News

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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Network News January 2018

The Families Package

The Families Package will provide targeted assistance to improve incomes for low- and middle-income families with children. It is part of the Government’s focus on reducing child poverty, and ensuring children get the best start in life. The package includes:

  • boost the incomes of low- and middle-income families with children by increasing the Family Tax Credit and raising the Working for Families abatement threshold
  • introduce a Best Start tax credit to help families with costs in a child’s early years
  • introduce a Winter Energy Payment to help older New Zealanders and many of our poorest families heat their homes over winter
  • increase the rate of Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance by $20.31 per week
  • increase paid parental leave to 26 weeks
  • reinstate the Independent Earner Tax Credit
  • implement the Accommodation Supplement and Accommodation Benefit increases announced in Budget 2017
  • repeal the tax cuts and changes to Working for Families announced in Budget 2017.
  • Read what Paul Barber from NZCCSS is thinking about this.  Click here

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 Community Housing Aotearoa.

Community Housing Aotearoa

Community Housing Aotearoa’s vision is to make sure every New Zealander is well housed with a warm, safe, dry and affordable place to live.

We are the umbrella organisation for over 100 organisations who are building and managing affordable and social housing for under-served parts of our population. We play an advocacy and stewardship role for the sector, building capacity by promoting best practices, skill development, resources and policy guidelines for our members and other stakeholders.
Our members deliver emergency housing to homeless whānau, Housing First solutions to chronically homeless people, social and affordable homes for families in need and robust affordable homeownership solutions to those that are able to climb the housing ladder with some assistance. These models are battle-tested and operating reliably. We have a proven track record that delivers diversity and innovation. Over 13,000 homes are owned or managed by community housing providers through-out the country.
Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that community housing is a critical element alongside private and government-owned housing. No one alone can do it. We need all three housing pillars to achieve our ambition of providing every New Zealander with a home that fits their needs and means, as a basic human right. As a country – this will make us better and stronger.

Our sector vision for all New Zealanders well housed is contained in the Our Place strategyendorsed by over 40 organisations. We have a close working relationship with Te Matapihi he Tirohanga mo te Iwi Trust the peak body for Māori housing providers.

For further info about the Community Housing Aotearoa please phone ((04) 385 8722)  to speak to a representative of the organisation.

Social Enterprise :  
Is social enterprise the right move for your organisation?

To social enterprise, or not to social enterprise: that is the question?

It’s a hot topic around the globe as the gap between ‘funding needs’ and ‘funding reality’ continues to grow wider.
Done well, social enterprise can deliver opportunities to generate revenue while delivering on your organisation’s mission and purpose. They allow not-for-profit entities to gain greater financial independence, expand their activities and scope of services, and to build better connections with the community.
However, there are risks, especially if your organisation has limited commercial and governance capabilities. When executed poorly, social enterprise can burn through your ‘social capital’ at an alarming rate and jeopardise not only the social enterprise, but the organisation it supports.

So how do you know if setting up a trading operation is the right move for your organisation?

Focus on the golden rules of social enterprise. The services or products it offers should be innovative, unique, people oriented and environmentally friendly. It should also operate with a purpose of creating value for the community it serves. So start by establishing two key fundamentals: identify the issues your social enterprise seeks to resolve and clarify how it will help tell your organisation’s story.
You then need to dig a little deeper. To ensure a social enterprise is a step in the right direction for your organisation, ask yourself four key questions:

  1. What is the social enterprise’s business model?
  2. What corporate form should it take?
  3. What is your plan for capital and growth?
  4. How will you measure your impact?

If you don’t know the answers, it’s critical to seek the right advice before investing your organisation’s valuable resources into a venture that could rapidly turn into a serious misadventure.

Brayden Smith
Partner
Grant Thornton New Zealand
T +64 4 495 3768
M +64 21 240 9570
E brayden.smith@nz.gt.com

Masterclasses and Workshops : Climate Change Engagement

During 2018, the Deep South National Science Challenge will be offering workshops and masterclasses to build skills and capacity in communication and engagement about climate change.
These workshops will be open to anyone interested – including end-users, researchers, communicators, educators and community members – and will focus on our latest understanding of the impacts and implications of climate change in New Zealand and opportunities for adaptation.
The aim is to develop a community of “Climate Ambassadors” who feel increased confidence in facilitating, enabling or contributing to critical conversations about the impacts and implications of climate change in New Zealand.
We understand that you – or your colleagues – might be interested in these workshops.

To ensure that the workshops are successful, and tailored to your needs, please could you complete the short survey that can be found at:
http://vuw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bQpWAmvUOiNRTxz

The survey should take less than 10 minutes and asks for your recommendations about content, delivery style and timing/location, and also includes an opportunity for you to indicate interest in participating or presenting at these events. The deadline for the survey is Monday 22nd January. (If you return from leave after this date but still want to submit your feedback, please email us.)
Please feel free to forward this email around others who might be interested in shaping or participating in these events. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Matt Scott (matt.scott@vuw.ac.nz), the summer scholar who is is leading this work.

Vitae: Workplace WellBeing Community Workshops 2018

Vitae is led nationally by an executive team of senior practitioners and all Vitae’s Senior management team are trained trauma responders. Our commitment is to a shared vision of people realising their potential and engaged in healthy relationships at home at work and in their communities. As part of supporting this vision Vitae engages with community partners to offer education across the country and with a special focus on rural and smaller communities.
Mental Wellbeing and the Workplace (1.5 hrs)
Building Resilient Teams (1.5 hrs)
Cost:    $100 per person excld GST for each 1.5 hour session
Contact: theteam@vitae.co.nz  to confirm  a booking
Facilitator

Liz Pennington
Chief Executive-Tumuaki 

RCpN,  BA, DTTchg, Dip NFP Mgt,
MN FCNA (NZ)
Liz was appointed to the role of
Vitae Chief Executive in 2013.
She is based in National office in Wellington on the Terrace and travels regularly.
Her background has included a wide range of senior management roles in mental health, social and community development, tertiary education, central government and in the not for profit sector.  Liz is a Registered Nurse with a clinical background in mental health and a Fellow of the College of Nurses Aotearoa. Liz has been a senior lecturer in mental health and served as National Chairperson of the Anglican Care Social Services Network of New Zealand. She is currently  the Vice President and NZ representative on the Australasian executive of EAPAA (Employee Assistance Programme Association Australasia) and the NZ representative on the management committee of  CIMA (Crisis Intervention and Management Australasia).
Liz is Vitae’s CEO and works as a senior practitioner providing consultancy,  facilitating workshops ,as a  professional supervisor and as a  trained psychological  trauma responder.

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 Lyndy McIntyre discussing the Living Wage ; Jo Cribb regarding research on the governance capability of Social service NGOs,  and James Lord from Careerforce discussing pathways for qualifications in the NGO sector.

To blog, or not to blog…

Here are the links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. Interesting reading as always…

Let’s 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
Money vs Passion : parliamentary lobbying by Warren Lindberg, Chief Executive, Public Health Association NZ

It’s 2018 – time to look forward !

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 2017

Election Briefing from ComVoices  

As you may be aware, C.N.A is very involved with ComVoices.  A Wellington based group of national NGOs who network, share information and talk with politicians and others about the issues of the time as regards the Community and Voluntary sector.

We have monthly meetings and sometimes hold events. A ComVoices sub-group worked very hard, and with quite a lot of profile on the vexed issue of identifiable client level data.

At the moment, ComVoices is very happy to have a shift in focus regarding the data to the Social Investment Agency under the intelligent eye of Minister Amy Adams where it is hoped that working together with Statistics and the Privacy Commissioner, the NGO sector can have meaningful dialogue about the collection of sensitive information.

However.. an election looms and there are many more issues of importance to consider. As in years before, ComVoices sent out a survey called State of the Sector Survey to test the state of play for community services.

The results of this survey have led to our Communities Count document which we have sent to representatives of all parties and ComVoices members are now personally visiting MPs to discuss the document further.

This document is an Election Briefing from ComVoices where we ask political parties to focus on three issues and the practical ways government and community services could work together more effectively to make a difference.

We ask that parties consider our input when developing policy.

If you wish to see this paper (Communities Count) and use it for your own discussions with your local MPs please feel free to link to this site and download it.

Also please feel free to share it with your newsletters and those in your distribution groups.
http://communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017-06-ComVoices-election-briefing-.pdf

If you want us to send it directly via an email for printing off, just contact us at info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

Empowerment & Success: A Positive Path for the NGO Sector

In his latest blog on Community Scoop, Trevor McGlinchey sets the scene for the upcoming joint conference from NZCCSS and Community Networks Aotearoa.

The conference, which will be held on 26/27 October at the Quality Hotel Lincoln Green in Auckland, promises to be a thought provoking two-day event with a range of interesting and inspirational speakers from NZ and across the Tasman. The conference is open to all people interested in our sector – our member organisations, their member organisations and networks, our colleagues and stake holders.

For further info and to register please visit http://empowerment.nz (Please don’t forget to like our Facebook page as well for ongoing updates).

 

 

From Ros Rice, Executive Officer, Community Networks Aotearoa…

Did you meet me on the CNA/Child Matters tour during the last 3 months? 

It all started about two years ago when Scott Miller from Volunteering New Zealand and I were talking about the horrendous statistics of child abuse in New Zealand. We are just a small country with the population of a small city, yet on average one child is killed every 5 weeks.

One of the ways we can change this, is plug all the places where abusers can get access to children. Scott and I realised that although those working with vulnerable children were aware of policies and checking procedures with staff and volunteers, many other organisations who didn’t work in that field were unaware that they needed to ‘’up their game’’.

Scott and I had the access to organisations who work with volunteers and other NGOs around the country, but we were not the experts, so we invited Child Matters from Hamilton to join us to help spread the message about the Vulnerable Children’s Act and other important child safety issues.

Scott and I had the access to organisations who work with volunteers and other NGOs around the country, but we were not the experts, so we invited Child Matters from Hamilton to join us to help spread the message about the Vulnerable Children’s Act and other important child safety issues.  

Scott had to withdraw from the project, but C.N.A and Child Matters persevered. Then this February MSD provided us with funding to run the tour. We visited 13 centres around the country and spoke to literally hundreds of people. It was a 90 minute seminar, but hopefully we left people with more understanding about how to write policies, how to safety check your workers and where to go to find resources and information.

If you wish to see the slides from the presentation please click below. You can also access two videos, and some definitions that explain how we describe different forms of child abuse.
http://communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz/roadshow-for-volunteers-and-volunteering-organisations-your-responsibility-in-safeguarding-children/

The statistics in our country (2015-2016 –142,249 Reports of Concern to Child Youth and Family) are our national shame. Everyone needs to step up, step out and speak out against this horror being inflicted on so many of our children.

PS: sorry to all those who were annoyed with my interrupting interpretive habit. 🙂
PPS: Big thanks to the Ministry of Social Development for supporting this tour with some funding.

Download and listen to Ros interview Moyna Fletcher, Child Protection Consultant with Child Matters, about the Vulnerable Children Act (2014).

 

 

 

Queen’s Birthday Honour

We were pleased and proud to learn that Deirdre Jolly of Alexandra COSS was recently named  a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for services to the community. Deirdre is a long time member of Community Networks Aotearoa and has worked tirelessly for her community for a great many years. A well deserved accolade.

Need some professional skills pro-bono?

HelpTank is a digital marketplace connecting skilled professionals able to donate their time and skills pro-bono, and not for profit organisations that can benefit from their expertise right now.

The Who Did You Help Today Trust developed HelpTank following research showing that community groups can struggle to find and engage the skills they need. Meanwhile individuals with specific skills also report it challenging to find a volunteer role that suits them.

Head to https://helptank.nz/ to see how HelpTank can support you and your organisation.

Community Law Manual 2017-2018 now available. 

The Community Law Manual is an easy-to-read, practical guide to everyday New Zealand law. Aimed at everyone who works with high-needs people in vulnerable communities, this edition has had a lot of legal work – to keep pace with rapid law change and to continue to refocus on law that’s most useful for our most vulnerable. It has a brand new chapter on Immigration and several other chapters have been rewritten to make them even more practical and accessible.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

  • The standard rate for the Community Law Manual is $150 + GST.
  • NGO bulk orders of 10 or are eligible for discounts. Depending on how many you order, copies can drop by more than 25%.
  • For more information on bulk purchase rates, email info@wclc.org.nz

Place an order for the Community Law Manual by:

To blog, or not to blog…

Here are the links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. Interesting reading as always…
“Don’t Panic!” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Dianne Armstrong, CFRE, Arthritis New Zealand
Not rocket science at all… by Anaru Fraser, General Manager, Hui E!
How do we know we’re making a difference? by Josie Pagani, Director, Council for International Development
A Royal Salute? by Phil McCarthy, Director, Prison Fellowship of New Zealand
Celebrate Our Uniqueness – Plan the Way Forward by Trevor McGlinchey, CEO, NZCCSS
Budget 2017 – where’s the Justice? by Katie Bruce, Director, Just Speak
Having a choice – “some people have all the luck!” by Gabrielle O’Brien, Chief Executive, Birthright New Zealand
On the darker side of volunteer work by Scott Miller, Chief Executive, Volunteering New Zealand
Budget 2017 and the voices of young people by Anya Satyanand, Executive Officer, Ara Taiohi

Upcoming Conferences

Beyond Boundaries: Collaboration in Action – Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) – 4-5 September, Wellington
This year’s SSPA conference is for all those working in social services whether as practitioners, administrators, researchers or policy makers. For further info please visit https://www.sspa.org.nz/

PIVOT Linking Vision to Action – Volunteering New Zealand – 30 October, Auckland
National conference featuring  Rob Jackson, volunteer management expert and world-class speaker. For further info please visit http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/

Our Planet.Our Struggle.Our future. – CIVICUS and Pacific Island Association of NGOs (PIANGO) – 4-8 December, Suva, Fiji
International Civil Society Week (ICSW) is a key global gathering for civil society and other stakeholders to engage constructively in finding common solutions to global challenges. For the first time in more than 20 years of global convening, CIVICUS will hold its flagship event in the Pacific region. For further info please visit http://www.civicus.org/index.php/icsw-2017

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

Transition Times

DATE: JUNE 2017

WHERE ARE WE AT WITH IDENTIFIABLE CLIENT LEVEL DATA?

Back in October 2016 it came to C.N.A’s notice that some new requirements from MSD were appearing in the contracts of some service providers.  These clauses required providers to report client level data in order to receive funding for the services they provide. There was a very strong reaction to this as many organisations, working with highly vulnerable people felt that many of their clients would not seek help if a criteria for accessing service involved them agreeing to their individual identifiable details being reported to MSD.

ComVoices ( a Wellington based network of national community and voluntary organisations) had some serious conversations on what this meant not only for contracts and ethics, but also how this changed the basic role of NGOs with their clients and Government.

An issues paper was produced on the 9th of December 2016 followed by the formation of a ComVoices sub-committee to try and talk to MSD about the impact of this issue.

The sub-committee which comprised representatives of 7-8 national organisations worked very hard at pulling together broad opinions and discussing the problems following an MSD seminar in Wellington with other organisations and with MSD staff.  A meeting was also held with the Privacy Commissioner who had commissioned a report following complaints to his office. The report from the Privacy Commissioner was released on 6 April 2017.  This report included four recommendations for MSD to consider about better ways of working to obtain the information required.

On March 16 2017, after the release of the Privacy Commissioner’s report, ComVoices wrote a letter to four Ministers of the Crown suggesting a collaborative way of working together to gain access toappropriate data which would enable them to find out the information we were told repeatedly was necessary for good social investment.  We received limited response to our request.

The Community and Voluntary Sector in the meantime had become increasingly agitated about this contract requirement, and national media were running frequent stories about the data collection requirements.  Contracts were clearly expecting service delivery organisations to start saving data immediately for upload to the government website on July 1 2017.

Then 6th April 2017, the media was full of a story about a privacy breach at the Ministry.  It put a halt to the plans for data collection while an investigation into the breach occurred.  This led to an urgent debate in the house where most of the opposition parties spoke strongly against the identification of clients and the sharing of sensitive date being required by MSD.

The ComVoices sub-committee was contacted, and finally had a meeting with Minister Tolley where calm heads and co-design were the main discussions.  It was a relief to have a conversation that took on-board sector considerations.

Following these occurrences, the review on the data breach claimed Deputy Chief Executive Murray Edridge, who stepped down after taking responsibility for staff mistakes.

A new plan which included working with the sector was proposed and printed on the MSD site on 24 May 2017.   Since then some service providers have received notices regarding changed plans for their 1 July data collection, and the entire subject is to be revisited by a team working with Minister Adams.

There is more work to be done yet and the final result of this is likely to be dependent on the upcoming election.  The Community and Voluntary sector is not adverse to data collection, in fact, we want to know ourselves how well we are doing for our clients.  So we hope that we can work constructively with everyone to ensure that collection of data is of value and does not incur privacy invasion or unintended adverse consequences.

Regards
Ros Rice
Community Networks Aotearoa

More information is available at these places.
Website: https://comvoices.org.nz/

Network News May/June 2017

MSD IT Inquiry Not Enough

Media Release 12 April 2017

The announcement of an enquiry into the privacy failure of MSD’s online reporting platform for community organisations required to provide individual client data (ICLD) addresses only one of the Privacy Commissioner’s four recommendations, says ComVoices.

“The just announced enquiry is deflecting us from the real question”, said Trevor McGlinchey, ComVoices Spokesperson.  “The question at the heart of the enquiry should be why are we collecting data that the Privacy Commissioner has said is ‘…excessive, disproportionate to government’s legitimate needs and therefore inconsistent with the privacy principles’?”.

“The staff of social services organisations have a range of professional bodies which provide ethical guidelines about maintaining the privacy of clients.  Not only will these organisations be breaking these ethical guidelines, they will also be forced to work in direct contravention of the Privacy Commissioner’s findings.”

At the moment service providers have been told they must continue to collect the private data of their clients to provide to MSD at a future date.  They have not been told who will be held to account for breaking the privacy principles set out in the Privacy Act.

“The community sector is waiting for leadership from the Minister and MSD about the important issues raised in the Privacy Commissioner’s report,” says McGlinchey.  “This mass collection of data is inappropriate and will directly affect many New Zealand families. This level of surveillance will cause others not to seek help so that they do not become labelled as ‘vulnerable’ and included as a named statistic on a government database. As always the NGO sector is happy to work alongside MSD to find a more appropriate solution to their data needs.”

ComVoices is calling on the Government to put an immediate hold on this policy while it addresses the issues raised by the Privacy Commissioner.

Contact Trevor McGlinchey, ComVoices Spokesperson, phone 04 473 2627

Read more >

Network News April 2017

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.

Inclusive NZ – the story so far
by Deb Stringer, Communications and Marketing Officer, Inclusive NZ

In essence, Inclusive NZ is a federation of organisations and individuals involved in the provision of employment and community support services for disabled people.

But when you really break it down, there’s definitely a bit more to us and the work we do!

Whatever the work though, our main driving forces are always centred on our ultimate goal to make ‘New Zealand 100 per cent accessible to all’ and to remain relevant to the members’ we serve.

Remaining true to our members has not changed since our inception back in 1982, however the name of the organisation has undergone a few name changes over the years.

The most recent one came in early 2015 which saw us move away from the New Zealand Federation of Vocational and Support Services (NZ VASS) in favour of the name Inclusive NZ.

Name changes aren’t the only thing that has evolved over the years, either, and we now support 72 members and member organisations, which hail from all over the country!

To help support our members, the Inclusive NZ team consisting of Tess, Wendy, Deb and Leanne work very hard in a number of different ways.

Firstly, we have a strong belief that our goal of inclusive communities cannot be achieved without active engagement with both the disability sector and wider community sector.

This means that we work with government agencies, disabled people’s organisations, the business sector and other NGOs, and represent our members on a number of advisory groups and networks.

Access to opportunities for learning and information is also a big part of our work, so we offer our members a number of opportunities to network and learn through the various forums, workshops and conferences we regularly hold.

Professional development is another area we throw our support behind and through administering the Training and Workforce Development Fund, on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development, we are able to support those working in the sector to undertake further training opportunities.

In recent times we have been thinking about how we can further support our members, others working in the sector, and the work they do in new and different ways.

That is why we launched the Action Research Project – a project which seeks to build the evidence base around what employment, participation and inclusion services do.

Anyone is able to participate in the project and all they have to do is:

  • Pick a topic that is of interest to them and/or the organisation they  work for
  • Register their project with Inclusive NZ (registration form available on our website)
  • Undertake the research using an action research methodology
  • Share their findings at the Inclusive NZ Action Conference (October 30 – 31st 2017)

We will be providing support and resources to all those who participate!

To find out more and to register your project, visit the Action Research Project Section of the Inclusive NZ website. We would love to have you on board!

For further info about Inclusive NZ visit http://www.inclusive.nz/ or “like” them on Facebook

Read more >

Photo: Jason Pratt