Network News March 2018

It’s the Well-being Era

This newsletter does have a focus on the new discussion we are hearing everywhere on well-being.  The strongest example of this are the four papers distributed by The Treasury. (links below).  These are an unprecedented view from The Treasury and these discussion papers are based in the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework.  The papers are on natural capital, social capital, human capital and wellbeing frameworks. Although they cannot be said to be the Treasury’s position on measuring intergenerational wellbeing and its sustainability in New Zealand, they are however an intention to encourage discussion on these topics.
The focus of Treasury in recent years has been increasingly on using a living standards framework to assess the impact of government policies on the wellbeing of New Zealanders, and there is interest in evaluating a range of different frameworks for measuring wellbeing.
This is a complex issue as Wellbeing is a multi-faceted concept involving significant value judgements and underlying causes maybe less easy to understand, however there seems to be a preference for the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) framework which is used for similar evaluation.
To read the discussion paper on Wellbeing Frameworks for the Treasury  go to:
Wellbeing Frameworks for the Treasury

The next two discussion papers are specific to Social Capital and Human Capital.  To be honest to read these is exciting because Treasury is talking about the value of people and communities and how that can be measured.  Human capital is defined as “an individual’s skills, knowledge, mental and physical health that enables them to participate fully in work, study, recreation and in society more broadly”.
Social Capital is defined as “the social connections, attitudes and norms that contribute to societal wellbeing by promoting coordination and collaboration between people and groups in society”.  I hope that they include government in that society.
The Value of New Zealand’s Human Capital
The Value of New Zealand’s Social Capital

The final discussion paper I recommend is that focused on Natural Capital.  This paper refers to all aspects of the natural environment and looks at key environmental indicators which are suggesting that the overall state of the environment is declining.  That Treasury are reviewing how the natural capital can be given an economic value and that the framework identifies the value people derive from not just using by also not-using natural capital is a fascinating and hopeful way of reviewing how we as a nation preserve that which has precious value to us.
The Value of New Zealand’s Natural Capital.

These are such important discussion papers, I would like to encourage everyone to sit with your friends, your workmates and your organisations, discuss these issues and feed back to Treasury all your thoughts.  These could be hugely influencial in many government decisions, and we must have our say on these serious issues while the opportunity is presented to us.
Higher Living Standards Discussion The Treasury

Meet the Members  

Welcome to another article in the series introducing the wonderful members we serve and the work they are doing in their communities throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.  This month we feature The Association of Community Access Broadcasters (ACAB).

Community Access Radio – A platform for people’s voices

12 radio stations, hundreds of volunteer groups, 800+ programmes, thousands of hours broadcast on-air each year – welcome to Community Access Radio. 

Community Access Radio stations produce the most diverse media content in the nation. The first station was founded in Wellington in 1981, for people and issues that were lacking representation in traditional media.  Over the next 36 years the sector grew to include 12 regional stations hosting women’s, ethnic, language, disability, diverse sexuality and identity, religious and ethical belief, and children’s and youth shows alongside community, arts, culture and niche music programming.

The Association of Community Access Broadcasters Aotearoa (ACAB) is the national membership group for the sector.  ACAB President, Kristen Paterson, says “One of the unique qualities of community access programmes is that they’re made by, for, and about the community. This means that on top of being accessible as platform of media representation, groups can create content in their own voice and through their own filter.”

From myriad languages to high school groups, from grassroots political activists to disability advocacy, from fringe festivals to local music showcases, programmes represent the beautiful culture and diverse identities, topics and opinions that make up Aotearoa.

Platforms like this are increasing important as mainstream media outlets deal with cutbacks, don’t focus of diversity or minority groups, and move away from hyperlocal coverage. Community Access stations continue to sit at the heart of the communities they serve, and provide an outlet for groups that lack the resources and time to create relationships with mainstream media.

Community Access stations also stream live online and host podcasts for on-demand listening and download, and share programmes for broadcast between stations.

If you are interested in making a programme contact the stations via the links below:

 Station Managers and Staff of ACAB

Jacinda’s little-noticed, biggest policy announcement for the well-being sector 
Garth Nowland-Foreman : Garth Nowland-Foreman, director LEAD Centre for Not for Profit Leadership,

While new governments often come in with lots of changes to individual policy areas, that all have implications for our sector, our current government actually plans to change the goal-posts – and in a (potentially) good way.

Snuck in amongst announcing the new Child Poverty targets, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also announced in her first major speech of the year that by the 2019 Budget, the government would introduce a tool and framework to include wellbeing of New Zealanders and not just report on economic measures, like GDP.

While this might sound like a boring bit of bureaucratic tinkering only of interest to public finance geeks, it has the potential to shake the foundations of public policy. After all its a well-established principle that any organisation does more of whatever it measures – for better or for worse. It is perhaps no coincidence that she gave this speech at an nonprofit (St Peters, Wellington) to an audience filled with people from our sector.

And for years (internationally) we have been measuring the wrong thing, with our GDP fetish. As a recent UK  blog asked: what does heroin, a ‘paper’ cup that wont biodegrade for 500 years and Kim Jong-un’s smart new collection of intercontinental ballistic missiles have in common? They all contribute to growth of GDP.
* GDP only measures things that are bought or sold, so doesn’t include really important things like voluntary work, housework and caring, Increased (or reduced) leisure, etc.

* And it counts everything that is capable of being bought or sold – so spending more on prisons, fatal car crashes, or oil spills all add to our measures of ‘progress’.

* Its over-simplified averages hide how the wealth is (or is not) shared out. A very small elite may be reaping a disproportionate share of the growth, and the vast majority of citizens can be no better off in a highly “successful” economy measured by GDP.

* And the price paid is the only measure of progress, so a bloated US healthcare system with lots of inefficiencies, inflated by private profits, parasitical insurance companies and unnecessary procedures and litigation means healthcare makes up a whopping 17% of GDP, though America is lower on most measures of health status than New Zealand, where healthcare adds less than 10% to GDP.

* And perhaps most bizarrely of all, it doesn’t take into account using up or depleting natural assets. The value of minerals dug up and sold add to GDP, but the fact that we have lost them forever isn’t recognised. The loss of clean air or clean rivers is invisible to GDP. Its almost like only worrying about how much you spend and not caring whether you are running down your savings in order to do so!

Criticism of this crazy system is not new. In fact, one of the first people to put this issue on the international stage in 1988 with her classic book: “Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and Women are Worth” was the young Kiwi, Marylin Waring. And a fascinating article by two more kiwis, Caroline Saunders and Paul Dalziel, updates what has happened since then, in “Twenty-Five Years Counting for Nothing: Waring’s Critique of National Accounts”.

2018 New Zealand Business Survey

Please send this invitation to participate in the 2018 New Zealand Business Survey to your provider networks

Have your say about what it’s like to work with government 

Every year thousands of community service providers deliver social services across the country to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) works with government agencies to strengthen capability in the procurement and contract management of social services.

Each year MBIE runs an annual survey to understand suppliers’ and providers’ experiences of government procurement. For the first time in 2017, we released a companion report that focused on the results from community service providers. Companion Report 2017

We invite you to participate in this survey to have your say about what it’s like to work with government. The survey closes on Wednesday 10th April 2018. Your results are confidential.

Please share this invitation with your networks so more providers have an opportunity to participate.

The information from the survey informs the direction of our work.

The survey is now open and will close on Wednesday 10th April 2018. You can respond to this survey on your phone, tablet or computer.

Click here to start the survey

Time to learn from the past: Childrens Commissioner Andrew Becroft

“Survivors of abuse in state care will have the deep hurt they experienced investigated and acknowledged by this new inquiry”, said Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.
“I welcome the announcement of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in state care. I see this as a positive step forward for all of those who suffered the pain, fear and grief that result from abuse, while growing up with the trauma of being removed from their families. Nothing can restore their blighted childhoods, but I fundamentally hope that this will provide an opportunity for the survivors to feel genuinely listened to, and gain assistance, support and healing.
“We must aspire to a higher quality of care for all of our children. The Royal Commission will enable us to learn some hard-won lessons from the past and improve our protection and monitoring systems in the future. We must do all we can to ensure that these sad circumstances can never be repeated. As the lessons emerge, they need to be applied to the changes that that are already underway in our statutory care and protection system.
“Allowing the public to review the Terms of Reference before they are finalized will ensure that the inquiry is fully informed by the diverse range of public views.
“There will no doubt be recent lessons to be learned from the six-year Australia Royal Commission of inquiry into child abuse which conducted a thorough and sensitive and supportive process for all those that gave evidence, as well as the excellent work of the Confidential Learning and Advice Service run by Judge Henwood. My Office will provide whatever support and assistance we can offer as the inquiry progresses.

” About the Office of the Children’s Commissioner The Children’s Commissioner is an Independent Crown Entity, appointed by the Governor-General, carrying out responsibilities and functions set out in the Children’s Commissioner Act 2003. The Children’s Commissioner has a range of statutory powers to promote the rights, health, welfare, and wellbeing of children and young people from 0 to 18 years. These functions are undertaken through advocacy, public awareness, consultation, research, and investigations and monitoring. The role includes specific functions in respect of monitoring activities completed under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. The Children’s Commissioner also undertakes systemic advocacy functions and investigates particular issues with potential to threaten the health, safety, or wellbeing of children and young people.

The Children’s Commissioner has a particular responsibility to raise awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Children’s Commissioner’s activities must comply with the relevant provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989, Crown Entities Act 2004 and any other relevant legislation.

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

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

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

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

Click here and listen to Ros interview Gill Greer CEO of the National Council of Women, Lyndy McIntyre discussing the Living Wage  and Jo Cribb regarding research on the governance capability of Social service NGOs.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

The quest for global citizenship education by Ronja Levers, External Relations Co-ordinator Hui E!
Sanctions for Christmas by Trevor McGlinchey CEO New Zealand Council of Social Services
Lets campaign to stop predatory lenders by Soraiya Daud Communications Adviser National Building Financial Capability Trust
Lets do this – better by Brenda Pilott, Manager, Social Service Providers Aotearoa

Happy Easter, enjoy your break !

And don’t forget, we are here to help.  If you have any problems or issues, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact Ros at the CNA office on Wellington (04) 472 3364 or  Our staff and our Executive Committee are here to provide support to our membership and always welcome your contact.
Copyright © 2018 Community Networks Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

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Network News January 2018

The Families Package

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

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

Meet the Members  

Welcome to another article in the series introducing the wonderful members we serve and the work they are doing in their communities throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.  This month we feature Community Housing Aotearoa.

Community Housing Aotearoa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brayden Smith
Grant Thornton New Zealand
T +64 4 495 3768
M +64 21 240 9570

Masterclasses and Workshops : Climate Change Engagement

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

To ensure that the workshops are successful, and tailored to your needs, please could you complete the short survey that can be found at:

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

Vitae: Workplace WellBeing Community Workshops 2018

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

Liz Pennington
Chief Executive-Tumuaki 

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

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

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

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

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

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

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Let’s campaign to stop predatory lenders by Soraiya Daud Communications Adviser National Building Financial Capability Trust
Lets do this – better by Brenda Pilott, Manager, Social Service Providers Aotearoa
Money vs Passion : parliamentary lobbying by Warren Lindberg, Chief Executive, Public Health Association NZ

It’s 2018 – time to look forward !

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

Network News July 2017

Election Briefing from ComVoices  

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

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

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

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

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

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

We ask that parties consider our input when developing policy.

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

Also please feel free to share it with your newsletters and those in your distribution groups.

If you want us to send it directly via an email for printing off, just contact us at

Empowerment & Success: A Positive Path for the NGO Sector

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

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

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



From Ros Rice, Executive Officer, Community Networks Aotearoa…

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you wish to see the slides from the presentation please click below. You can also access two videos, and some definitions that explain how we describe different forms of child abuse.

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

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

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




Queen’s Birthday Honour

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

Need some professional skills pro-bono?

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

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

Head to to see how HelpTank can support you and your organisation.

Community Law Manual 2017-2018 now available. 

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


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

Place an order for the Community Law Manual by:

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Upcoming Conferences

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

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

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

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

Transition Times



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ros Rice
Community Networks Aotearoa

More information is available at these places.

Network News May/June 2017

MSD IT Inquiry Not Enough

Media Release 12 April 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Trevor McGlinchey, ComVoices Spokesperson, phone 04 473 2627

Read more >

Network News April 2017

Meet the members

Welcome to another article in the series introducing the wonderful members we serve and the work they are doing in their communities throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further info about Inclusive NZ visit or “like” them on Facebook

Read more >

Network News March 2017

Roadshow for Volunteers and Volunteering Organisations: Your responsibility in safeguarding children

Child Matters and Community Networks Aotearoa are jointly delivering a nationwide roadshow providing presentations to volunteers and volunteering organisations.

This roadshow will provide education and information to those in the volunteering and community sectors to assist in understanding roles and responsibilities when engaging with vulnerable children and provide access to resources to assist in developing safe child protection systems and environments.

This free presentation is aimed at:

  • Volunteers

  • Community sector organisations

  • Community organisation Board members

Presentation Outline:

  • Introduction to the Vulnerable Children Act (2014) and how this impacts on volunteers and volunteering organisations

  • Understand the role we play in keeping vulnerable children in their communities safe

  • Provision of reference material to support the development of Child Protection Policies, safety checking and safe working practices

  • Overview of child abuse in NZ

  • The importance of organisational child protection policies and how to implement these to keep children, volunteers and community groups safe

Read more >

Network News February 2017

Meet the members

by Kim Cable, Marketing Manager, Community Waikato

Welcome to another article in the series introducing the wonderful members we serve and the work they are doing in their communities throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Based in Hamilton, Community Waikato is a community organisation that builds the capacity and capability of the community sector in the Waikato by supporting and informing social service organisations. We work alongside groups and organisations understanding that they are the experts in what they do. We bring the resources and processes and the groups we work with hold the experience, knowledge and wisdom. Together we build on their strengths and develop their capacity.

Services that Community Waikato provide include: one-to-one advisory service; mentoring; facilitation; training; information; scholarships; advocacy; Tindall Foundation, and Len Reynolds Trust funding.

In 2000, Trust Waikato CE and Trustees saw that there was a need for capacity strengthening in the community sector in Waikato and set up the Social Service Waikato Trust. By 2002, the first staff and a kaumatua were appointed. In 2007, the Social Services Trust moved to its current premises at the south end of Victoria Street in Hamilton, and changed its name to Community Waikato. The geographic area that Community Waikato service covers is the same as the Trust Waikato funding area, and includes the districts of Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Waipa, Waikato, South Waikato, Waitomo, Otorohanga, Ruapehu and Hamilton City.

Currently Community Waikato employs 9 staff. Last year Holly Snape came on board as the newCommunity Waikato Chief Executive. Community wellbeing has been Holly’s driving force for more than a decade. Community development and community wellbeing are high priorities which we can enhance together by engaging in measures to address social, economic and environmental needs. Holly has also joined the board of Community Networks Aotearoa.

There are a number of challenges currently facing the not for profit sector. Changes in government contracting, changes in compliance for these contracts, the pressure on organisations to keep up with demand as inequality and poverty grows and the impact of contestable funding on sector relationships are all challenges that we need to address. But there are also growing opportunities, such as changes in technology that can revolutionise service delivery, the growing professionalism of the sector, the growth in consumer interest in supporting social enterprises, and the potential to build and capitalise on international relationships.

Following on from the highly successful Rising to the Challenge conference in 2015, on the 2-3 August 2017, Community Waikato are hosting another Community Waikato Conference for the community sector. The theme for this conference is ‘Thriving in the 21st Century’. The aim of this conference is to reignite our passions and motivate us to think and act differently. We need to acknowledge what we are doing well and challenge our pre-conceived ideas to think outside the square to ensure we thrive moving forward in the 21st century.

Our sector is operating in a challenging environment, both socially and financially. We need to work smarter and more efficiently to achieve positive outcomes for those we serve while remaining viable and true to our values. The increasing pressure on the community sector to achieve more with less requires us to challenge the way we have done things in the past.

For further info about Community Waikato visit  “like” us on Facebook or contact


on_airDownload and listen to Ros interview Brenda Pilott, National Manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, about the new requirements from MSD for contracted service providers to provide the Ministry with identifiable client data (scroll down one programme in the link to find this interview).

To read the ComVoices issues paper on this topic, mentioned in the interview, please visit our website

Read more >

Network News December 2016

Introducing Neighbourhood Support New Zealand (NSNZ)

by Kelsey Scarr, National Manager, NSNZ

Kia Ora to all members, sponsors and stakeholders who are reading this great publication. It is an honour for me to have an article in this newsletter, so a big thank you to Ros and Fionn at Community Networks Aotearoa for the opportunity.

 My name is Kelsey Scarr and I am the National Manager of Neighbourhood Support New Zealand (NSNZ) based in Wellington. I have been in this role since October 2016 and came into this role with passion and the drive to see our organisation grow and be seen as a leader in the community safety and not for profit sectors.

In my previous role I was the Manager of Hutt Safe City Group Charitable Trust which is an organisation based in the Hutt Valley encompassing the governance and administration of four portfolios including Neighbourhood Support, Community Patrols, Junior Neighbourhood Support (JNS) and administration of the CCTV Camera structure. I was in this role for five and a half years and thoroughly enjoyed my role. Hutt Safe City is unique because it works very well and brings together groups that are sometimes fragmented in other cities.

It has been a busy year for Neighbourhood Support both at a national level, and for our fantastic champion groups and committees at local level. We are soon to be announcing our national affiliation package and contestable funding round for the betterment of offices and coordinators throughout New Zealand. This will create a consistent package for all affiliated areas along with striving to increase nationwide opportunities for joint communication, increasing working synergies with key stakeholders, investing in people and refreshing our public image. Read more >

Network News November 2016

“Most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth.” – Ken Robinson

On Wednesday 19 October in conjunction with our colleagues from Inclusive NZ, we welcomed our members to Wellington for our first joint Hui. Delegates from both umbrella organisations came from throughout the country for the chance to make connections and explore opportunities for collaboration.

The day began separately with the business of our AGMs before coming together for a World Café.  One important item of business at CNA’s AGM was the election of our Executive Committee for 2016 – 18.  The following were elected: Andrew Beyer, Tess Casey, Denise Lormans, Alan Shanks, Holly Snape, Jo Taylor and Christine West. For further info about the new Exec click here

Following lunch we were joined by Wallace Chapman, host of television’s “Back Benches” (described by The Herald as a sort of “Top Gear” of politics). Wallace expertly facilitated a panel of politicians including Grant Robertson (Labour Party), Jan Logie (Green Party), Ria Pond (NZ First), Ian McKelvie (National Party) and Marama Fox (Maori Party). One of the most popular sessions of the day, the politicians delivered plenty of lively debate on issues including the resourcing of the community and voluntary sector, the ability for all to access education despite personal circumstance and, the increased requirement for evidence and data.

Our guest speaker Brayden Smith of Grant Thornton, wrapped up our day with an informative and very useful presentation on changes affecting the sector.  Among other items, Brayden discussed the new Charities Services reporting requirements and how charities are responding to the new Statement of Service Performance.

It was a pleasure to have so many of our members here in Wellington and the Executive Committee, Ros and Fionn extend their heartfelt thanks to all participants who took time out from their busy schedules to make the Hui such a success – delegates, Wallace, Brayden, the politicians and of course our wonderful colleagues at Inclusive NZ.

Our next major event will be our conference in 2017 and we look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, here’s some pics from the Hui…



























The holes are getting bigger in the safety net provided by the community sector


ComVoices has recently released the results of its second State of the Sector Survey.

“The second ComVoices State of the Sector Survey of the Community Sector shows that stresses on our organisations are increasing” says Scott Miller, Chair of ComVoices.

“We are facing greater demand for our services, are dealing with greater complexity with less funding from government, and have a greater reliance on alternative funding sources to support the delivery of services.

“The crisis in the sector is worsening and despite discussions with government and its agencies no one appears to be listening” he says.
Read more >

Photo: Jason Pratt