Network News June 2018

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

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

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

Budget 2018  

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

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

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

What’s everyone saying?

You can find a range of commentary here.

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

Heads up for government providers   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To continue reading, click here.

Meet the members – Community Waitakere with Mandy Spencer  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more about what we do click here.

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

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

Government reforms/consultations to note

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

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

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Things to note before you go ……

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

  • Save the date! The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. More information to come.
  • Charities Services is holding a series of lunchtime webinars on a range of topics of interest to charities. For more information click here.
  • National Volunteer Week is 17-23 June. To find out more and access resources to help you mark the week, click here.
  • The interim report from the Tax Working Group is due in September. For more information click here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Government has appointed an Advisory Group to review the welfare system. The Advisory Group is due to report back by 28 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The Inquiry is due to report back by 31 October 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation.The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by 26 July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.

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

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

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

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

And don’t forget, we’re here to help.  If you have any problems or issues, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact Ros at the CNA office on Wellington (04) 472 3364 or  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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