more about key issues affecting the community sector and to connect with others (in the year in-between we hold a national conference). It was a fantastic day, you can read more about it below. For those that attended you’ll have seen in your packs a CNA poster and magnets, building a national profile helps to strengthen our collective voice so we’d really appreciate you putting these up. If you didn’t attend the Hui or need more, just get in touch.

You’ll also see a link to a ComVoices survey – if you’re from a community organisation I strongly encourage you to take part. The information from the survey is used to talk with politicians and decision makers about the sector and what’s needed. Therefore it’s crucial we have as many organisations as possible involved so the results paint an accurate picture of the sector.

In this issue we’ve also reprinted with permission a blog from Vu Le in Seattle, USA. His blogs are incredibly entertaining, and include lots of useful insights and advice on the not for profit sector – and while Vu is American many of the insights apply equally here. I encourage you to have a read of his blog.

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.

Meet the Members – Southland Interagency Forum

The Southland Interagency Forum began in the mid/late 1980’s when Southland experienced a serious rural downturn. Sheep farmers were walking off their farms, suicides increased dramatically, and farming women began driving long distances to access off farm paid work in towns and cities.

The Southland District Council employed the first of what is now a network of six rural community workers. This worker was encouraged to come into Invercargill once a month to meet with the staff of government agencies to discuss issues, make referrals and gather hard copy pamphlets for use out in the community.  How things have changed over thirty years!

The Southland Regional Support Group, as it was called in 1989, formed  so that the rural workers could come to one place  and meet with all the people they needed to see and everyone could share and connect.

Today there is a new name which better reflects the strategic direction of the organisation. The membership of the Southland Interagency Forum includes community workers employed by six rural community committees spread across the Southland region as well as staff from non-governmental organisations and central and local government services.

Services represented by member agencies are predominately social services but also include the disability sector, sport and recreation, arts and culture and members of parliament.

Monthly meetings are attended by on average 25 – 30 member organisations.  Reports are circulated before the monthly meeting so those attending can come ready to discuss the topics and issues outlined.  Topics to explore are identified by the membership and guest speakers are invited to attend and speak on those topics. Some meetings are simply for networking when each member organisation can present for 3-5 minutes on the services they offer and issues they are grappling with.

The Invercargill City and Southland District Council’s provide administrative support, meeting rooms etc.  Our organisation does not have any paid staff; tasks are either done by the Council staff or by a member on a voluntary basis.  All decisions are made by the membership.

CNA AGM and Hui


CNA has just had its biannual Hui – every second year we hold a hui to give members an
opportunity to learn more about key issues affecting the community sector and to connect with others (in the year in-between we hold a national conference).It was a fantastic day filled with lots of insightful kōrero. We were masterfully guided through the day by our MC Benita  Jean Tauhuri, and thoroughly entertained by our two speakers Len Cook and Michael Macaulay. Len spoke about the importance of holding government to account and factors impacting on the policy environment. Michael talked about collaboration and how people can create and sustain collaborative relationships. Their presentations will be uploaded to the CNA website.

In the afternoon Karen Stockman skillfully guided us through a market place where attendees set the agenda and participated in discussions that most interested them. There was lots of interesting kōrero, with topics ranging from messages for Government to housing issues.

Importantly, earlier in the day we held our Annual General Meeting – at this meeting the new CNA Board was elected:
  • Andrew Beyer – Andrew is an executive member of FRANCOSS and MECOSS in Auckland
  • Tess Casey – Tess is the CEO of Neighbourhood Support NZ
  • Jo Taylor – Jo is the General Manager for CAPS Hauraki
  • Denise Lormans – Denise is the Manager of Southland Community Law Centre
  • Holly Snape – Holly is the CEO of Community Waikato
  • Chris Glaudel – Chris is the Deputy Director of Community Housing Aotearoa
  • Liz Hawes – Liz is the new Kaituiora for the Social Equity and Wellbeing Network in Christchurch
  • Liz Graham – Liz is the Chairperson of Tairawhiti Community Voice
You can read more about the Board members here. Welcome to our new Board members and farewell and thank you to the outgoing member Christine West.

Have your say: ComVoices State of the Sector Survey 2018

The ComVoices biennial survey on the state of the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand is now open. First run in 2014 and then again in 2016, the survey has become a key source of information about the wellbeing of community organisations working across a broad range of community issues and interests.Previous reports show the sector is under increasing strain with reducing or static funding, increasing complexity of client and community issues, and challenges managing the impact of increasing compliance and contracting expectations. Nicola Sutton, chair of ComVoices said, “We are keen to see what has changed in the past two years. How are community organisations faring and what might that mean for the people of New Zealand?”

The reports from the first two surveys were widely used by sector organisations and ComVoices to talk to members of parliament and government agencies. Sutton says that ComVoices is dependent on the sector providing the data and so encourages community organisations of all shapes and sizes to complete the survey. “We need data from local groups run by volunteers and local fundraising just as much as we need data from larger organisations with paid staff and government contracts,” says Sutton. The 2018 ‘State of the Sector’ report, due to be published early 2019, will include comparative data from earlier surveys and a commentary on current issues and trends facing the sector.

The survey, which takes around ten minutes to complete, closes on 19 November 2018.

To complete the survey click here.

Why we must stop intellectualizing and take more actions

We’ve reprinted below a blog from Vu Le in Seattle, USA. Vu is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle. His blogs are often entertaining with lots of interesting insights – you can check out his blog NonprofitAF here.We want to share this particular blog with you as the issues it touches on are things we often hear people talking about in community organisations. Thank you to Vu for allowing us to reprint his blog.

I am in a crappy mood, so my apologies in advance for the tone of this post. I am distraught and disheartened over the Supreme Court, and I know many of you are too. I want to provide some encouraging words, but I don’t really have any at the moment. This is horrible, and no amount of “we-are-in-this-together-and-remember-that-the-arc-bends-towards-justice-and-rainbows-and-unicorns” bromides is going to be enough this time.

Honestly, I am really tired of the constant intellectualizing we do. Nonprofits and foundations in general, but progressive ones in particular. It has actually been contributing to the situation our society is in. Two years ago, after the elections, some colleagues and I helped gather a bunch of funders and nonprofit leaders of color in the Seattle area to discuss how to work together to respond to the urgent needs. We spent three hours together, sharing stories and brainstorming solutions, which included funders providing rapid-response funding for immediate needs, multi-year general operating funds for ongoing needs, and removing as many barriers as possible so nonprofits on the front lines could continue to focus on their work protecting families. Everyone left optimistic.

Then…nothing happened. Or not much happened. It took several more months before one or two funders released some rapid-response funding. And it was competitive and for tiny amounts, requiring nonprofits yet again to spend hours trying to justify their work and then waiting for decisions while people’s lives were destroyed. It was demoralizing. That hopeful discussion of 50 or so program officers and 50 nonprofit leaders did not lead to insignificant change in the power dynamics and inefficient grantmaking processes.

A year later, we had a follow-up summit, and it was just as well-attended. Same thing: We discussed what we each could do to respond to the horrors inflicted on our community. And I also have yet to find anything that actually changed after that gathering. The planners and I got together to discuss the third annual convening. But what’s the point? What have these things done except give everyone the illusion that they actually did something useful?

This is a problem, and it is pervasive across our sector. We love having gatherings and summits and discussions and endless meetings. We love strategic plans and white papers and logic models and theories of change and think tanks. They make us feel smart and productive, like we’re actually accomplishing things. We as a sector feel proud to spend thousands of hours thinking and talking about issues but we always find ways to avoid taking bold risks and actions that might actually make a dent in the issues we’re trying to address.

I always joke that if MLK Jr. were here and he said “I have a dream…,” the response would be “Your dream is great, but where’s your data? Do you have a track record? Are you scalable? What’s your theory of change? Where’s your logic model? Have you run a double-blind controlled experiment to prove that your strategies would achieve this dream? Do you have a strategic plan? Where’s your development plan? What percentage of your board donates to the organization? Are you diversifying your funds? How will you sustain this ‘dream’ when our support runs out? It’ll take us 12 months to do our due diligence to determine if you align with our priorities.”

It was funny before. Now it is just disturbing.

And it is not just foundations who sit there thinking about stuff while civilization burns. A colleague told me that the staff at her organization wanted to release a statement and join the protests to condemn the cruel and inhumane forced separation of immigrant children from their families a few months ago. But her board vetoed it, saying it was too “partisan” and might offend some of their conservative supporters. I hear stories like this all the time. They are sickening. Sure, let’s spend endless amounts of time intellectualizing about equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice, but let’s stop short of actually DOING something meaningful that might lead to those ideals.

This is getting out of hand. While we nonprofits and foundations are not responsible for the cruel, incompetent, and corrupt administration, nor for the Apocalyptic dumpster fire that is our social and political landscape, the way we have been operating has not been helping things. We did not confirm Brett Kavanaugh’s place on the Supreme Court, where he will probably be for the next terrifying 50 years, but our wishy-washiness and lack of actions as a sector probably have laid a brick or two on his path there. Our constant intellectualizing while failing to take substantive actions will continue to place our society on the destructive path that will put more babies in cages, kill more people through the denial of climate change and immunization science, further embolden those who spew misogyny and xenophobia, and otherwise roll back progress that millions of people have worked and sacrificed over decades to make possible.

We have had enough time for “thinking;” we need actions. Meaningful actions. Funders, I know you are probably just as distraught as nonprofit leaders, but please don’t write a blog post or think piece intellectualizing about what’s happening with our society and how we must not lose hope, blah blah. We’re seriously sick of those. How about you double your annual payout rate? Instead of convening meetings of nonprofits to strategize or whatever, how about you make sure all your funds are significant multi-year general operating from now on? Instead of continuing to waste nonprofits’ time, how about you simplify your grant and reporting processes and follow the principles of Trust-Based Philanthropy and let us do our jobs? Instead of commissioning another useless white paper, how about you release some rapid and unsolicited funds right now to some organizations led by the communities on the front lines of injustice? Right NOW, like within this month. Please stop waiting for your “next cycle;” injustice does not operate on your schedule.

I was exchanging emails with a well-respected leader in the field about philanthropy’s pervasive addiction to intellectualization, and she wrote “Real people are harmed and struggling while philanthropy convenes and strategizes and designs. Let’s do stuff and see if it works and then fix it and make it better. Some stuff will be a terrible failure—but then you know it and figure out a new way to go about it.” I have to agree completely.

Nonprofits, sorry, we don’t get off the hook either. We are equally guilty of overthinking and talking for ages about stuff when we should be acting. We have had more than enough meetings to discuss what “resilience” means or what “equity” looks like or something; how about we now spend time mobilizing people to vote? Instead of whining and complaining about unfair funding practices, why don’t we challenge them so we have the resources to act? Instead of worrying about whether we’ll piss off some people, we accept that we need to piss off some people if we are to do this work well, and just go ahead and piss them off? Instead of wringing our hands over whether or not we might lose some donors if we take a stand on basic human rights, we drop those donors and stand up for the individuals and communities who depend on us? Instead of paying token service to the idea of collaboration by attending meetings and then changing nothing, how about we actually support one another by sometimes giving up funding and attention to and proactively lifting up the organizations that are taking actions to mobilize communities?

Jan Masaoka, in her thought-provoking essay about the dangers of the over-professionalization of the nonprofit sector, wrote “new executive directors can write personnel policies and grant proposals while practicing self-care, but they don’t know how to get 5,000 people to a protest demonstration or 50 parents to a city council meeting.” This is something that should seriously concern us all.

The constant thinking, theorizing, and otherwise ceaseless intellectualizing in our sector hasn’t been working so well, has it? We far outnumber those who are anti-black, anti-immigrants, anti-women, anti-science, anti-globalism, anti-diversity, anti-LGBTQ, anti-disability, and yet they keep on winning, keep installing more and more horrifying people into power. This is probably because they don’t spend years having endless, useless meetings, and their funders don’t take ten months at a time to decide whether or not to give them a tiny one-year grant that cannot be used to pay for staff wages and can only be used to buy dry-erased markers or something.

I am angry and despondent over a country that I love and have called home now increasingly resembling a dark, dystopian society. I’m frustrated that we have so many brilliant and talented people in our sector, yet we are constantly paralyzed by risk-aversion, fear of failure, and excessive thinking and planning.

But I know there are many amazing organizations and foundations that are out there taking bold actions every single day. There are incredible leaders who refuse to give into the despair, who fight daily. Thank you for all you do. You give me hope. Last week in New Orleans, I met a foundation program officer who told me she pushed her trustees for general operating funds, and actually succeeded.

Another thing that cheered me up significantly is a tour I took of VAYLA, a progressive multi-racial organization that empowers youth and families. The ED, Minh, led me down the hall of his office, and I peeked into their phone banking room and saw several kids on the phone. “Our youth leaders are calling people to remind them to vote,” Minh said, “They will be doing it every day until the mid-terms.”

If the determined young leaders at VAYLA are any indication, and I believe they are, there is hope. They are our present and future leaders, and they are doing precisely what we must do more of as a sector: Taking bold, consistent actions, and mobilizing communities. And there are thousands more organizations across the US doing that.

A strength of our sector is that we always try to be thoughtful and deliberate. But the pendulum has swung too far, and it is critical for us to swing it back toward concrete, substantive, IMMEDIATE actions.  It is not hopeless. I still believe the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, but we need to stop doing so much intellectualizing about how it will bend and start doing more bending.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Rata Kamau from IRD.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Alfred Ngaro, National MP, Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

Government reforms/consultations 

        Current consultations

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is consulting on the future of the welfare system (consultation closes 9 November). More information is available here.
  • The Government is consulting on its 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 closing date for submissions is 5 December.
  • The Protected Disclosures Act is being reviewed. The Act protects people from losing their jobs or getting mistreated for speaking up in the public interest. For more information click here. Consultation closes Friday 7 December.
  • 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).Other reforms to note
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019. For more information click 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.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. In a recent update the Inquiry thanked everyone who submitted, they received around 5500 submissions and over 2000 people attended 26 public meetings. They have now moved on to the deliberation stage, with their report due 31 October 2018. 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.

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…

Things to note before you go ……

  • NZ Government Procurement within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, runs an annual business survey to understand suppliers’ and community service providers’ experiences of government procurement. The results of the latest survey can be found here.
  • The External Reporting Board is an independent Crown Entity responsible for accounting, auditing and assurance standards in NZ. The organisation provides a regular update aimed at registered charities and other not-for-profits. The update provides an overview of recent External Reporting Board activities – new or revised standards, other news and financial reporting matters you may find useful. To subscribe or find out more click 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.

Transition Times – ComVoices survey on the state of the community and voluntary sector 

TRANSITION TIMES
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Tracking changes to the NZ Government’s funding and administration of social services in our communities.
(Community Networks Aotearoa is not offering opinion or critique on the information that we are providing in this mailout.)
October 2018

ComVoices survey on the state of the community and voluntary sector

The ComVoices biennial survey on the state of the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand is now open. For more information or to take part click here.

 

It’s vital as many community organisations as possible complete the survey. Please forward this on to as many organisations as you can.

First run in 2014 and then again in 2016, the survey has become a key source of information about the wellbeing of community organisations working across a broad range of community issues and interests.

The findings from the survey are used by organisations in the community sector to talk with members of parliament and government agencies. Therefore it’s important that if you’re from a community organisation you participate so that the findings paint an accurate picture of what’s happening.

Network News – October 2018

Network News – October 2018

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Network News October 2018

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
  • Meet the Members – Volunteer Resource Centre Manawatu and Districts
  • CNA AGM and Hui
  • Tax Working Group releases interim report
  • Oranga Tamariki social workers reach pay equity settlement
  • New Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
  • Social Services Procurement Guidance
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

First up – all CNA members, remember 30 October is our Hui and AGM. We have a great line up of speakers and there will be lots of opportunities for you to meet other community networks across Aotearoa and make all important connections. I hope to see you there! More information can be found here.

The community sector is an essential part of a healthy thriving society. From housing and health to emergency support and everything in-between, the community sector plays a critical role in individual family, whānau and community wellbeing.

But many in the community sector are operating under severe financial strain. And this strain is having a real impact on the ability of community organisations to meet the needs of people in their community.

Recently we heard that Oranga Tamariki social workers and Government have reached a pay equity settlement. This is wonderful news, the contribution of social workers cannot be overstated. However, my mind turns to social workers in the NGO sector, with many NGOs struggling to get by, there’s a risk the pay of their social workers (and indeed others!) will slip further and further behind, making it hard for the sector to retain much needed people.

The funding issue is critical and one that we’re pushing. Our approach to tackling the issue is twofold. First we talk with Government about the issues, and we will keep the pressure on until we see change. But another strand of work is crucial. And that’s growing understanding about the community sector, both with decision-makers, and the public. When people understand what the community sector does and its important role, it helps to increase pressure for change – and it makes it harder for politicians to turn away and ignore the funding crisis. We’re currently exploring how we can do this. But one thing is certain, the severe underfunding of the community sector cannot continue.

Meet the Members – Volunteer Resource Centre Manawatu and Districts

The Volunteer Resource Centre Manawatu and Districts has been encouraging and supporting volunteers for more than a decade. They act a bit like a recruitment agency, matching volunteers with organisations who need them – but the service they provide extends well beyond that.

On one side, they are always encouraging people to volunteer. ‘We know that everyone volunteers for different reasons, and that everyone has the capacity to volunteer in some sort of way.’ Says Manager Renee Dingwall, ‘We know that time pressures are an issue – some people only have two hours a year to spare. Some people have two hours a week. Both options are wonderful, and we work with volunteers to find the perfect role that fits with their skills, their interests and their lifestyles.’

At the same time, the VRCMD supports organisations who engage with volunteers. They keep up-to-date with changes in legislation, help organisations to follow correct Health and Safety procedures, best practice guidelines, writing job descriptions and volunteer policies, and support around recruiting, maintaining and recognising volunteers. They support organisations to develop or improve on their volunteering programmes, so that both parties benefit from that volunteering experience.

They provide workshops and training on various topics – from governance, to social media, to funding, fundraising, and sponsorship. ‘When you think about it, for a lot of non-profit groups and organisations, it’s volunteers who are in charge of these very crucial roles.’ Says Renee, ‘If they need training, we will help them. At the end of the day, we want organisations to be well supported, so that their volunteers are well supported. If we don’t have the expertise ourselves, we’ll collaborate and bring in someone else who can provide that training.’

On top of all of this, they are always promoting volunteering to all age groups, all ethnicities and all levels of abilities. They attend events which cater towards school leavers, older persons, and people with disabilities or English as a Second Language. ‘We have seen how volunteering can help people into employment – they get experience working in this region which they can then add to their CV and job references.’ Says Renee, ‘Volunteering can help combat loneliness and isolation, which is a huge issue for our older generation and for people suffering from depression. Volunteering can help new migrants settle into new communities, make friends and practice their English. There are so many opportunities and benefits to volunteering – we love it!’

The VRCMD first opened its doors in June 2010, starting with 13 member organisations and 26 volunteers on their books. They now have 100 member organisations which range from events like the Manawatu Writers Festival, to small organisations like Just Zilch and Kind Hearts to larger organisations with national branches like the Cancer Society, Red Cross and Plunket. Their database consists of 1,900 volunteers and growing daily. a current membership of 93 member organisations and more than 1800 volunteers.

They have gone from one small office, to a larger office in Hancock Community House (Palmerston North), with outreach services in the Feilding Public Library (Feilding), Te Takeretanga o Kura-hou-pō (Levin) and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom (Foxton).

The VRCMD covers Palmerston North, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Tararua, but there are 18 Volunteer Centres around the country, who are able to refer you to organisations you can help.

So, if you have ever been interested in volunteering, pop in and see the team for a no-obligation chat about the benefits and opportunities in your neck of the woods.

For more information, click here.

CNA AGM and Hui

Calling all CNA members – our national AGM and Hui is coming up on 30 October 2018. We strongly encourage you to attend. We have a full complement of nominations to our Executive Committee, keep an eye out for an email with information about who is coming in for the next two years.There’s a great line up of speakers, with lots of time for you to network with other community networks across Aotearoa and make all important connections.

Click here to read the programme. Speakers include Len Cook talking about the political environment and how we can hold government to account and Michael McCauley talking about collaboration, when to do it and how to make it work. In the afternoon we change it up and move into what’s called a market place, where you the participants set the agenda and can participate in conversations that are most of interest to you.

We’re very lucky to have Benita Jean Tauhuri as our MC. Benita is a proud descendant of Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Kahungunu, Brien Boru (last reigning King of Ireland) and also celebrates her English heritage.

As well as a wealth of experience and qualifications in leadership development and education, Benita manages the band NRG Rising, which has toured in the USA three times.

We hope to see you there!

Tax Working Group releases interim report 

The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019.Some of the highlights from the interim report include:

  • Taxation of capital income – the Group’s still working on this. The interim report sets out two potential options for extending capital income taxation: extending the tax net to include gains on assets that are not already taxed; and taxing deemed returns from certain assets.
  • Environmental and ecological outcomes. Short-term opportunities include expanding the Waste Disposal Levy, strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme, and advancing the use of congestion charging.
  • GST. The Group is not recommending a reduction in GST, or the introduction of new GST exceptions.

The Equality Network has welcomed the Tax Working Group’s interim report. However they would like to see the Group set out more clearly how the changes proposed to the tax system will reduce inequality.

Spokesperson Peter Malcom notes “a key part of reducing inequality is the adequate provision of Government services like health and education. So, a tax system must provide sufficient funds to properly fund Government services at a significantly higher level than the 30% of GDP that the TWG is working from”.

You can read the report here.

Feedback on the report can be sent to submissions@taxworkinggroup.govt.nz.

Oranga Tamariki social workers reach pay equity settlement 

Oranga Tamariki social workers and Government have agreed a pay equity settlement. This is great news, social workers carry out incredibly important work, often in very difficult circumstances. However, it’s important social workers in the NGO sector are not left behind.

Trevor McGlinchey, Executive officer, NZ Council of Christian Social Services notes “the NGO sector employs 28% of registered social workers, compared with 20% in Oranga Tamariki. They operate within the same employment market and in many cases work with the same clients.

“An increase in pay for Oranga Tamariki social workers will have a serious impact on the ability of the NGO sector to recruit and retain social workers, particularly given that services have not seen a funding increase in 10 years, while the volume and complexity of clients’ needs have significantly increased.”

The chronic underfunding of the NGO sector is a key issue for Community Networks Aotearoa (CNA) and many of its members. CNA, along with others in the sector, continue to raise the issue with officials and push for change.

New Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

The new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development was launched this week.

The new Ministry will be working to increase public and private housing supply, make housing affordable for people to rent and buy, address homelessness, and make existing homes warmer and healthier. You can find out more on its new website here.

Anyone who needs urgent help with housing or accommodation should talk to Work and Income.

They will continue to help people with things like emergency housing costs, assessing people for public housing, referring to transitional housing, and financial assistance such as the accommodation supplement.

If you know someone who is homeless or needs access to public housing, please encourage them to get in touch with Work and Income. They can call 0800 559 009, or visit their nearest Service Centre. There’s also information about how Work and Income can help with housing on the Work and Incomewebsite.

Social Services Procurement Guidance

Have you checked out the Social Services Procurement Guidance lately?

There is a lot of information there about good practice when working with social services and community based providers. It will help you to know what you can expect of government departments and agencies.

There is information about selecting providers and working with providers after the contract is signed, as well as templates and tools.

A feedback form has been included at the bottom of most pages so you can provide feedback.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Alfred Ngaro, National MP.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi.

Government reforms/consultations 

        Current consultations

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is consulting on the future of the welfare system (consultation closes 9 November). More information is available here.
  • The Government has released a discussion document on proposed standards to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards), following the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in December 2017. A copy of the discussion document and a summary of the proposed standards are available here. Submissions are open until 6pm on Monday 22 October 2018.
  • The Government has announced a set of proposals aimed at improving renting conditions.The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available here. Consultation closes at 5pm, 21 October 2018.Other reforms to note
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019. For more information click 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.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. In a recent update the Inquiry thanked everyone who submitted, they received around 5500 submissions and over 2000 people attended 26 public meetings. They have now moved on to the deliberation stage, with their report due 31 October 2018. 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.
  • Treasury is working on a “Living Standards Framework” for policy. Consultation has closed on a proposed Living Standards Dashboard to support the application of the Living Standards Framework to policy issues. More information can be found here.
  • The Government is reviewing the schooling system. Consultation has closed and the taskforce appointed to carry out the review is due to report back by 9 November 2018. More information is here.

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…

Things to note before you go ……

  • Volunteering on a governance board and not sure what you’re meant to be doing?Join Garth Nowland-Foreman, the “Governance Guru” from LEAD Centre for Not for Profit Leadership for a 1-day workshop for people who find themselves as voluntary members of a non-profit board.

    The session is on Thursday 25 October, in Christchurch. It will provide informative and practical training on the ins and outs of not-for-profit governance, including the roles and responsibilities of board members, legal obligations, risks, and how to add value as a board member. You will get a hands-on experience of useful tools and processes to help deepen the governance practice of your organisation. Scholarships available.

    For more information click 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.

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.

Network News – September 2018

Network News – September 2018

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Network News September 2018

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
  • Meet the Members – Tararua REAP
  • A matter of fact – talking truth in the post-truth world
  • When not if, preparing for a global pandemic
  • Govt proposals to improve renting – have your say
  • Payday filing starts soon – get ready now 
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

A subject that has been exercising my mind, is one of how competitive our world has become. We are living in a different paradigm these days, and Boards of Governance are more accountable and more responsible than ever for the ability of their organisations to survive.

I was reading an interesting book the other day, called The Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers. It was first printed in 2013, and it is an American book but the authors who are part of The Centre for Association Leadership in Washington have hit on these strategies, even back then, which are still important today and that can be applied to Boards and Committees of our NGO sector.

With permission of the authors I thought I would share those strategies with you. They define strategy as “the skilful, creative, and disciplined use of an organisation’s resources to achieve its objectives.”

Basically these are the strategies they suggest we all need to consider.

  • Build on strength
  • Concentrate resources
  • Integrate programmes and services
  • Align people and processes for efficiency
  • Abandon services and activities when necessary

The last one is probably the hardest. Our organisations are very much tied to our passion and our missions, and that holds us tightly to what we believe we are set up to do.  But if we continue for example, to plant five trees, when other organisations can fill the gap and plant more trees efficiently, then why do we continue to do this? Of course there may be good reasons why we continue providing a service even though others may be able to do it more efficiently, for example we may be providing a social value others are not. But it’s important to ask, is what we’re doing still the best use of resources, or is there somewhere else we would be better to put our time and energy?

Key to this is good governance. We will never be winners in a competitive world if we suffer from poor governance, and that is where we are looking next. Let’s make governance training the next ‘’must have feather in every Board member’s cap” and let’s set a standard for that training that ensures it meets our specific needs. More on this in 2019

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.

Ref: Road to Relevance: 5 strategies for competitive Associations by Harrison Coever and Mary Byers, CAE.
Published by ASAE: The Centre for Association Leadership: 2013

Meet the Members – Tararua REAP with Claire Chapman  

It’s never too late to learn. And with Tararua REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme), it’s never too early. From babies to school age, through youth, to adults, we design courses, seminars and workshops that provide training and learning opportunities to help Tararua people and families succeed.

The picture shows knitting dropped off for young mums and a wishing well built for Tararua REAP by the local Men’s Shed for people to let us know what courses or support we should look at providing.

Like everyone, we want our region and its communities to thrive. And this is about the people – so this is where we start. Through learning and education we support people to participate in the community, and we create opportunities for people to use their skills, experiences and expertise to support others. What’s important is that everything comes from those who know best – those who know its people and the opportunities that will see our region thrive.

So what does this look like on the ground? We work with families, supporting parents to grow their skills in early childhood education through programmes like SKIP, and positive parenting. We work with local schools to develop specialist programmes for children that support the New Zealand Curriculum – like reading assistance, music and kapa haka. We work with individuals of all ages to give them the skills in areas from finance and computers to health and wellbeing so they can get involved in the economic and social life of our region.

An example of one of our programmes is the new reading initiative RRIP programme. RRIP is a researched based reading programme that combines reading comprehension and decoding strategies. Rather than individual instruction, children are bought together in groups of two to four. Research has shown children’s learning can be more effect when it is facilitated within small groups that encourage children to, share discuss, learn and critique ideas, strategies and knowledge alongside each other.

More examples of the work we do is in early education. We’ve delivered workshops across a range of areas, including Exploring and Creating Healthy Food, Ephemeral Art, Firewise and Xmas Crafts workshops, all of which create playful and positive learning experiences that link to the new Te Whāriki curriculum. To encourage participation in Early Childhood Education locally we’ve organised community interactive sessions, such as storytelling and puppet sessions at the Dannevirke District Library.

As the new General Manager of Tararua REAP, I’m really thrilled to be here. Every day since my first day three months ago, something has happened that has inspired me – be that people offering their services to Tararua REAP as volunteers, staff going the extra mile, the commitment of members of the community, talking with people who have heart-breaking stories to tell but are now living a new life and offering their support to help others, or a woman dropping off hand-knitted baby blankets, hats and toys for us to give to young mums in need, the list goes on and on. It’s an enormous privilege to be part of this. Follow our journey and keep up to date here.

A Matter of Fact – Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World 

Jess Berentson-Shaw has released a new book exploring the science of communicating. Considering the challenges posed by the modern world when it comes to communication, this is a really timely and helpful read.Jess talks about her book below.

I knew, and know still, that there is good science and bad science, misinformation and reliable information, truth and falsehood, and also much grey in between . . . But being more adamant, more right, having more facts, was not helping. It was possibly even the problem.

Today it seems that conspiracy and rumour spread faster than ever and are increasingly hard to debunk. How do we convincingly explain the difference between good information and misinformation?

A Matter of Fact explores the science of communicating and presents innovative ways to talk effectively (and empathetically) about contentious information. It is both an informative guide to constructive communication and a passionate reminder of the importance of finding what matters to all of us.

Click here for more information.

When not if, preparing for a global pandemic  

Bill Gates has been in the media recently speaking about the risk of a global pandemic, noting a “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes” – read more here.

It makes for scary reading, but the Ministry of Health is prepared for a pandemic, and have a very thorough plan of action should one hit. Community Networks Aotearoa joined a number of other Non-Government Organisations recently to discuss the role of community in pandemic response and planning. We think this is crucial because in a serious pandemic – community is going to be critical in getting us all through.

So watch this space – we’ll provide more information as work progresses, but in the meantime, it’s worth taking a moment to think about what you can do to prepare. You’ll find some helpful resources here.

Govt proposals to improve renting – have your say 

The Government has announced a set of proposals aimed at improving renting conditions.

In announcing the proposals, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said: “our tenancy laws are antiquated and don’t reflect the fact that renting is now a long-term reality for many of our families. A third of all New Zealanders now rent. Insecure tenure can force families to continually move house. This is particularly tough on children whose education suffers when they have to keep changing schools.”

Key proposals include:

  • Ending no cause tenancy terminations.
  • Increasing the amount of notice a landlord must generally give tenants to terminate a tenancy from 42 days to 90 days.
  • Limiting rent increases to once a year.

The discussion document covers a range of other areas, including:

  • Whether changes to fixed-term agreements are justified to improve security of tenure.
  • Whether there should be limitations on the practice of ‘rent bidding’.
  • Whether the general obligations that tenants and landlords have remain fit for purpose.
  • Whether further controls for boarding houses are needed to provide adequate protection for boarding house tenants.

The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available here. Consultation closes at 5pm, on Sunday 21 October 2018.

In addition, the Government has released a discussion document on proposed standards to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards), following the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in December 2017. A copy of the discussion document and a summary of the proposed standards are available here. Submissions are open until 6pm on Monday 22 October 2018.

Payday filing starts soon – get ready now 

All employers will need to file PAYE information each payday from April 2019. Over 400 employers have already started so do you know what you need to do to get ready?

Through September and October, Inland Revenue is holding over 300 free seminars for employers on payday filing across the country.

These seminars are designed to support all employers – both large and small. In around 90 minutes, each seminar will cover what payday filing is, how it works, and what you should do to get ready. And there will be plenty of time to ask more specific questions.

This is a big change for some employers, but it’s important. The more accurate and timely information Inland Revenue gets as a result of payday filing will give New Zealand families more certainty about what support they’re entitled to and what their payment obligations are.

Make sure you talk to your software provider to find out when they’ll be offering payday filing-compatible software.

So to make sure you are ready and if you’ve got questions – register today for a free payday filing seminar with Inland Revenue.

You can also find more information about payday filing here, or email questions to IRTransformation@ird.govt.nz.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi.

Government reforms/consultations 

       Current consultations

  • The Government has released a discussion document on proposed standards to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards), following the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in December 2017. A copy of the discussion document and a summary of the proposed standards are available here. Submissions are open until 6pm on Monday 22 October 2018.
  • Stats NZ is developing Indicators to track New Zealand’s progress. The set of indicators will go beyond economic measures, such as gross domestic product, to include well-being and sustainable development. Have your say here. The online submission process is open until 30 September 2018.
  • The Government has announced a set of proposals aimed at improving renting conditions.The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available here. Consultation closes at 5pm, 21 October 2018.Other reforms to note
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The interim report from the Tax Working Group is due in September. For more information click 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 Government has appointed an Advisory Group to review the welfare system. The Advisory Group is due to report back by 28 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. In a recent update the Inquiry thanked everyone who submitted, they received around 5500 submissions and over 2000 people attended 26 public meetings. They have now moved on to the deliberation stage, with their report due 31 October 2018. 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.
  • Treasury is working on a “Living Standards Framework” for policy. Consultation has closed on a proposed Living Standards Dashboard to support the application of the Living Standards Framework to policy issues. More information can be found here.
  • The Government is reviewing the schooling system. Consultation has closed and the taskforce appointed to carry out the review is due to report back by 9 November 2018. More information is here.

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…

Things to note before you go ……

  • The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. Members should have received registration information, if you’re a member and haven’t yet received your registration form please email info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

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.

Network News August 2018

Network News August 2018

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
  • Meet the Members – Bishop’s Action Foundation
  • Mapping the social sector in the Western Bay of Plenty
  • Salvation Army survey highlights the reality of the winter struggle
  • NZ Government Procurement’s NGO initiative 
  • Mobilising the community to improve child wellbeing
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

Serious stuff today.

CNA has been talking to a representative from the Ministry of Health regarding the preparedness of communities to deal with the threat of pandemics. In 1918 the flu epidemic killed 9000 people in two months. That is more deaths than we would be likely to suffer following a massive earthquake in Wellington. This is a higher death toll than almost any natural extreme event. Yet we are not knowledgeable in neighbourhoods and communities about what we should do if a pandemic occurs in our country or region.

Here in Wellington CNA is going to hold a meeting with the Ministry of Health officials and has invited other National NGOs to hear information that we can then share out to you. When we send this out, please send it as far and broadly as you can.

Next month look out for another project we are involved with that supports the community and voluntary sector. But before you go, make you sure you check out my interview with Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector here.

We know how great you all are, but sometimes its good to talk to someone else so don’t forget, 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.

Meet the Members – Bishop’s Action Foundation with Simon Cayley, CEO  

We’re BAF, or The Bishop’s Action Foundation. We’ve been working throughout Taranaki for a long time now, researching, collaborating and supporting projects that help our communities to flourish. We’re a charitable organisation working to create and sustain flourishing communities.

To achieve this we work to identify the root cause of community and social issues and develop partnerships that can create lasting solutions to them. We have three core action areas of Research, Collaboration and Service which we talk about below. We like to see ourselves as a catalyst for change, developing collaborations and solutions that can thrive beyond our involvement so that we can continue to look for more good to be done.

Research – Think Tank

We bring community members together to start conversation, think creatively and research ways to create fundamental social change. Our research creates a foundation for change through conversation, discussion and exploration of key social issues. Recent areas of research include the need for affordable housing in Taranaki; sustainability strategies for regional/rural townships and the potential impact of social enterprise for regional social and economic outcomes. Our research is always action focused – our aim is to use the knowledge we gain to create better informed responses. As examples our housing research led to the creation of Catalyst Housing Ltd – a charitable company established to develop affordable housing responses in our region. Our social enterprise research led to us being a partner with a local co-working space to create a social enterprise hub/incubator.

Collaboration – Backbone Organisation

BAF works collaboratively with a number of partners across Taranaki and wider New Zealand to lead, support, and sustain programmes that create social change. We believe working in partnership offers the greatest chance of developing a solution that will be sustainable and effective. A leading example of such collaborative projects is The Wheelhouse – www.wheelhouse.org.nz. The initiative brought together 9 partners, all of whom were involved in work to enhance the capacity and capability of voluntary and community sector organisations. By forming a partnership approach we now have a purpose built online portal that acts as starting point for all organisations and includes training, funding advice, resources, access to mentoring and access to other relevant programmes and opportunities.

Programme and Service Hub

We support and implement a number of programmes and services where we can offer a unique response or where we can add value to what already operates. By operating as a programme and service hub we minimise duplication of structure and overhead maximising available energy and resource to focus on responding to needs. Our programme and service hub has a wide range of initiatives within it including parenting support programmes, youth mentoring and support, peer-based grief and loss support for children and young people and ICT support for community sector organisations.

Our website www.baf.org.nz includes a full overview of the research, projects and services we are involved with – or you can contact us for more information through ceo@baf.org.nz.

Mapping the social sector in the Western Bay of Plenty  

Mapping the Social Sector in the Western Bay of Plenty project emerged from a need expressed by the sector to better understand itself, provide data for future planning, and to demonstrate the value and contribution it makes to the region.
The project gathered information about social service organisations and their services and the impact they have in the Western Bay of Plenty via desktop research (225 organisations, 724 services) and subsequent interviews (144 organisations, 530 services).

Organisational Purpose

Most organisations state their purpose as:

  • Social cohesion and connectedness (46.5%) e.g. service brokering, social work.
  • Health (44%) e.g. screening and assessment, community nursing and rehabilitation.
  • Advocacy (34%) e.g. service brokering.
  • Access and Inclusion (32%) e.g. home visits, transportation, help lines.
  • Mental Health (21.5%) e.g. counselling, support groups.

Nearly 60% selected more than one purpose; often a combination with social cohesion and connectedness, health and advocacy.

The social sector’s value and contribution to Western Bay of Plenty communities

The findings support what is already known about social issues impacting Western Bay of Plenty communities, with housing, isolation, poverty and health identified as major challenges for social sector organisations and the communities they serve. The findings also highlight the sector’s resourcefulness and ability to maximise service delivery beyond what they are contractually funded to provide. The organisations identified many areas of unfunded work, including how lack of funding impacted on their capacity to collaborate with other organisations. This is not to say they do not work together, rather that it stretches resources with efforts to connect to other organisations largely unfunded.

Configuration and value of the social sector

Other findings are not so well known, particularly the number of people involved in the sector; the 123 organisations that provided staffing information employ 988 full time equivalents (FTEs) along with 4937 volunteers. Based on their number of FTEs, 88% of organisations are either small or medium-sized, with the sector dominated by five very large organisations that employ approximately half of the FTEs. Kaupapa Māori organisations (five interviewed) were staffed by Māori (58 FTEs), bar one staff member.

Understanding the social sector’s needs

Attracting Māori staff was a capability need identified by nearly all very large organisations, while small and medium sized organisations tended to identify marketing and communication and fundraising as their capability-building needs. Digital infrastructure as a capability need was more likely to be identified by the large organisations.

Funding the social sector

Most services in the Western Bay of Plenty (355) are funded by philanthropic and community agencies, followed by central government (263 services). Although this does not capture the relative size of funding, it does demonstrate the sector’s reliance on philanthropic and central government funding, with central government being the sole funder in more than half the services it funds.

Looking forward

The Mapping the Social Sector report is the first step in analysing the wealth of information available from the sector, and it is hoped that support for an additional phase will allow the other 81 organisations identified in this project to be interviewed, with the data collected and updated.

This report has initiated discussions by the social sector, funders and other stakeholders along with the Western Bay of Plenty community as a whole. Specifically whether the sector’s configuration and funding arrangements produce the best social outcomes for our communities; this report provides a useful baseline to examine those questions.

To read the report, click here.

Salvation Army survey highlights the reality of the winter struggle  

A nationwide survey commissioned by the Salvation Army found that close to one in two New Zealanders have gone without heating in the past year, or put off going to the doctor because they didn’t have enough money.

National Practice Manager for the Salvation Army’s welfare services, Jono Bell, says the results show that the winter struggle goes much further than those who have typically needed the Salvation Army’s support.

“We are seeing our most vulnerable people struggle this winter and these new statistics show that the problem is even wider than what we see through our work. It is very alarming,” he says. While most New Zealanders are using a heat pump (47 per cent) or electric heater (46 per cent) to warm their home this winter, one in ten are warming their home using just their oven or stove.

“Unfortunately conventional heating is often the first to go when money is tight. It’s common for us to see families pull mattresses into the lounge and bunk down to share heat in the winter,” says Bell.

The survey of more than 1000 respondents found that 37 per cent of people skipped a meal and 16 per cent missed a rent or mortgage payment in the past year because they couldn’t afford it.

Earlier this year the Salvation Army released its annual State of the Nation report, which highlighted other concerning trends. In particular, it highlighted that for many incomes have hardly moved, welfare needs have increased and rents are rising faster than incomes. This comes despite more jobs being created and GDP rising. The report noted that the benefits of recent strong economic growth have not been shared across the board.

The report is well worth a read, and covers progress (or not as the case may be) across a range of areas, from crime and punishment to income and social hazards.

This article is based on content from the following Salvation Army documents:

NZ Government Procurement’s NGO initiative 

New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) is launching an initiative to help non-governmental organisations (NGOs). To be eligible NGOs must be providing social services on behalf of government, largely government funded and based in New Zealand.

This initiative aims to link NGOs that are delivering social services on behalf of government with suppliers interested in providing them with discounted pricing. NZGP has developed a list of suppliers of common goods and services interested in providing NGOs with discounts. The goods and services they provide range from office stationery, gas and electricity, banking and vehicles. Supplier’s participation in this initiative is voluntary and any discount provided would be set confidentially between both organisations.

If eligible, you will be provided with a list of these suppliers. You then need to contact each supplier and discuss pricing with them. Suppliers are not obliged to enter into a supply agreement if they choose not to do so.

Instructions for NGOs

  1. Go to the NZGPP website and then complete an online eligibility form.
  2. Once completed, email the supporting documents to procurement@mbie.govt.nz.
  3. If you are eligible you will be sent a link to the supplier list, which includes the name and contact details of the business willing to discuss discounted pricing. Please do not share the list beyond your organisation.
  4. It is your responsibility to contact the supplier and begin discussions with them.

NZGP will publish the names of eligible NGOs on a webpage and will provide suppliers a link to this information so they are able to see which NGOs have come through the initiative. This page will only have your NGO name and will not contain any of the contact details or other information you provide.

Want to hear more about how people around the country are mobilising their community to improve child wellbeing?  

Come along to the Child Rich Communities webinar series! Through three webinars the principles behind Child Rich Communities are explored, and how they can create an environment that mobilises the community and improves child wellbeing.

DATE: 4, 13 and 28 September
TIME: 11am-12pm
LOCATION: Your computer

The webinars will combine theory and experience, with community members from across Aotearoa sharing their experience and there’ll be space for questions and discussion on what’s making a difference for children and families.

To register or find out more, click here.

What’s the Child Rich Communities Movement? Below is information from the movement and what it’s all about!

The Child Rich Communities project is about growing a movement of people who think and work in community-led ways to improve child, family and whānau wellbeing. It builds on research with ‘Bright Spot’ communities and initiatives proudly taking community-led action in their places – here’s how they see it.

The project is guided by Inspiring Communities, UNICEF, Plunket and Barnardos, with funding from S.K.I.P to run the webinars and other actions to support people working in community-led ways.

It’s well known that there are big issues when it comes to the wellbeing of our children in Aotearoa, and many of the issues have been with us for a while – through successive governments, different policies and multiple reforms. So where do we go?

Well as the quote goes – you can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. It’s time to focus on doing things differently. We believe one part of the jigsaw is changing how we approach issues – not just changing the policies.

It’s time to better support communities to decide what solutions will work best for them, sharing power, decision making and resources to enable locally-led responses and action. This represents quite a different tack than the traditional approach to policy, which tends to be top-down and service-focused, with solutions largely developed away from the very people it’s all about. The traditional approach to policy will not alone generate the scale of change needed. Rather, we believe big change comes from supporting communities to lead.

Local whānau and communities have a unique basket of skills, knowledge, strengths and assets fundamental to achieving long term positive change. This is where the Child Rich Communities movement comes in – it’s about harnessing this knowledge, for the benefit and sustained well-being and development of children, families and whānau, and communities themselves.

Across Aotearoa, there are many community-led initiatives making positive change for local children and families. They all look very different – with local contexts, histories, experiences and resources shaping what happens in each place.

There is no single model or definition for what a Child Rich Community is. Rather it’s a way of working, is driven by a set of principles, that enable people in local places to make positive changes for themselves, their children, their family and the wider community.

A movement takes people – this is where you come in! We’re currently focused on raising awareness of Child Rich Communities, and supporting and connecting like minded people, organisations and initiatives across Aotearoa so that we can all learn from each other.

Does this sound like you, or something you’re interested in? Get in touch and join us. Or if all of this sounds like what you’re currently doing in your community, we’d love to tell your story, drop us a line! To find out more, click here.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services, Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi and Tim Ng from Treasury.

Government reforms/consultations 

       Current consultations

  • Stats NZ is developing Indicators to track New Zealand’s progress. The set of indicators will go beyond economic measures, such as gross domestic product, to include well-being and sustainable development. Have your say here.
  • The Government is reviewing New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan. The review will consider whether the government has the right resources and the right arrangements to address the increasing cyber threats facing New Zealand. Have your say here.
  • The Government has released a discussion document and opened consultation on a new positive ageing strategy. Closing date for submissions is 24 August 2018. Click here for more information.
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • As part of the national Education Conversation, Kōrero Mātauranga, the Government is reviewing Tomorrow’s Schools. This is the name given to the reforms that dramatically changed the governance, management and administration of our schools nearly 30 years ago.The review is wide ranging. It will look at the way our schooling system works, and whether it meets the needs and aspirations of all learners. The review is being carried out by an Independent Taskforce of experts appointed by the Minister of Education.Have your say – you can share your views through a survey or submission (closes 6 August), for more information click here.

    Other reforms to note

  • The interim report from the Tax Working Group is due in September. For more information click 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 Government has appointed an Advisory Group to review the welfare system. The Advisory Group is due to report back by 28 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The Inquiry is due to report back by 31 October 2018. 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.
  • Treasury is working on a “Living Standards Framework” for policy. Consultation recently closed on a proposed Living Standards Dashboard to support the application of the Living Standards Framework to policy issues. More information can be found here.

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…

Things to note before you go ……

  • Save the date! The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. Registration details will be sent out in August.
  • Charities Services are holding a free webinar on 23 August about the charities register, for more information (and to view past webinars) click 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.

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.

Network News July 2018

Network News July 2018

Community Networks Aotearoa is the umbrella organisation for local community networks throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. We use our collective voice to lead to policy action, social change and community empowerment. 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
  • Māori Electoral Option – help spread the word
  • Meet the Members – 350 Aotearoa
  • Communities and climate change
  • Sustainable Development Goals – update
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Happy Matariki everyone!

Tena Koutou katoa
Life has been so busy here in the C.N.A office.  Thank goodness for having Lisa by my side now.
We’ve been listening to conversations in the community sector about needed projects and support and we’ve started to explore several initiatives to address some of the gaps. These initiatives are diverse and over the coming months I’ll give you a run down on the different projects.
If there is anything which is of interest to you and you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
C.N.A projects: South Island Public Health Alliance.

  • We are working towards providing a space on our website for the storage of documents for the South Island Public health Alliance which is where DHBs in the South island have formed an alliance to support each other’s work.  They recognise that to get better public health outcomes they need to work with other sectors that influence public health.  They set up a co-design process and invited amongst others the South Island NFP sector.  Our member SEWN (Social Equity and Wellbeing Network) in Christchurch has their Executive Officer (Kaituiora) Sharon Torstonson on the steering group, and she was looking for a place where background papers and discussion papers could be uploaded.  Our Board has said yes.
  • We believe that supporting South Island NGO’s to be involved in a co-design process with other agencies is something we are happy to be able to offer the SIPHA grouping.

Next month look out for another project we are involved with that supports the Community and Voluntary Sector.
We know how great you all are, but sometimes its good to talk to someone else so don’t forget, 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.

Māori Electoral Option – help spread the word

The Māori Electoral Option is open from 3 April to 2 August 2018.

It’s a chance for anyone who is of Māori descent and who is enrolled to vote to choose which electoral roll they want to be on – the General roll or the Māori roll.

Help spread the word through your networks! It will have been five years since the last Māori Electoral Option, so it is critical that voters get the information they need to make this important choice.

More information can be found here.

Meet the Members – 350 Aotearoa  

350 Aotearoa is the New Zealand-arm of the global grassroots climate action network, 350.org.

“350” stands for 350ppm, which is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere to stay within 2 degrees of global warming.

We started in 2008 with a mission to strengthen and grow climate action in communities across Aotearoa, to create a just transition to a 100% renewable future. We coordinate local campaigns by providing education, practical tools, and support for community leadership. Our campaigns challenge the cultural acceptance of fossil fuels, and push New Zealand and the rest of the world back on track to 350ppm and climate safety.

350 Aotearoa Campaigning Groups operate all across the country, and run as part of a decentralised structure, which means that power is concentrated in the hands of the local groups, as well as centrally with 350 Aotearoa.

This structure allows us to do a lot more work with very few resources, allows us to reach many more people than we could otherwise, and gives our people opportunities to upskill and grow with our movement.

We believe in a safe climate and a better future —a just, prosperous, and equitable world built with the power of ordinary people. To get there, we focus on keeping carbon in the ground, by working to:

  • Revoke the social license of the fossil fuel industry
  • Fight iconic battles against fossil fuel infrastructure

Counter industry/government narratives

We have had some fantastic campaign wins in the last month, with Simplicity KiwiSaver committing to fully divest from fossil fuels, and the government rejecting the application for coal mining on the conservation land on the Te Kuha site.

Our principles

We believe in climate justice

Internationally and here in Aotearoa, 350 is a climate justice organisation. We recognise that climate change is an issue of inequality – those who contribute the most greenhouse gases will not see the largest impacts of climate change. The people who lead our movements should be those with the most to lose from climate crises.

We’re stronger when we collaborate

Climate change is not just an environmental issue, or a social justice issue, or an economic issue — it’s all of those at once. It’s one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced, and we are going to have to work together to solve it.

That means bringing people together — not just environmentalists, but students, business owners, faith groups, labor unions, universities and more — and building diverse coalitions that are strong enough to put pressure on governments and stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

Mass mobilizations make change

Our method of creating change is through grassroots, collective action. The most effective movements throughout history have been movements of people working together and sharing their strengths, rather than focusing on individual lifestyle and consumer changes.

We are about to launch several new campaigns across Aotearoa in July, so stay tuned, and get in touch to be involved! Email us at 350@350.org.nz

Communities and climate change  

In the coming decades, more and more New Zealand communities will be exposed to flooding and coastal erosion made worse by climate change. However work is underway to understand how communities can prepare. A new report released by the Deep South National Science Challenge: “Communities and Climate Change”, highlights key gaps in our collective understanding about how climate change will impact Aotearoa New Zealand’s diverse communities.

From the knowledge gaps identified in the report, the Deep South Challenge has recently funded two projects that go some way to addressing these questions.

  • The first project, Climate adaptation, vulnerability and community well-being, is using case studies in the Hutt Valley and South Dunedin to investigate how councils already engage with exposed communities, whether any engagement is influencing adaptation, and options for improvement.
  • A second project will look closely at flood mitigation schemes.

For more information click here. You can also join the climate adaptation conversation on Twitter: @DeepSouth_NZ

Sustainable Development Goals – update

Just under three years ago, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which encompasses a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets.

The 2030 Agenda serves as a universal, indivisible agenda that promises to ‘leave no one behind’. Hui E! Community Aotearoa, New Zealand’s umbrella body for the wider community and voluntary sector, was an active member of the steering committee behind the inaugural New Zealand SDG Summit 2018 in Wellington, and firmly believes that the community sector, and the wider civil society, will be fundamental in the implementation and delivery of the SDGs in New Zealand.

The Summit itself saw 300 people from across civil society, business, government and youth fill the Victoria University lecture room to “excite, inspire and mobilise around the SDGs”, and clearly demonstrated that there is cross-sector interest in beginning to plan and take action on SDG implementation in New Zealand. It also showed, though, that government is not clear how to operationalise the SDGs in a cross-party, cross-agency and long-term framework yet, and while there is commitment from the government to act on the SDGs, the how and who, however, are still being thrashed out.

It is essential that the community sector helps to build upon this renewed interest to initiate SDG action in New Zealand, which requires bold, innovative and collaborative action and we must start designing these strategies now–together–so that New Zealand is not left behind in a global campaign to ‘leave no one behind’.

You can read Hui E!’s civil society perspective on the SDG Summit and pre-summit consultation, and its recent discussion paper, which assess the SDGs from a community sector perspective, including  obstacles, barriers and problems for community sector adoption of the SDGs, as well as opportunities or pathways forward.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Paul Barber from NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi, Tim Ng from Treasury and Gill Greer from the National Council of Women.

Government reforms/consultations 

       Current consultations

  • In early 2019, New Zealand’s human rights record will be reviewed by the United Nation’s Human Rights Council as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.This review covers the human rights situation in New Zealand. To have your say or find out more click here. Submissions by Non-Government Organisations and individuals are due on 12 July 2018.
  • Between May-August 2018 the Social Investment Agency is consulting on the development of the Government’s approach to investing for social wellbeing and data protection and use. This will involve online surveys and 140 workshops throughout New Zealand.To have your say or find out more, click here.
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • As part of the national Education Conversation, Kōrero Mātauranga, the Government is reviewing Tomorrow’s Schools. This is the name given to the reforms that dramatically changed the governance, management and administration of our schools nearly 30 years ago.The review is wide ranging. It will look at the way our schooling system works, and whether it meets the needs and aspirations of all learners. The review is being carried out by an Independent Taskforce of experts appointed by the Minister of Education.

    Have your say – you can share your views through a survey or submission (closes 6 August), for more information click here.

  • The Ministry for the Environment is consulting on the Zero Carbon Bill. The Bill sets targets to reduce emissions, introduces stepping stones (or budgets) to reach these, and sets up the institutions to provide independent, expert advice and hold governments to account.Consultation closes 19 July. For more information click here.
  • Submissions are being sought on the Election Access Fund Bill.
    This bill seeks to establish a fund, administered by the Electoral Commission, to cover accessibility-related costs associated with participation in the democratic process.The fund would be for disabled candidates to cover disability-related costs of standing in a general election, not-for-profit bodies to cover the costs of making election education events and materials accessible, and registered political parties to support the access needs of any members to allow them to participate within the party.

    The closing date for submissions is 27 July 2018. For more information click here.

    Other reforms

  • The interim report from the Tax Working Group is due in September. For more information click 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 Government has appointed an Advisory Group to review the welfare system. The Advisory Group is due to report back by 28 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The Inquiry is due to report back by 31 October 2018. 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by 26 July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.

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…

Things to note before you go ……

  • Save the date! The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. More information to come.
  • Last week the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) released a new eligibility guide to make it easier for people to understand what help and support they can receive.This is just the first step in developing the guide. In time MSD intends to link directly to client information they hold so people don’t have to give the same information over again.  And they intend to work with other organisations so people can find out about other help available, not just what MSD provides. Find out more 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.

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.

Network News June 2018

Community Networks Aotearoa is the umbrella organisation for local community networks throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. We use our collective voice to lead to policy action, social change and community empowerment. To find out more visit our website here.

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

  • Budget 2018
  • Heads up for government providers
  • Open Government Movement
  • Meet the members
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations to note
  • To blog, nor not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Budget 2018  

Whilst the budget contained many positive announcements, it was not the transformational budget we had hoped for.

The community sector is an essential part of a healthy thriving society. From housing and health to emergency support and everything in-between, the community sector plays a critical role in individual family, whānau and community wellbeing.

But many in the community sector are operating under severe financial strain. And this strain is having a real impact on the ability of community organisations to meet the needs of people in their community. We are deeply disappointed that this budget hasn’t recognised this, or even indicated a pathway forward.

What’s everyone saying?

You can find a range of commentary here.

We found the following commentaries useful in understanding the impact of the budget:

Heads up for government providers   

Later this month New Zealand Government Procurement will be launching an initiative to help non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The initiative aims to link NGOs that are delivering social services on behalf of government with businesses interested in providing them with discounted pricing. We’ll send out more information about how to check your eligibility and access this initiative when it is launched.

Open Government Movement – interview with Scott Miller, Volunteering New Zealand CEO       

The Open Government Partnership is an initiative aimed at promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance. You can find out more or get involved here.

Below is an interview with Scott Miller about open government action here in Aotearoa.

How did you get involved in open government – what is your personal story about why you joined the movement?

While the principles of open government have existed for as long as democracy has been championed as the rule of the people, my journey to open government, like most others, has not been linear.

It was several years ago, as the Chair of ComVoices, a national network of NGOs in New Zealand, that I had the privilege of hosting a Parliamentary breakfast on OGP, attended by the OGP Support Unit. This breakfast, a meeting of MPs and civil society representatives, was a seminal moment of a maturing understanding of OGP in New Zealand. It solidified a narrative of engagement that went wider than just an exclusive set of interested parties and government representatives, to a conversation that connected our (civil society) aspirations for a partnership with government that could drive innovation, transparency and participation at both a domestic and international level.

Aside from my time as Chair of ComVoices, I hold roles as the Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand, as an Expert Advisor to the New Zealand government on Open Government, and as a Consultant to the Kettering Foundation, a US-based democracy think-tank doing brilliant work on community-led democracy, which is strongly aligned with open government principles.

To continue reading, click here.

Meet the members – Community Waitakere with Mandy Spencer  

Community Waitakere is a community development organisation, serving West Auckland communities for over 30 years. We work within the Whau, Waitakere Ranges and Henderson Massey Local Board areas. Our vision is for connected, thriving and sustainable West Auckland communities.

We engage in hands-on local place-making with a focus on  Lincoln North, Glen Eden, Avondale, Kelston and Glenavon. We work with residents, schools, community groups and organisations to build a sense of community, identity and connection, We see our role as a catalyst – supporting communities to identify their aspirations and then supporting them to engage and  make things happen, growing  their confidence and capability to influence what happens in their local area.

We support communities in the wider West Auckland area through the following programmes:

  • Leading in Communities – an 8 week programme growing the capability, of emerging leaders.
  • Open Door Days, usually co-hosted with another organisation. Organised around a topical theme they provide space for networking and discussion, and they regularly result in practical co-operations.
  • The Community Waitakere E-noticeboard provides a one-stop source of events, updates, and invites, three or four times a week.
  • The Waitakere Community Resource Centre provides friendly event and meeting spaces.
  • White Ribbon events, and engagement  on other social issues.
  • Half-day training courses designed specifically for community organisations, not-for-profit groups and individuals within the social sector.

We believe that the environment and community are inextricably linked, and that we cannot have a healthy community without a healthy environment. Our environmental work includes:

  • Managing  Project Twin Streams Henderson Creek since 2008,  providing environmental engagement opportunities that are both practical and meaningful. Over time  people see the difference they can make to create  positive changes in the environment.
  • Working in collaboration with the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust’s Whitebait Connection Programme and Auckland Council Biodiversity we initiated a  project that works with the community to enhance inanga spawning opportunities.
  • Ngā Puna Manaaki Wahapu is a citizen science based wetland monitoring project focussed on several urban wetlands in West Auckland. Funded by the Ministry for the Environment. It aims to engage the community to improve the state of wetlands.
  • More recently we have started with community engagement projects on bats and on habitat  ecological restoration in the Te Atatu Peninsula.

An example of the sort of work we’re doing is our work with the Kelston community. We’ve been working with the community to have a voice and build lasting relationships. We also acted as a platform for starting on the implementation of some of the projects that the community has already identified they want, such as a cultural food festival, Kelston Identity project, community food events, cultural events, block parties and gardening events.

Another example of the work we do is our work with Sport Waitakere to test the interest in the use of green space for public engagement. After holding several events over a summer we started to see new ideas arise from the residents for further community generated initiatives (e.g. “maybe I could organise some belly-dancing for the elderly”). We saw people in the community starting to make connections with each other e.g. Normandy Street Residents got together and started organising their own happenings, such as a great Neighbours Day event.

This success confirmed that green spaces are a great starting point for increasing community engagement, public participation and for contributing to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of neighbourhoods.

To learn more about what we do click here.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Tim Ng from Treasury, Paul Barber from NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Gill Greer from the National Council of Women.

Government reforms/consultations to note

  • In early 2019, New Zealand’s human rights record will be reviewed by the United Nation’s Human Rights Council as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.This review covers the human rights situation in New Zealand. To have your say or find out more click here. Submissions by Non-Government Organisations and individuals are due on 12 July 2018.
  • Between May-August 2018 the Social Investment Agency is consulting on the development of the Government’s approach to investing for social wellbeing and data protection and use. This will involve online surveys and 140 workshops throughout New Zealand.To have your say or find out more, click here.
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill is open for submissions (closing 29 June).Currently under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, volunteer organisations that employ people become a “person conducting a business or undertaking” (PCBU). PCBUs are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of their workers and others.

    This bill proposes to update the definition of volunteer associations to include those that employ people for no more than 100 hours per week. Under the new definition, such organisations would not be classed as a PCBU. For more information click here.

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…

Things to note before you go ……

Below is a list of important/relevant/useful work underway worth noting.

  • Save the date! The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. More information to come.
  • Charities Services is holding a series of lunchtime webinars on a range of topics of interest to charities. For more information click here.
  • National Volunteer Week is 17-23 June. To find out more and access resources to help you mark the week, click here.
  • The interim report from the Tax Working Group is due in September. For more information click 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 Government has appointed an Advisory Group to review the welfare system. The Advisory Group is due to report back by 28 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The Inquiry is due to report back by 31 October 2018. 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 is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by 26 July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click 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.

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 © 2018 Community Networks Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

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Network News – April 2018

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Closing the Gap:

Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc., commonly known as “Closing the Gap”, exists because income/wealth inequality has increased significantly in New Zealand from the 1980’s to the present time. We are now, apart from Britain and the USA, one of the most unequal societies in the developed world. Research clearly shows that this level of inequality causes a significant increase in many social ills—crime, obesity, teenage pregnancies, incarceration rates, mental illness, life expectancy and infant mortality, children’s educational performance, homicides, and social mobility. It also has an effect on social cohesion and is not good for the economy. If you are unsure of this relationship read the very recently published “The Broken Ladder. How Inequality Changes the Way We Think, Live and Die” by Keith Payne.

“Closing the Gap” believes we can make New Zealand a much better country for us all if we can significantly reduce income/wealth inequality to the level of many Scandinavian countries.

Is our current Government helping? The most obvious way to reduce this inequality is to lower the income/wealth of those at the top and increase it for those at the bottom. For income, this is about increasing the pay of those at the bottom—a tick for the Government here as they have indicated rises in the minimum wage in stages to the “living wage”—and significantly increasing the benefits of those not in work. There have been no firm signals from Government regarding benefits except to say there will be a review of all benefits. Our benefit system in New Zealand is largely punitive, based on the myth that if you make life tough for people they will work harder. So we need to put pressure on Government to reverse this attitude and raise benefits to a level that will encourage, not penalise people.

For most people wealth is tied up in their houses and reduction of this inequality requires tackling the current housing affordability crisis. Here the Government is to be commended as it appears to be seriously trying to tackle this issue. We await the outcome of their efforts.

For the seriously high income earners in New Zealand (and sadly we have quite a lot of these) there is no evidence that very high incomes improve work outcomes. Currently the only way this problem can be improved is by significantly increasing our top marginal tax rates to say 60 or 70% for those earning over $200,000 per year. The Terms of Reference of the Tax Working Group seem to exclude this possibility over which we are deeply disappointed. But on the positive side the Tax Working Group seem to be seriously looking at a capital gains tax. Strength to their arms we say as this is definitely a smart move towards reducing wealth inequality.

So, we are delighted at some of the moves of the current Government. There are some issues for which it will be wait and see and there are others for which our work at “Closing the Gap” is certainly not over.

Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc (Closing the Gap)

 

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 Taupō Council of Social Services.

We are the umbrella organisation for the social service and community sector in the Taupō district and we hold the vision of a thriving, just and connected Taupō.

Taupō Council of Social Services (TCOSS) is able to provide independent support, guidance, advocacy and opportunities for groups to enhance their capacity to provide services in our district.

Our members cover all aspects of community support ranging from arthritis support to youth services and we also provide monthly networking opportunities for the social service and youth worker sectors.  These forums help foster collaboration and cooperation between agencies which can lead to better outcomes for the community.  We provide advocacy and support and can also act as a facilitator when issues between agencies arise.  We research options for training and arrange for it to happen at either minimal or nil costs. We disseminate information on a variety of topics and issues through regular email.

We chair Taupō Pathways for Youth Employment, an alliance of agencies generating better outcomes for youth in transition to employment and we also participate in the Community Response Forum which is a partnership between government and the community. Forum members are drawn from communities, iwi, government agencies, and other funders.

We organise a biennial Community & Social Services Forum – an event that showcases the smaller specialist and often under recognised support groups alongside the mainstream services. In addition we organise funding expos for social service and community groups.  The TCOSS Social Service Directory has full details on services, staffing, availability, and referral processes for organisations that service the Taupō district.

TCOSS expects to see all disadvantaged and minority groups in our community benefit from social service groups working well together in the Taupo district.  Andrew Lilburn

Scott Miller Volunteering NZ discusses Corporate Social Responsiblity       

“Handful of local multi-nationals leading by example” – Scott Miller

Scott leads the strategic and operational delivery of Volunteering New Zealand’s outputs and outcomes. His extensive cross-sector experience in public, private and NGO roles ensures the organisation’s people, purpose and priorities are both sustainable and sector-leading.

  1. What’s the state of corporate social responsibility in New Zealand?

I believe that CSR in New Zealand is ‘lumpy’. There are a handful of local multi-nationals leading by example (e.g. the same ones being recognised at BACS Good Egg Awards every year), then a lot more that have good intentions, but either through a lack of strategic planning or execution, fail to provide the impetus that could truly transform both organisations and community partners. The other 80% of the corporate sector remains dormant, waiting for millennials to take hold and lead more meaningful social engagement with the community sector.

2. What are the key things corporate organisations need to know about working with community partners?

I believe the key thing corporate organisations need to remember is that community organisations are not charity cases that need ‘saving’. Yes they lack some of the institutional resources that are taken for granted in a corporate environment, but this makes them capacity constrained, not incapable.

Additionally, NGOs need on-going, deep dialogue and engagement (aka transformative relationships) not transactional relationships made to serve the interests of the corporate almost to the detriment of the NGO. The often zero-sum games corporate volunteering ends up in with community organisations shows the immaturity of the NZ CSR sector. A great article on the relationship between community and corporate organisations can be found here.

3. How can community organisations better understand corporate organisations?

I believe a lot of community organisations view corporate organisations as cash-flush, willing to donate. Rather, I believe that the real win-win magic happens when community organisations build long-term and meaningful relationship that might mean on-going access to mentoring, meeting-rooms, or other non-cash transactions. This often takes place through pre-existing networks, so it would be great to see how community organisations can take more responsibility for leading this work.

Widening of loan scheme offers alternative to loan sharks (17.4.18)

Carmel Sepuloni

HON CARMEL SEPULONI
Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the widening of a low-interest loan scheme for people who might otherwise fall victim to loan sharks. Today “by Pacific for Pacific “ health support service provider Vaka Tautua has joined the Ministry of Social Development’s Community Finance Initiative (CFI).

“CFI is a partnership between the Ministry, BNZ, and Good Shepherd New Zealand that aims to help people in financial hardship to borrow money safely,” Ms Sepuloni said.

“It provides affordable credit to individuals and whānau on low incomes in the form of two loan products – a no-interest loan to be repaid over 12 months and a low-interest loan to be re paid over 36 months.

Three sub-contract providers deliver the service – the Salvation Army, Aviva and now Vaka Tautua.

“Vaka Tautua is the third provider to join the CFI, providing low-interest loans in Auckland and Wellington – and is looking to extend this service to Christchurch,” said Ms Sepuloni.

“Vaka Tautua will help more Pacific people who are single parents, older, disabled or seeking support for mental health issues get access to loans that will lift their quality of life.

“Already the CFI has helped people on low incomes borrow $2 million, saving them more than $1 million in interest and fees they might have had to pay if they’d borrowed from predatory lenders.”

Editors notes:

People can apply for an affordable loan through CFI at 15 sites around New Zealand – see table below:

Community Finance Initiative sites Provider
Whangarei Salvation Army
Waitakere Salvation Army
Henderson Vaka Tautua
Mt Wellington Salvation Army
Manukau Salvation Army
Manukau Vaka Tautua
Hamilton Salvation Army
Tauranga Salvation Army
Napier Salvation Army
Palmerston North Salvation Army
Porirua Salvation Army
Porirua Vaka Tautua
Wellington Salvation Army
Christchurch Aviva
Invercargill Salvation Army

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 Tim Ng the Chief Economic Adviser from Treasury about the Wellbeing papersPaul Barber from NZCCSS;  Gill Greer from the National Council of Women and Lyndy McIntyre about the Living Wage.

To blog, or not to blog…

Here are the links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. I recommend a browsing through these blogs.  They are fascinating reading as always…
Snap, Crackle and Pop by Anya Satyanand Executive Officer, Ara Taiohi.
What is a Charity? by Ros Rice Executive Officer, Community Networks Aotearoa
Waitetoko – Steaming Water by Tim Barnett Chief Executive, National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust
Do we really want guns in our Schools? by Warren Lindberg. Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Association
The quest for global citizenship education by Ronja Levers, External Relations Coordinator, Hui E!
2018 – Bring it on! by Marion Blake Chief Executive, Platform Trust
A better life for all by Gill Greer, CEO National Council of women of NZ

Least we forget:

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 © 2018 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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