News

Network News June 2019


This newsletter covers topical issues in the community sector. In this newsletter:
Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice
Guest column – Budget 2019, what’s in it for community organisations? – Commentary by Dr Ganesh Nana
Meet the members: Community Waitakere with Chief Executive Mark Allen
Notice of CNA AGM – change of time/date
CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
On Air
To blog, or not to blog
Government reforms/consultations
Campaigns / programmes / events
Special offer for members

About Community Networks Aotearoa

Community Networks Aotearoa is an umbrella organisation for local community networks. Our goal is to empower and strengthen the community sector by supporting community networks across Aotearoa.

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.  

We encourage you to send this newsletter our through your networks
 Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros RiceTēnā Koutou Katoa 

Last month was Budget 2019, included in this newsletter is special commentary prepared by economist Dr Ganesh Nana on the budget and its impact on the community sector. Here at Community Networks Aotearoa we thought the budget included many positive initiatives, from much needed investment in mental health to indexing benefits to wages. However, we do not feel the budget was truly transformational. Transformation will come from addressing our tax settings to ensure fairness, and putting into action recommendations from reports such as the Welfare Working Group. 

A reminder that CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing. To find out more or register, click here

Also, please note the time and date of the Community Networks Aotearoa AGM has changed to Tuesday 27th 5pm at Westpac Stadium, more information is included in this newsletter.

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz. 

Guest column: Budget 2019, what’s in it for community organisations? Commentary by Dr Ganesh Nana
Dr Ganesh Nana from Berl has provided special commentary on Budget 2019 and its impact on community organisations. Click here to read

Dr Nana notes many positive aspects in the budget, including investments in mental health, child wellbeing, and supporting Māori and Pasifika. However he notes there was little to boost those supporting community infrastructure and networks, and that many of these organisations continue to operate with uncertain funding and little capacity to initiate or explore innovative programs. 

Dr Nana ends his analysis by reflecting on the Government’s  fiscal ‘responsibility’ rules, which include a requirement that the Government reduce the level of Net Core Crown Debt to 20% of GDP within five years of taking office. However, many people, from economists to those working in the community, have raised concerns that these rules are hampering the Government’s ability to make sound economic decisions based on the current economic environment and invest in the areas our country desperately needs.

Dr Nana concludes his analysis by saying: “The books are sound, and fiscal ‘responsibility’ is not the challenge. The community, environment, and social deficits that have accumulated over many years are the issue and cannot be balanced by accumulating fiscal surpluses. Some talk about the need for a ‘rainy day surplus’. To which the response can only be that a rainy day surplus is no good when many in the community are already drowning.”

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Meet the members: Community Waitakere with Mark Allen
Community Waitakere has been improving the wellbeing of west Auckland for 30 years. It started as a council of social services (WADCOSS) and has over time moved into community development and ecological restoration. 

We had a very close collaborative relationship with Waitakere City Council as part of their suite of organisations that supported the different community sectors. During this time we were a key link in the Waitakere Social Wellbeing Collaboration and we hosted two very successful Community economic development conferences.

In 2010 Auckland Council was formed and we needed to reposition ourselves as our conversations with Council went both more regional and more local with a centralised community development team and the west having three local boards. (Local Boards are much stronger community boards with significant budget and responsibility for numerous activities of Council at a local level.) It has taken a while for the new model to settle with stronger departmental silos and an increased volume of contact points to engage within the Council organisation. Restructuring has also become the new norm so maintaining relationships is a large part of our work. 

A core part of our service has always been a resource centre for local organisations. It has a fulltime host (Mandy) and provides networking, newsletters, shared work space and offices for community organisations and a venue for capacity building. We have three people (Shalema, Leao and Aroha) focussed on neighbourhood development and placemaking in the three western local boards. Aroha has a strong focus on te ao māori and works closely with marae and māori community organisations and our open door days that can regularly bring over 20 different organisations together. We have generally focussed our work in communities where there is a need to help bring people together or where local capacity is lower and we also support family violence reduction, housing and other social issue projects in our area. We have two people (Chris and  Sophie) who work on species and place restoration including pest and weed work in Te Atatu peninsula and other places. Bronwyn runs our ECE and school education programmes and we also have a community engagement programme (Project Twin Streams) around the lower reaches of Te wai-o-pareira (Henderson Creek) run by Simon.

Like many organisations our funding comes from numerous channels and is overseen by our funding and reporting administrator (Maj). Charlie Moore who many people know from his work in central government has been a part-time Chief Executive for a few years and has recently retired. In October 2018 I became the Chief Executive after a long career in local government into what has become a fulltime role. It’s a strong organisation, with a dedicated and talented team that is well respected. There are so many opportunities and so much work to be done.

Fore more information visit Community Waitakere

Notice of Community Networks Aotearoa AGM – change of time/date
 The Community Networks Aotearoa (CNA) AGM date and time has changed and will now be held on Tuesday 27th August, 5pm-6pm at Westpac Stadium 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington.          

The AGM is an important part of our organisation’s democracy so we encourage you to come along, especially if you’re a member.        

The AGM is being held at the joint CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services conference. We hope you are able to stay for the full conference, but if you can only stay for the AGM you are not required to register for the conference to attend the AGM (there is no cost to attend the AGM).

If you are intending to attend the conference, you can register for the conference and AGM together here

If you wish to attend the AGM only, you can register by emailing info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

Call for AGM motions / remits 

We would like to formally call for any motions or remits, these must be received by Monday 15th July 2019, 5pm. Please note there will be no elections for the Executive Committee at the 2019 AGM, as per the constitution elections are held every two years. The next election will be held at the 2020 AGM.

Registrations are now open for the joint Community Networks Aotearoa and NZ Council of Christian Social Services 2019 conference   

Do you want to hear what the Minister of Social Development and other high profile Ministers/MPs have to say about better supporting the community sector? Do you want to explore how community-based organisations can contribute to a sustained response to exclusion and discrimination following events in Christchurch?Do you want to hear more about how community organisations can build meaningful, effective relationships with the people they serve and with each other?Do you want to learn more about how the Government’s focus on wellbeing affects communities and community organisations? All of this and more will be explored at the joint conference of Community Networks Aotearoa and NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

Quick facts

It’s on the 27th and 28th August in Wellington.The conference is earlier than usual this year – it’s now only a couple of months away so please get in quick and register. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing.   CNA members may be able to access funding to help with conference expenses. If you are a CNA member and would like to learn more, please email info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

To find out more, or register, click here.
Click here and listen to Ros interview Dr Ganesh Nana on budget 2019.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Sarah Doherty, about  Navigator, Tracy Martin, Minister for Children, Seniors and Internal Affairs, Dave Henderson on the Charities Review and Jo Cribb on a governance project she’s involved with (along with CNA).

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…Identity: Working with 2sLGBTQI+ Youth Experiencing Homelessness in CanadaEmpathy birthed out of challenges: newcomers strengthening Kiwi communitiesWill a solid foundation for housing be laid in the Wellbeing Budget 2019?What ignites the right time for courageous authenticity to succeed?Welfare That Works For All

Government reforms/consultations 
Consultations 

The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is open for public consultation. The closing date for submissions is Tuesday, 16 July 2019, click here for more information.

Reforms to note

The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. Public consultation on the review recently closed, but you can keep up to date on the review here

 The Government is reviewing of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. For more information click here.

 The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is working on long term solutions to improve community safety and the way justice works. They recently released the report He Waka Roimata (A Vessel of Tears) – it provides valuable insights into public attitudes and ideas about New Zealand’s justice system, To read the report and find out more click here.

 Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here

 The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, for more information click here

Campaigns / programmes / events
Do you or your organisation have a campaign or event you would like to highlight? If so send through a brief description to info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

Inclusive Aotearoa Collective is seeking to create a collaboration of people across the country committed to building a socially inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. To achieve this vision, they will create a National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy that can bring diverse groups together in a way that will direct and empower communities to build and strengthen actions at the regional and local level. To get involved or find out more click here.
 CPAG’s Welfare Fit for Families campaign is about building a welfare system based on principles of compassion and caring, and the real needs of families, without stressful over-emphasis on work, and punitive, corrective methods. More information can be found here.

 CPAG and ActionStation have launched a petition calling for a welfare system which takes seriously the real needs of people, one that is truly compassionate and kind and cares about the dignity and mana of the people of Aotearoa when they are experiencing truly tough times. You can sign the petition here

 Join the call to stop loansharks and introduce an interest rate cap in the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill. Click here

 Strategic Grants have a number of online and face to face training opportunities coming up, which teach the best-practice processes, strategies and skills required to successfully and sustainably access grants funding for your projects. Learn more and book online at the links below.

Evidence of Need: Intermediate Webinar
Tue 18 Jun 2019 12:00 pm-12.45pm – $45 (Excl GST)
The best grant applications provide evidence of the need and a rationale around why the grant project is expected to create outcomes. In this 45-minute webinar the webinar will show you the three levels of evidence you should be using in your grant applications. 

Wellington Grant-Seeker Workshop 
Wed 10 Jul 2019 9:00 am-1pm – $200 (Excl GST)

Auckland Grant-Seeker Workshop 
Thu 25 Jul 2019 9:00 am-1pm – $200 (Excl GST)

 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 – May 2019

Network News – May 2019

Network News May 2019

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
  • Guest column – Child Poverty Action Group
  • Meet the members: Pukete Neighbourhood House – Te Whare Takiwa o Pukete
  • Notice of CNA AGM
  • Charities Act review
  • IRD – update on changes
  • CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • On Air
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • Campaigns / programmes / events
  • Special offer for members

We encourage you to send this newsletter our through your networks

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā Koutou Katoa

Well the year is truly up and running now with lots happening. I know with so much going on it can be hard to get to everything you need to do, but if you haven’t already I strongly encourage you to submit on the Charities Act Review, you can find information on the review here. We will put our submission on our website shortly, and you are welcome to use the information in the submission to help you with your own submission, or you could write a letter in support of our submission. This review could have a significant impact on all charities so it’s really important as many people as possible feed into the review.

As many of you will know, the Welfare Expert Advisory Group report was made public recently. We thought the report did a great job, and commend the working group for their work. This month’s guest column is from CPAG, who provide commentary on the report. The CNA media release on the report can be found here.

I try and meet regularly with MPs to convey messages from our members and raise issues affecting the community sector. My latest meeting was with Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector. I raised a number of issues, including the need for any review of COGs to have community input, and the importance of COGs funding for many in the community and voluntary sector. I also raised the issue that many in the sector are struggling, with limited funding and increasing demand. With the loss of Family and Community Services several years ago (a specific agency within government focused on the community sector), the sector now struggles to have its voice heard across government. While community is interwoven in all government does, having this separate entity helped to convey the important work of the sector and secure funding at budget time.

We will be watching with interest Budget 2019, and will have special commentary prepared by economist Dr Ganesh Nana on the budget and its impact on the community sector – watch this space!

Also a reminder that CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing. To find out more or register, click here

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz. 

Guest column: Child Poverty Action Group: Commentary on the Welfare Expert Advisory Group Report 

Child Poverty Action Group welcomes the release of the long-anticipated report from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG): Whakamana Tāngata: Restoring Dignity to Social Security in New Zealand.

The report shows the depth of the analysis that the group has undertaken in its consideration of improving support for people in Aotearoa who, in times of stress, illness and precarious incomes, rely on the welfare system for their families’ wellbeing needs.

It’s a remarkable endeavour with some really encouraging recommendations, particularly in terms of the report’s emphasis on dignity, income adequacy and assistance to provide each individual the opportunity to participate fully in society. CPAG is particularly pleased to note a vast cultural and philosophical shift around the purpose and intent of welfare, away from the current punitive regime that has become the tragic norm, and toward one that is based on compassion, kindness and empathy. The focus on meeting individual needs, rather than simply ticking boxes will go a long way to minimise the stresses we know that people who regularly interact with Work and Income (WINZ) experience.

CPAG prepared 17 practical recommendations toward having Welfare Fit for Families in the 21st century, and is pleased to note that the WEAG report has considered many of the problems CPAG has highlighted.

Among the WEAG recommendations are solutions to make the system less punitive, especially for families where there are dependent children, as well as solutions for improving income adequacy, through increasing payments, thresholds and reducing abatements, as well as indexation. CPAG welcomes these recommendations, which require urgent implementation.

While CPAG welcomes the majority of the report, we are disappointed that the report’s projected impacts on the numbers of children in poverty are less than the ambitious goal of eradicating child poverty altogether. The report projects that it will reduce the number of children currently living in households with less than 50% of before housing costs (BHC) median equivalised income, by 45,000 (or 40%).

CPAG remains very concerned about the impacts for those who are living with incomes far beneath the very lowest poverty line, who are likely to be supported by a main benefit. CPAG has also taken a different approach to the WEAG group on the Accommodation Supplement that will be outlined in an upcoming report from CPAG. The report’s focus on housing is commendable, as it reinforces the negative impact that the current lack of affordable housing options has on the family income, but there are deep inadequacies within the Accommodation Supplement that among other problems, feed market price increases.

The Minister of Social Development, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni expressed that work towards making improvements to the welfare system had been started since in her Government’s first term with changes within WINZ offices, and that a three-to- five-year plan would be developed for implementation of many further changes. Minister Sepuloni’s pre-Budget announcements signaled a start, but were unremarkable, and did not signal the courageous, transformational change that CPAG and many others had hoped for from a “Wellbeing Budget”. For example, the increase in earned income thresholds for benefit abatement rates, especially as it is implemented over a long period of time, is minimal and not nearly close to being adequate. We can’t see how this makes it any easier for people on main benefits to obtain sufficient work to help them into better positions, or improve their incomes in the short term.

The paltly expenditure announced by the Government – ‘investment’ the Government calls it – of $286.8 million over the next four years, is only a scratch on what is needed for major reductions in child poverty, which the Government claims is their aim. $5.2 billion dollars a year is needed to fix our welfare system so that it is adequate and fit for purpose, catching it up three decades of falling behind costs and entrenching the poverty that we see today. A government serious about making a real difference in the lives of children, must make a serious investment today, to save money in the future. It must create a fairer economy and bolster future generations so that they have the means to be able to participate fully in society. The so-called investment announced by the Government is by no means transformational change.

We believe it’s important to keep the pressure on Government to make changes that are truly transformational and urgently needed. Join us in our campaign for a welfare system that works. Help CPAG and ActionStation tell the Government we want a welfare system which takes seriously the real needs of people, one that is truly compassionate and kind and cares about the dignity and mana of the people of Aotearoa when they are experiencing truly tough times. Sign our petition now supporting CPAG’s recommendations – which are reflected in the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s report – calling for a welfare system that has wellbeing at it’s heart.

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Meet the members: Pukete Neighbourhood House – Te Whare Takiwa o Pukete

Pukete Neighbourhood House – Te Whare Takiwa o Pukete provides a range of classes, services, facilities, programmes and events to help our local community. We are part of a vibrant, dynamic community and work to ensure everyone in the community feels they belong and are connected – both to each other and services they may need. We make sure Pukete House has something for everyone. 

Our services are diverse, ranging from free legal advice, a vege co-op, playgroups, child care, craft groups, an indoor sports arena and a family support worker to hire services. Our classes include Tai Chi and scone Wednesday.

To help build a picture of what we do, a total of 120,003 people were served by Pukete House last year. 147 people in the community gave their time to support the House and their community. 650 people attended a class or event and nearly 26,000 children attended a before and after school, or holiday, programme.

Pukete Neighbourhood House was started 34 years ago in response to a University study that showed Pukete had no place for people to meet and socialize. This was important, because we know it’s the relationships and connections between people that make a significant difference to individual and community wellbeing.

The Council provided a small house and a committee was formed to run what is now known as the Pukete Neighbourhood House. Early on the House was run on a very ad hoc basis, really only when someone wanted to run a course etc.

As time went on members of the committee took turns opening the House from 10am to 2pm on a couple of days a week. It soon became apparent that if the House was to grow and prosper there was going to have to be someone there on a regular basis. Funding was applied for and a manager appointed. This gave much more permanence and the whole organisation began to grow.

Over time Pukete House has continued to grow. We are recognised as one of the most successful community house’s in the Waikato, and we use our experience to help other Houses grow.

To find out more click here.

Notice of Community Networks Aotearoa AGM 

The Community Networks Aotearoa (CNA) AGM will be held on Wednesday 28th August 8am, at Westpac Stadium 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington.

The AGM is an important part of our organisation’s democracy so we encourage you to come along, especially if you’re a member.

The AGM is being held at the joint CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services conference. We hope you are able to stay for the full conference, but if you can only stay for the AGM you are not required to register for the conference to attend the AGM (there is no cost to attend the AGM).

If you are intending to attend the conference, you can register for the conference and AGM together here.

If you wish to attend the AGM only, you can register by emailing info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

Call for AGM motions / remits 

We would like to formally call for any motions or remits, these must be received by Monday 15th July 2019, 5pm. Please note there will be no elections for the Executive Committee at the 2019 AGM, as per the constitution elections are held every two years. The next election will be held at the 2020 AGM.

Important – Charities Act Review 

The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The consultation period has been extended to 31 May. More information on the review can be found here.

We have some useful information on our website, including blogs and research papers going over key issues, click here.

IRD – update on changes 

On 26 April, the latest changes as part of IRD’s programme to make tax more straightforward came into effect. You can read an update on what to expect over the coming months here.

Save the date! 2019 CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services joint conference 27th and 28th August 2019

CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing. You can find out more and register by clicking here.

The conference will explore questions such as:

  • How can community organisations build meaningful, effective relationships with the people they serve and with each other?
  • How will the government’s Wellbeing Budget affect communities and community organisations?
  • How can spirituality enhance the wellbeing of older people?

We have an amazing line of speakers, including Professor Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Hine), Sacha McMeeking, University of Canterbury, Head of School – Aotahi / Māui Lab Co-Director, Peeni Henare, Minister of Community and Voluntary Sector, Kath Harrison, Chief Executive, Belong Blue Mountains Community and Neighbourhood Services Australia, Damon Salesa, University of Auckland Associate Professor of Pacific Studies and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Pacific) and Panapa Ehau, Director of Hikurangi Enterprises.

CNA members may be able to access funding to help with conference expenses. If you are a CNA member and would like to learn more, please email info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

To find out more, or register, click here.

Click here and listen to Ros and co-host Sarah Saunders interview Hon Tracy Martin, Minister for Children, Seniors and Internal Affairs.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Dave Henderson on the Charities Review and Jo Cribb on a governance project she’s involved in (along with CNA).

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • Important – The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The consultation period has been extended to 31 May. Have your say here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. The review is keen to hear your thoughts on what system level changes could improve the performance of our health and disability system. For more information click here.
  • Consultation is open on a new strategy for an ageing population – Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034. Consultation closes midnight 3 June 2019. To find out more click here.

Other reforms to note

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is advising on the future of the welfare system. The Group’s report is now publicly available – more information can be found here.
  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is working on long term solutions to improve community safety and the way justice works. Find out more here.
  • Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group is examining the structure, fairness and balance of New Zealand’s tax system. The Government has now received the Group’s final report – more information and the report can be found here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has passed into law. This Bill restored four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, the Government is yet to formally respond. 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 has released its recommendations. For more information click here.

Campaigns / programmes / events

Do you or your organisation have a campaign or event you would like to highlight? If so send through a brief description to info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz

  • UNICEF NZ has launched Te Hiringa Tamariki, a new wellbeing model that explores wellbeing across four domains: Atua (religion and spirituality), Pakanga (connections, especially amongst whānau), Te Ao (navigating two cultures or worlds) and Ihi (arts, literature, culture and sport). The model is based on interactions with 500 Māori rangatahi. Find out more here.
  • CPAG’s Welfare Fit for Families campaign is about building a welfare system based on principles of compassion and caring, and the real needs of families, without stressful over-emphasis on work, and punitive, corrective methods. More information can be found here.
  • CPAG and ActionStation have launched a petition calling for a welfare system which takes seriously the real needs of people, one that is truly compassionate and kind and cares about the dignity and mana of the people of Aotearoa when they are experiencing truly tough times. You can sign the petition here.
  • CPAG is holding nationwide post budget events – click here to find out more.
  • Join the call to stop loansharks and introduce an interest rate cap in the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill. Click here.

Things to note before you go

Community Accounting Aotearoa is a free service which offers support, advice or assistance on financial matters.

How Community Accounting Aotearoa can help

Community groups within New Zealand are able to access this service free of charge.

  • Community Accounting Aotearoa provides community groups outside the main centres with free assistance on financial matters.
  • Teams made up of senior accounting students will provide support using digital technology software such as Zoom and Adobe Connect.
  • Community groups require only an internet connection and a computer with a camera.
  • The students are supervised by volunteer Chartered Accountants.

For more information contact Geoff – geoff@ancad.org.nz or phone 021 054 6240

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.

Media release – Need for action urgent – many can’t wait another year

Media release
Community Networks Aotearoa

3 May 2019

Need for action urgent – many can’t wait another year

Community Networks Aotearoa welcomes the release of the Whakamana Tāngata: Restoring Dignity to Social Security in New Zealand report. It presents a blueprint for resetting our welfare system so that everyone in this country has what they need to live with dignity and participate in their community.

“Our welfare system has been failing people for some time. This is clear when we’re dealing with 254,000 children living in poverty.

“We really need the Government to step up and implement the report in full. For too long we’ve seen successive governments tinker around the edges of welfare support, but meaningful change requires transformation across a range of areas, as laid out in the Whakamana Tāngata: Restoring Dignity to Social Security in New Zealand report” says Ros Rice, Community Networks Aotearoa Chief Executive.

“We are disappointed that only three recommendations are being picked up now, and that they will not come into effect for another year”.

The report highlights restoring trust in the system for Maori and Pacific Island people plus 42 recommendations around a range of issues. “We will be taking our time reading this report so that we are clear about all the recommendations and how they will affect the lives of our most vulnerable people” Ms Rice says.

“We’re hearing more and more that the need for change is urgent, people are really struggling, and many services are struggling to deal with increasing demand. We need to see major change now, it can’t wait any longer. The Wellbeing Budget to be released later this month must commit the resources to begin the transformation required. People needing support cannot wait another year.

“There is a lot to do to implement the findings of the report, however across Aotearoa our communities are rich with important insights, experience and knowledge about what can work. We hope in implementing the recommendations the Government creates space for meaningful conversations with community about what can be done, bringing everyone to the table” says Ros.

Community Networks Aotearoa is an umbrella organisation for local community networks. Our membership includes not-for-profit and voluntary social service organisations all over the country. Our goal is to empower and strengthen the community sector by supporting community networks across Aotearoa.

Network News April 2019

Network News April 2019

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
  • Guest column – Paul Hunt, Chief Human Rights Commissioner
  • Meet the members: Plains FM, Access Radio Christchurch
  • Charities Act review
  • Save the date! CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • On Air
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • Things to note before you go
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā Koutou Katoa

It had been a long day at work and I returned home at the end of the day to find my husband Ken sitting in front of the television with horror on his face.  The endless news about the tragedy in Christchurch streaming off the television took over our lives for days to come.  We attended the vigil in Wellington on an incongruently beautiful, still, sun-filled evening with 18,000 other people mourning and remembering. Talking to my friends in Christchurch one of whom has two Muslim sons who are trying to deal with the death of their friends, the pain and anguish is profound.

Our thoughts are with the Muslim community in Christchurch and all those affected by the terror attacks in Christchurch. We stand firm with others across the country in our determination to fight racism.

All of us were affected by this in our own ways, and if you are struggling please reach out. The Ministry of Health and 1737 have created resources which give advice for those experiencing mental distress, including how to help and support children, and help with grief. You can read more here.

For an update on what we’ve been up to here at CNA click here.

We are pleased to report that the changes announced earlier this year to COGs funding that would have resulted in some areas receiving much less funding has been halted. CNA along with others were quick to raise objections to the reform and Minister Henare has announced this change is on hold (more information can be found at the link above).

Also, please remember the joint conference of CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services is on 27th and 28th August. All are welcome. Every year we’ve held the conference it has been a blast, and we expect the same with this year! You can read more about in this newsletter.

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

Guest column: Paul Hunt, Chief Human Rights Commissioner
We must give nothing to racism and Islamophobia

Thank you to the Human Rights Commission for allowing us to reproduce this article, originally published March 19, 2019 

The calamity in Christchurch demonstrates that New Zealand’s geographical isolation does not protect us from violent, transnational, neo-fascist ideology.

For a long time, Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University has warned about the white supremacist nationalist politics festering in New Zealand. Susan Devoy, our former Race Relations Commissioner, has graphically described how the Muslim community in New Zealand has experienced hatred and abuse in recent years.

In the shadow of the Christchurch attacks, Anjum Rahman ,of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, explains that for years Muslim representatives knocked on every door they could, spoke at every possible forum and pointed to the rise of the alt-right in New Zealand. Quaking with rage, she writes: “We warned you. We begged. We pleaded.”

While I have been in Christchurch, in solidarity with the Muslim community, listening to survivors and community leaders, I have seen a large swastika painted in the middle of a busy road. It was daubed within hours of the attacks on the nearby mosques.

Amidst our shock and grief, many of us ask how can we resist this virulent right-wing extremism?

We have to recognise it exists and shout from the roof-tops that we will never compromise our commitment to tolerance, diversity, respect, dignity and equality.

These values lie at the heart of our multi-culturalism, which is based on the Māori-Crown partnership established by the Treaty of Waitangi.

Crucially, these values are embedded in our legally binding national and international human rights standards.

We must urgently refresh – and reaffirm – these human rights for modern times.

We have to ensure that human rights are confined neither to the halls of the United Nations nor the courts of our judicial system. Human rights are not the preserve of lawyers.

At root, human rights are about ensuring a secure, safe, dignified life for all. They are concerned with the everyday lives of all individuals and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. They are the birthright of us all.

Human rights require us to listen to and support disadvantaged or vulnerable communities, whether Muslims in Christchurch or those struggling to have a decent life anywhere in these islands.

No public figure or commentator should ever use language that disrespects any of our diverse communities, including religious groups, ethnic communities, tangata whenua, Pacific peoples, immigrants and refugees, disabled people, women and girls, and members of the Rainbow community.

This is not “political correctness gone mad”. It is a matter of life, death and human rights. Disrespectful words and actions give permission for discrimination, harassment and violence.

We need a mature discussion about internet and social media companies who disseminate hate through their platforms; media who spread messages of division and minimise racist acts; leaders who exploit these messages for their own political gain; and the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude that masks and maintains racism in our society.

We must clarify the human rights responsibilities of social media and other companies. A sensible dialogue about our current hate speech laws is long overdue. We also need a thorough study on, and a national plan of action against, xenophobic extremism in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Human Rights Commission has called for improved data collection on hate-motivated crimes. At present New Zealand does not have statistics about crimes that occur because of a person’s religion, colour, race or ethnicity, or other important personal characteristics such as sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Without such data, we do not know the scale and scope of the problem and so cannot design, implement and evaluate an effective response.

The United Nations also made recommendations about our laws relating to hate speech and racial hatred and the importance of collecting comprehensive data on these matters.

We must all commit to giving nothing to racism and Islamophobia, in line with the commission’s campaign.

But we must go further. We need to grasp the rich diversity of New Zealand’s society. We need to look for ways to engage with people from other cultures, religions and communities. At every chance we must promote and maintain harmonious relations and ensure the protection of human rights for everyone.

Our country must become a global champion of anti-racism, anti-Islamophobia and human rights for all.

In this way we’ll honour the victims of last week’s shocking calamity.

To our Muslim brothers and sisters: never forget that we stand by you. We will do whatever we can to support you, now and in the future.

Paul Hunt is the Chief Human Rights Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and formerly an independent human rights expert with the United Nations.

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Meet the members: Plains FM, Access Radio
Diverse media voices at your finger tips

By Sharon Moreham 

Have you noticed something different about mainstream media coverage in the wake of the March 15 mosque attacks? Perhaps it’s the obvious emotion of broadcasters in their coverage of the story, maybe it’s the courage to question the shadow side of New Zealand culture, or is it the diversity of voices and perspectives, some seldom heard – such as the Muslim community? Did you learn something? Did you feel something? Did you have a shift in perspective? It hasn’t taken too long before things have predominantly turned back to business as usual though. 

But what if the power of authentic, diverse, in-depth and questioning media coverage relevant to our local communities was available to all of us 24 hours, seven days a week? Well it is. Throughout Aotearoa-New Zealand there exists the Community Access Media Alliance – a network of 12 radio stations producing quality citizen-led content broadcast and podcast 24/7. It is a sector that has existed for well over 30 years. Every region has a station telling the stories of their people, created by their people, for their people and beyond. And that means ALL people, not just those with power, privilege and of the dominant cultures or classes.

If you tune in to an access station you will discover they prioritise the voices and interests of those not usually seen and heard in mainstream media: children, young people, women, people with disabilities, Māori, Pacific peoples, ethnic minorities (including refugee and migrant communities) and other minority communities such as rainbow communities and those with diverse religious and ethical beliefs. You will discover the rich tapestry of Aotearoa society and the voices that make us the fifth most ethnically diverse country in the OECD.  And you will hear these voices with a raw authenticity for access stations provide a platform and scaffolding support only, allowing the community to have editorial control.

Being citizen-led doesn’t mean soft and fluffy. These stations tackle the tough stuff – human rights, environmental issues, mental health, drug and alcohol addiction and more – from the people on the ground, at the coal face. They also provide great entertainment! You’ll realise just how talented your locals are when you tune in. Everyone can have their say and have a go: individuals, groups, organisations and agencies make programmes. But access radio stations aren’t just broadcasters, they partner with others in the community to amplify community development outcomes. And if you’re into evidence, then there’s a raft of international literature supporting the effectiveness of community radio in addressing community issues when content is led and delivered by the target audience. So what does this mean post March 15?

Community access radio stations are a vital community asset for the Muslim community and other minority communities to craft their own stories. They are a safe place to ask the tough questions of ourselves and have the in-depth conversations as we face islamophobia, xenophobia, otherisation, systemic racism, unconscious bias and more. They are where we can truly get to know each other, question dominant discourse, thicken narratives and allow the complexity of life to be felt. They hold space for compassion, kindness and inclusion. Check out the podcast After March 15 being produced by Plains FM in Christchurch as an example.

So go on, tune in! Get involved! Make some radio! Check out Planet FM (Auckland), Free FM (Waikato), Radio Kidnappers (Hawke’s Bay), Access Radio Taranaki, Manawatu People’s Radio, Coast Access Radio (Kapiti), Arrow FM (Wairarapa), Wellington Access Radio, Fresh FM (Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough), Plains FM (Canterbury), Otago Access Radio and Radio Southland. You’ll find them on your radio dial, livestreaming and podcasting on the internet, or download the free Access Internet Radio app from your favourite app store. For as Ben Okri says, “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.”

Important – Charities Act Review 

The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The consultation period has been extended to 31 May. More information on the review can be found here.

We have some useful information on our website, including blogs and research papers going over key issues, click here.

Save the date! 2019 CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services joint conference 27th and 28th August 2019

CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing.

We know wellbeing is a key focus for this Government, so the conference is an excellent opportunity to hear about how the community sector fits into the Government’s priorities and highlight the important role of the sector in building wellbeing. The conference will be jam packed with thought-provoking speakers with lots of opportunities for connecting with others across the country.

To find out more, or register, click here.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Dave Henderson on the Charities Review.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Jo Cribb on a governance project she’s involved in (along with CNA),Chris Glaudel from Community Housing Aotearoa and Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • Important – The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The consultation period has been extended to 31 May. Have your say here.
  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is visiting towns and cities across New Zealand to hear what people want from their criminal justice system. Find out more here (including a list of public forums).
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. The review is keen to hear your thoughts on what system level changes could improve the performance of our health and disability system. For more information click here.

Other reforms to note

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is advising on the future of the welfare system. The Group has delivered its advice to Ministers and the report is due to be made public in April. More information can be found here.
  • Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group is examining the structure, fairness and balance of New Zealand’s tax system. The Government has now received the Group’s final report – more information and the report can be found here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, the Government is yet to formally respond. 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 has released its recommendations. For more information click here.

Things to note before you go

Community Accounting Aotearoa is a free service which offers support, advice or assistance on financial matters.

How Community Accounting Aotearoa can help

Community groups within New Zealand are able to access this service free of charge.

  • Community Accounting Aotearoa provides community groups outside the main centres with free assistance on financial matters.
  • Teams made up of senior accounting students will provide support using digital technology software such as Zoom and Adobe Connect.
  • Community groups require only an internet connection and a computer with a camera.
  • The students are supervised by volunteer Chartered Accountants.

For more information contact Geoff – geoff@ancad.org.nz or phone 021 054 6240

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 ourExecutive Committee are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.

Network News March 2019

Network News March 2019

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
  • Guest column – Paul Barber
  • Meet the members – Community Networks Wellington
  • Charities Act review
  • Save the date! CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • IRD changes
  • On Air
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • Things to note before you go
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā Koutou Katoa

Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been up to.

There’s a number of significant reforms underway right now, including a review of the Charities Act which you can read more about in this newsletter. Over the next couple of months we’ll be busy feeding into these reforms and ensuring the interests and role of the community sector is at the forefront.

At the end of the newsletter there’s a list of government reforms / consultations, I encourage you to have your say. Many of these reforms will have far reaching consequences, so it’s important we take this opportunity to be heard.

There are two things happening right now that I want to highlight:

  • The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed and the Department of Internal Affairs has released a discussion document, please do have your say, the review could have major consequences for charities. In this newsletter we’ve included information on the review, and an overview of what some of the issues for charities might be.
  • Do you know there have been changes to COGs funding? It appears that some money from rural areas has been reallocated to urban areas, leaving some rural COGs funding severely depleted. We are not aware of any consultation on this with communities, and we are looking into what has happened and why. Watch this space!

Also, please remember the joint conference of  CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services is on 27th and 28th August. All are welcome. Every year we’ve held the conference it has been a blast, and we expect the same with this year! You can read more about in this newsletter.

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

Guest column: Paul Barber
Some small steps to greater fairness: looking at tax from the community sector perspective

The pressures and stresses of the unfairness and inequalities in our social and economic system impact directly on the whānau, families and communities that community-based organisations work in. 

It plays out in two ways, firstly, poverty, hardship, and missed opportunities for the people living in those communities, and secondly, inadequate levels of funding and other resourcing for the organisations that want to make difference for their communities.

Rebalancing our social system is going to take some national-level change to the structures of our laws and systems that affect all of us every day. That is why the work of the Tax Working Group (TWG) is important. Tax affects everyone both in how much we pay ourselves and in the benefit we receive through government-funded services and support. The TWG is clear that tax plays a vital role in reducing inequality in our society but it is not doing this nearly as well as it was 30 years ago.

The final report of the TWG says about $8 billion dollars could be raised over the first five years of a capital gains tax (CGT). It has suggested ways that $8 billion could be redistributed through tax cuts to the lower income earners.

Research by polling company UMR done in 2018 shows two thirds of New Zealanders support a capital gains tax that excludes the family home.

New Zealand really is an oddity among the other wealthy countries because it does not have a meaningful capital gains tax or other wealth taxes. It is the wealthiest 20% of our population benefit from these un-taxed gains, they would be the ones who would have to pay almost all of any CGT. It seems perfectly reasonable to ask them to pay their fair share of tax.

Reducing tax for low and middle income earners and taxing the gains from capital income for the wealthy would be very welcome steps towards more fairness and greater equality in this country. But the TWG report itself admits the package it is proposing would only have a small impact on reducing inequality.

More needs to be done and soon for a fairer and more coherent tax system.

First priority has to be making the ways the tax and the welfare systems interact. The rate at which Working for Families or the Accommodation Supplement reduces as your income rises can mean losing most of every extra dollar earned through lost entitlements.

Secondly, a higher tax rate for the highest incomes (e.g. over $100,000) needs to be introduced to make the tax system more progressive. The TWG proposal give people earning over $100,00 the same tax break as those earning $22,500, but a higher tax rate for the high earners would correct this unfairness.

Thirdly, the people who most need help will not get it through income tax cuts. They will need significant increases in core welfare benefits that are indexed to wages to keep them out of poverty.

See here for full coverage of the TWG report and media reaction. Read the TWG Final Report and the many background papers on the TWG website here.

Paul Barber, Policy Advisor, NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Meet the Members – Community Networks Wellington 

Community Networks Wellington is a non-profit organisation that provides a shared platform for Wellington’s community organisations. We aim to connect services together and to be a voice for the community sector in Wellington City. Our network meets monthly and we share information in our newsletter. We also connect with key organisations and people in our region and work to determine, strengthen, and share our voice. ​

There is no doubt the current environment has a number of challenges for community organisations. More than ever it feels that there is a need for organisations that bring together people working in community to connect, share information and collaborate. We carry out an annual network survey that informs our work and direction, and is a basis for conversations with our local council and other government organisations. The top five priorities that came out of our last survey were mental health and addictions, housing and homelessness, social isolation, funding for the community sector and poverty and financial inequality.

To progress these key issues, last year in partnership with Wellington City Council, we organised the Wellington City Social Forum. The two-day social sector gathering brought together practitioners, policy-makers and providers of services. Over two days people joined together to discuss the issues and plot a way forward. The forum was an excellent opportunity to build a collaborative response to the city’s social needs.

More information on Community Networks Wellington can be found here.

Important – Charities Act Review 

The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The Department of Internal Affairs has released a discussion document (consultation is open until 30 April 2019) and are holding a series of community meetings in March and April 2019 – more information on the review and meetings can be found here.

Sue Barker and Dave Henderson have received funding from a group of 12 community trusts and foundations to make sure there is a strong community voice in the review. Included below is information they have put together on why you should take part in the review. They have also provided information on issues charities should look out for in the review – to read a copy click here.

Review of the Charities Act 2005 – why you should get involved
Dave Henderson and Sue Barker

Every charity should be concerned about the way the current regime is being administered: good charities are being deregistered, good community organisations are being refused registration as a charity even though their funders require it, and up to one third of organisations applying for charitable status are being persuaded to withdraw their application.

At some stage, your charitable purposes may require you to point out deficiencies in government policy, yet many charities are careful what they say because of the threat of deregistration. The situation is not limited to advocacy; good charities are being affected in many other areas, including: social enterprise, economic development, sport, social housing, arts, and many others.

The review of the Charities Act could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a world-leading framework of charity law in New Zealand: one that facilitates, rather than frustrates, charitable work.

However, it will not happen by accident: it is essential that charities get engaged with the review.

Save the date! 2019 CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services joint conference 27th and 28th August 2019

CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing.

We know wellbeing is a key focus for this Government, so the conference is an excellent opportunity to hear about how the community sector fits into the Government’s priorities and highlight the important role of the sector in building wellbeing. The conference will be jam packed with thought-provoking speakers with lots of opportunities for connecting with others across the country.

Once registration opens we’ll let you know, we’ll also put information up on our website.

IRD changes

Please find below information from IRD on upcoming changes.

Start payday filing now

Has your organisations started payday filing yet? Payday filing will soon be compulsory, so get on board now. All employers need to be payday filing from 1 April, which means you will have to:

  • File employment information every payday instead of an Employer monthly schedule (IR348)
  • Provide new and departing employees’ address information, as well as their date of birth – if they have provided it to you, and
  • File electronically (from payday compatible software or through myIR) if your annual PAYE/ESCT is $50,000 or more.
  • Depending on the method you choose to start payday filing, you will need to do one of the following:
    • If you’re using software, check if it is payday filing compatible.
    • If you’re filing through myIR, make sure are familiar with the new Payroll Returns account in the My business section.
    • If you’re filing through paper, make sure you have the new forms to fill in.

Want more information? Inland Revenue’s payday filing website has plenty of resources to help, and why not register today for our webinar on 25 March? It’s a great opportunity to ask our panel of IR experts any burning questions you’ve got about payday filing.

Getting ready to support you

We’ve been busy holding dress rehearsals to test our timing and sequencing ahead of April, when the next wave of changes to make our tax system more straightforward will come into effect.

To minimise disruption for our customers and limit the time our services will be unavailable, the dates we have chosen take advantage of the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays. So what this will mean for you is our:

  • core systems, our front of office counters and our contact centres will shut down from the afternoon of Thursday 18th April 2019,
  • systems and services will be back open on the morning of Friday 26th April 2019.

Upgrading IR’s website – new content on beta site

We’re completely redeveloping our website, including the look and feel, content, and the platform it sits on, to provide our customers with a great online experience. We’re building content in sections on a beta, or test site, and our third round of content – income tax, will be available from early March.

We want to make the new IR website the best it can be, so, as with previous beta releases, we’re keen to receive your feedback.

You can access the beta site via a link on the current IR website’s homepage, as well as through links on the Child Support and Working for Families landing pages. In early March a link will also be available from the income tax landing page. Please take a look and complete the survey to share your thoughts.

New website goes live in April

Our new website will go live as part of our next transformation release and will be available from the morning of Friday 26 April. It will feature:

  • A new homepage
  • A new look and feel, and layout
  • Content previously tested on the beta site – Working for Families, Child Support, income tax
  • Global search across the new site and all content on the old site
  • Seamless navigation across both the new and old sites.

Not all content will be on the new website initially, but our global search will help you find what you’re after and the improved navigation and site structure will enable you to seamlessly move between the two sites.

We’ll continue to test further content on the beta site and then publish to the new site in the months following the April transformation release. We hope to have all our content on the new website by late 2019.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Jo Cribb on a governance project she’s involved in (along with CNA).

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Chris Glaudel from Community Housing Aotearoa, Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Rata Kamau from IRD.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • Important – The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. Have your say here. The Department of Internal Affairs is holding a series of community meetings in March and April 2019 about the review – more information can be found here.
  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is visiting towns and cities across New Zealand to hear what people want from their criminal justice system. Find out more here (including a list of public forums).
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. The review is keen to hear your thoughts on what system level changes could improve the performance of our health and disability system. For more information click here.

Other reforms to note

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is advising on the future of the welfare system. The Group has delivered its advice to Ministers and the report will be made public late March / early April. More information can be found here.
  • Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here.
  • The Government is reforming the State Sector Act. More information on the review can be found here.
  • The Tax Working Group is examining the structure, fairness and balance of New Zealand’s tax system. The Government has now received the Group’s final report – more information and the report can be found here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, the Government will formally respond in March. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation. The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group has released its recommendations. For more information click here.

Things to note before you go

Strategic Grants have been running a number of online and face to face training opportunities, teaching best-practice processes, strategies and skills required to successfully and sustainably access grants funding for projects. Learn more and book online here. The next event is:

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.

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Network News – February 2019

Network News February 2019

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
  • Guest column – Alan Johnson
  • Save the date! CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • Charities Act review
  • 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

Happy New Year!

Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been up to.

A big focus for our organisation is promoting the role of the community sector, and trying to ensure community organisations have the support and resources needed to do the amazing work they do. This often involves talking with MPs, and at the end of last year I, along with Brenda Pilott, Social Service Providers Aotearoa and a representative from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services, met with Grant Robertson and Carmel Sepuloni to talk about the role of community in improving wellbeing and the needs of the sector, including resourcing. I also passed on messages from CNA members that were given to me at the last CNA Hui.

We pushed the issue that many community organisations need more resource and we noted that the Government has a strong focus on wellbeing, but key to delivering positive outcomes is a strong community sector.

I came away with the impression that both Ministers are fully aware of the challenges facing NGOs. So we’ll keep the pressure on for change, and with so many significant reforms underway, a big focus for us this year will be pushing for the needs and voice of the community sector to be recognised.

A heads up that our governance project is continuing this year. Here at CNA we’ve fielded a lot of feedback from organisations seeking information on good governance, or help with governance issues. So we’ve teamed up with a group of other interested people and organisations with experience in community sector governance to look at how practical support can be given to boards and committees, and how we can promote the value of good governance. Watch this space!

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

Guest column: Alan Johnson
Proposed education reforms may heal community divisions 

The conclusions and proposals of the Tomorrow’s School Independent Taskforce have much to recommend them. The Taskforce points out that the Tomorrow’s School model of self-governing schools set up a competitive model where schools compete for students and the funding they bring with them. It claims that this competition has failed to reduce educational inequality and has not served poorer families and poorer communities well.

These failures are in part because of the capacities of communities to competently run self-governing schools and in part because of the simple economics of running a school. Poorer and more marginalised communities can and do struggle to organise Boards or Trustees with the skills and experience to govern their schools effectively. This means that the Boards and the school’s governance are captured by the school principal and her or his agenda. Not all principals are competent or well-meaning and those working in low decile schools often don’t live in the local community so don’t necessarily share its challenges and experiences.

The economics of running a school are fairly straightforward. Boards have to allocate their operating budgets across three areas – learning resources, administration and property. But economics of scale drive these allocation decisions and perhaps too the ambitions of some principals and Boards. To some extent administration and property costs are fixed and don’t vary much between a primary school of say 200 students and one of 400. This means that smaller schools struggle to get sufficient money to allocate into learning resources despite some targeted funding offered by Ministry of Education. The educational opportunities offered to students suffers as a consequence – money for IT and class trips are two examples.

A common response by many schools is to grow the school’s roll by poaching students from other neighbourhoods or communities. Moreover, if you can get the more able or more motivated students from these other areas its win-win-win for your school. Your teaching budgets rise, your students are easier to teach and the principal gets a pay rise. Of course the children left behind are worse off – with under-resourced local schools at risk of educational and financial failure. But what is this to the autonomous self-governing super-school down the road, or across the tracks or on the other side of the river with its flash new facilities and celebrity principal?

This competition is of course divisive for communities and wastes public and community resources with additional investment in some schools and underused resources in others. But most discouraging is the waste of many of our poorer children’s potential with their early disengagement from school and their exit from school with few if any qualifications.

The Taskforce’s solution is to establish education hubs which appear to be like the Education Boards we had prior to Tomorrow’s Schools. These hubs will employ school Principals and take over some of the governance responsibilities of Boards of Trustees. The hubs will also support the teaching efforts of schools and encourage cooperation and collegiality between schools rather than competition.

Such ideas are past due but their success depends critically on having the right people to run this new system. Regrettably such people are hard to find in our education system at present.

Alan Johnson is a social policy analyst with The Salvation Army and is a Board of Trustees chairperson for a Decile 1 school in South Auckland. 

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Save the date! 2019 CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services joint conference 27th and 28th August 2019

CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships and building wellbeing.

We know wellbeing is a key focus for this Government, so the conference is an excellent opportunity to hear about how the community sector fits into the Government’s priorities and highlight the important role of the sector in building wellbeing. The conference will be jam packed with thought-provoking speakers with lots of opportunities for connecting with others across the country.

Once registration opens we’ll let you know, we’ll also put information up on our website.

Important – Charities Act Review 

The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The Department of Internal Affairs will be releasing a discussion document later this month, and are holding a series of community meetings in March and April 2019 – more information on the review and meetings can be found here.

Sue Barker and Dave Henderson have received funding from a group of 12 community trusts and foundations to make sure there is a strong community voice in the review. As part of this work they have developed a survey to help provide independent input into the review. The review is important so please take a moment to read the message from Sue and Dave below and take part in the survey.

Kia ora koutou katoa,

This survey is to help us make independent input to the Review of the Charities Act, that is being run by the Department of Internal Affairs. We, that is Sue Barker and Dave Henderson, have received funding from a group of 12 community trusts and foundations so as to make sure there is a strong community voice in the review.

This note is a reminder – if you have already completed the survey, thank you! If not, please do. We have over 500 completed so far but we want to make sure we get as complete a picture as possible. Please also share this request with your network – this is important!

We need your information whether or not you are a registered charity, so we can get that complete picture. If you are involved in more than one organisation, please complete the survey more than once, giving answers separately for each. Please especially complete the survey if your group has applied for Charities registration and has been turned down, or if you withdrew the application, or if you have been deregistered.

Here is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CA2005

If you have any feedback on a particular question, or on the questionnaire as a whole, please send it to me or to Sue. We realise it is quite long but there are a lot of issues where we need data to feed into the review, and we really appreciate your time.

There is a saying that in a democracy, you get the legislation you deserve – this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the best framework for charity law in New Zealand that we can. Please help to make sure the community voice is heard.

Thanks again for your input to this important project.

Noho ora mai, nā
Dave Henderson and Sue Barker
davehendersonnz@gmail.com  I susan.barker@charitieslaw.co

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

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

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is visiting towns and cities across New Zealand to hear what people want from their criminal justice system. Find out more here (including a list of public forums).

Other reforms to note

  • Important – The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. The Department of Internal Affairs is holding a series of community meetings in March and April 2019 about the review – more information can be found here.
  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is advising on the future of the welfare system. Consultation has now closed. The Group will deliver its advice in a report to Ministers in February 2019, and Cabinet will make decisions on the Government’s response in March. More information can be found here.
  • Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here.
  • The Government is reforming the State Sector Act. More information on the review can be found here.
  • The Tax Working Group is examining the structure, fairness and balance of New Zealand’s tax system. The Government has now received the Group’s final report – the report is expected to be made public on 21 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, the Government will formally respond in March. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation.The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group has released its recommendations. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Things to note before you go

Strategic Grants have been running a number of online and face to face training opportunities, teaching best-practice processes, strategies and skills required to successfully and sustainably access grants funding for projects. Learn more and book online here. The next event is:

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.

Network News – December 2018

Network News – December 2018

Network News December 2018

Community Networks Aotearoa is an umbrella organisation for local community networks. Our goal is to empower and strengthen the community sector by supporting community networks across Aotearoa.

We:

  • Provide advice and support to members
  • Connect community networks nationally
  • Use our collective voice to advocate for policy change and raise awareness of issues affecting the community sector

To find out more visit our website here.

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

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

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

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

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

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

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

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

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

Meet the Members – Skylight Trust 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skylight delivers:

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

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

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

CNA office closed over Christmas / New Year

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

IRD changes coming up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find out more about changes coming up here.

Governance in the community sector 

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

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

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

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

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

Save the date! 2019 CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services joint conference 27th and 28th August 2019

CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding their joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington.

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

Online resources

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

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

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

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

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

Child Poverty Action Group Campaign – Welfare fit for Families  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the report here.

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

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

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is visiting towns and cities across New Zealand to hear what people want from their criminal justice system. Find out more here (including a list of public forums).

Other reforms to note

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group – consultation has now closed. The Group will deliver its advice in a report to Ministers by February 2019, and Cabinet will make decisions on the Government’s response in March. More information can be found here.
  • Child Wellbeing Strategy – the strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here.
  • The Government is reforming the State Sector Act. More information on the review can be found here.
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019. For more information click here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, the Government will formally respond in March. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation.

    The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.

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

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Special offer just for members of Community Networks Aotearoa and their networks – because we think you’re great!

Facing an increase in your insurance premium? Then Community Networks Aotearoa in association with Rothbury Insurance Brokers can help!

This is a package specifically created for community groups and organisations, with extremely discounted rates.

We are pleased to offer this opportunity not only to our member organisations but to their members as well. If you, or one of your network organisations, are interested in receiving an obligation free quote, please contact us for the special code you will require and Rothbury’s contact details.

And don’t forget, we’re here to help.  If you have any problems or issues, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact Ros at the CNA office on Wellington (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz  Our staff and our Executive Committee are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.

Network News – November 2018

Network News – November 2018

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Network News November 2018

Community Networks Aotearoa is an umbrella organisation for local community networks. Our goal is to empower and strengthen the community sector by supporting community networks across Aotearoa.

We:

  • Provide advice and support to members
  • Connect community networks nationally
  • Use our collective voice to advocate for policy change and raise awareness of issues affecting the community sector

To find out more visit our website here.

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

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

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

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

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

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

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

And lastly, as always, remember we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

Meet the Members – Southland Interagency Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNA AGM and Hui


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

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

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

Have your say: ComVoices State of the Sector Survey 2018

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

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

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

To complete the survey click here.

Why we must stop intellectualizing and take more actions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was funny before. Now it is just disturbing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government reforms/consultations 

        Current consultations

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is consulting on the future of the welfare system (consultation closes 9 November). More information is available here.
  • The Government is consulting on its Child Wellbeing Strategy. The Strategy will commit Government to set and report on its actions to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people. For more information click here. The closing date for submissions is 5 December.
  • The Protected Disclosures Act is being reviewed. The Act protects people from losing their jobs or getting mistreated for speaking up in the public interest. For more information click here. Consultation closes Friday 7 December.
  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is visiting towns and cities across New Zealand to hear what people want from their criminal justice system. Find out more here (including a list of public forums).Other reforms to note
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019. For more information click here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. In a recent update the Inquiry thanked everyone who submitted, they received around 5500 submissions and over 2000 people attended 26 public meetings. They have now moved on to the deliberation stage, with their report due 31 October 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation.The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Things to note before you go ……

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

Special offer just for members of Community Networks Aotearoa and their networks – because we think you’re great!

Facing an increase in your insurance premium? Then Community Networks Aotearoa in association with Rothbury Insurance Brokers can help!

This is a package specifically created for community groups and organisations, with extremely discounted rates.

We are pleased to offer this opportunity not only to our member organisations but to their members as well. If you, or one of your network organisations, are interested in receiving an obligation free quote, please contact us for the special code you will require and Rothbury’s contact details.

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

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

ComVoices survey on the state of the community and voluntary sector

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

 

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

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

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

Network News – October 2018

Network News – October 2018

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Network News October 2018

Community Networks Aotearoa is an umbrella organisation for local community networks. Our goal is to empower and strengthen the community sector by supporting community networks across Aotearoa.

We:

  • Provide advice and support to members
  • Connect community networks nationally
  • Use our collective voice to advocate for policy change and raise awareness of issues affecting the community sector

To find out more visit our website here.

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

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

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the Members – Volunteer Resource Centre Manawatu and Districts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, click here.

CNA AGM and Hui

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

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

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

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

We hope to see you there!

Tax Working Group releases interim report 

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

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

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

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

You can read the report here.

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

Oranga Tamariki social workers reach pay equity settlement 

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

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

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

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

New Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

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

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

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

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

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

Social Services Procurement Guidance

Have you checked out the Social Services Procurement Guidance lately?

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

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

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

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

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

Government reforms/consultations 

        Current consultations

  • The Welfare Expert Advisory Group is consulting on the future of the welfare system (consultation closes 9 November). More information is available here.
  • The Government has released a discussion document on proposed standards to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards), following the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in December 2017. A copy of the discussion document and a summary of the proposed standards are available here. Submissions are open until 6pm on Monday 22 October 2018.
  • The Government has announced a set of proposals aimed at improving renting conditions.The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available here. Consultation closes at 5pm, 21 October 2018.Other reforms to note
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • The Tax Working Group has released its interim report. Final recommendations are due February 2019. For more information click here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. In a recent update the Inquiry thanked everyone who submitted, they received around 5500 submissions and over 2000 people attended 26 public meetings. They have now moved on to the deliberation stage, with their report due 31 October 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation.The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.
  • Treasury is working on a “Living Standards Framework” for policy. Consultation has closed on a proposed Living Standards Dashboard to support the application of the Living Standards Framework to policy issues. More information can be found here.
  • The Government is reviewing the schooling system. Consultation has closed and the taskforce appointed to carry out the review is due to report back by 9 November 2018. More information is here.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Things to note before you go ……

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

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

    For more information click here.

Special offer just for members of Community Networks Aotearoa and their networks – because we think you’re great!

Facing an increase in your insurance premium? Then Community Networks Aotearoa in association with Rothbury Insurance Brokers can help!

This is a package specifically created for community groups and organisations, with extremely discounted rates.

We are pleased to offer this opportunity not only to our member organisations but to their members as well. If you, or one of your network organisations, are interested in receiving an obligation free quote, please contact us for the special code you will require and Rothbury’s contact details.

And don’t forget, we’re here to help.  If you have any problems or issues, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact Ros at the CNA office on Wellington (04) 472 3364 or eo@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz  Our staff and our Executive Committee are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.

Photo: bruceandrobyn