Network News Apr 2020

Network News April 2020

Kia ora koutou – This newsletter covers topical issues in the community sector.
We encourage you to send this newsletter out through your networks.
In this newsletter…
(click on text to jump straight to article)

Community Networks Aotearoa has prepared a COVID-19 – Updates, Info & Resources page (just click the highlighted link).
We’ll be adding to the page as information comes to hand – and it’s dated so you can see when it was posted.
The Ministry of Health COVID-19 website page remains the official page for all information and advice.
RNZ is the dedicated emergency broadcaster and has a dedicated COVID-19 page with range of interviews with experts covering projections, what to do, well-being, how to work at home with family, how to de-escalate tension in your bubble., etc. – well worth checking out.Here is MSD’s national list of Social Sector Organisations providing Essential Services

CNA Executive Officer Ros Rice

Kia ora my friends,

How things can change in a month!!  Paddy and I are at home like most of the rest of you.  To those who are essential workers, please take care of yourselves and we are so grateful to you for that work.
On that note a quick musing on the role of the Community and Voluntary Sector in times like this.  It will be interesting to see how the public and Government recognises the role we all play especially when we are embedded in communities. 

We are so important in providing services and information out to our communities, and we can often do it in a way that the State can’t.  Many of you are working at the coal face with frightened people, not only now, but in everyday life over many years.  You are the first responders!
It’s great to see the $27 million being put into our essential community services.  I hope money continues to flow and our worth is recognised in future funding.  We are worth it!


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 

MSD Update #1 –

Delivering Community Services
During the COVID-19 L4 Lockdown?

•    The Ministry of Social Development have released their COVID-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Fund
•    Grants of up to $5000 (+ GST) are available on application
•    Funded community groups must be contributing towards the provision of essential community-led solutions to support local resilience and community well being in relation to COVID-19
•    Priority requests are those that support Maori, Pacific, older people, people with disabilities, people with current significant health considerations, migrant communities and people who are rurally isolated.
•    A total budget of $4.8M (+ GST) for grants is available. This is part of the NZ Government’s $27.0m support package for the community sector.

Communal Cuppa Zoom Anyone?

As we mostly work from home and are away from our team members and volunteers, we all need take a break every now and then.

To that end Ros and I have started the Communal Cuppa Zoom – it’s like cuppa soup, but better for you. Every Wednesday at 10am and Friday at 3pm we’ll be hosting a Communal Cuppa Zoom and we invite you to join us for a chat. You don’t have to stay the entire time – it might just be to pop in and say ‘Hi”.

This is a purely social group of like-minded peeps who deserve to sit back, connect and catch up. Tell us what’s happening for you, tell us problems you might need help with; solutions you’ve discovered, or even what your next crochet project will be. HINT: Mine involves Star Trek.

If you’d like to join us casually, or be added to a weekly invite please email Ros (as she’s hosting) at .

The Joy of Zoom

A lot of people are using Zoom as a great way to have meetings or just to hang out – like my weekly lunch with my 87yr-old Mum who is self-isolating alone in Dunedin. All you need is a computer with a mic (or headphones); a camera (if you want to use that too) and an internet connection.

Sound a bit full on? Not sure how to get started?
Here’s a great link for absolute beginnersHere’s a great link to Zoom’s Resources page to help you Zoom better.

Including : Effective Remote Working  – Educating Over Zoom – Hosting Virtual Events – TeleHealth

Meet the Members –
Community Access Media Alliance

Alessandra Keighley is the current chair of CAMA, last week I got to chat with her via phone about their work.

CAMA is the executive body in support of community access media – which is media made by, for and about the diverse communities in and around Aotearoa. We provide facilities, service, support, training, equipment for people to make their own broadcasts about what matters to them, in their own languages, expressing their own belief systems and their own cultures. 

In 1989 the Broadcasting Act changed, after fierce lobbying, to include section 36c which guarantees access for all New Zealanders and not just private interests. Essentially the section gives a broadcast voice to women, youth, children, the disabled, religious, ethnical, elders, men and other minority groups in the community by which to share beyond their group, their thoughts, beliefs, feelings, knowledge, culture and ideals.

This is media with people at its heart, its content is created by the local communities. Years ago, in the world of slick radio, Access Radio may have been seen as worthy but dull, now Access Media leads at the forefront of authentic local-centred broadcasting on a global stage. There are more than fifty languages spoken on the 12 radio stations in Aotearoa.

As the corporate medias stagger transitioning from their outdated market models, Access Media, who have usually been the poor cousin, ‘stuck to its knitting’ and now relies on the authentic relationships its forged. Those years, making do, applying for funding, etc. in an ever shifting world, relying on each other, ‘has created a beautiful weave of relationships of respect and reciprocity’. The way to get things done is to help one another. Each station helps create and shares its content. CAMA disseminates information, skill sets and support, with everyone sharing the knowledge. But it doesn’t sit at the top – this is a circle where every voice is heard. This is the media that has been set aside for the right time, especially now that we are isolated and self-isolating.

And it’s these communities that are usually the first responders to any events around Aotearoa. In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake Plains FM was on air – the local voice enabled residents to hear from someone right there, in their own shoes, sharing the experience. Hearing information in your own language can help; it might be what roads are currently out of use; where to go for particular help; where you can buy petrol; where water trucks are. That local knowledge and voice are right there with you and for you. In last year’s horrific terrorism Plains FM again played it’s part having established Muslim broadcasters, who could speak from and for the people being impacted. These strong relationships of trust have been built over time with care.

We’ve seen how kiwis can come together and where else is it better to hear the voice of Aotearoa than from the locals, it’s time to listen.

If you’d like to investigate how your voice might be heard please get in touch with your local Access Radio Station, they’d be more than happy to listen and help how and where they can.

Parenting Through The Current Crisis

A large number of people are now in the same bubble with their children, Nathan Wallis from NIB Health Insurance has some valuable advice about you and your children.

To watch please CLICK HERE

What You Should Expect At Work
– an update from the PSA

The pandemic has changed business as usual. Over the last weeks we have been actively working through options with employers and central agencies to ensure that you are supported and that we can keep public and community services working for New Zealanders at this difficult time

For information workers in the Public Service and State Sector; DHBs; Community Public Services and Contractors please CLICK HERE

Neighbours Day 2020

Instead of holding gatherings, Neighbours Day Aotearoa are encouraging people to have conversations with their neighbours, to make sure people are not feeling disconnected or lonely, especially people directly affected by self-isolation. Check out some of the ways below to check in on your neighbours while social distancing.

Learn more about Neighbours Day Aotearoa activities during COVID-19 HERE

Here’s a Some Good News to help you take a break from things –

Got Creatives In Your Membership?
Creative New Zealand Response

Creative New Zealand can now confirm its Emergency Response Package, announced on Friday in response to COVID-19, will include a first phase $16 million investment to buffer and support the arts community, with benefits extending well beyond the immediate crisis.Funding will open 14th April
To read more please CLICK HERE
And now for something completely helpful…
The Government has asked that Non At Risk groups do not use Countdown’s priority assistance for
ordering delivered groceries
for those in the At Risk groups
(i.e. over 70s, Immune Challenged, etc.)Questions?

MSD Update #2

Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund – $4.8 million 
$27 million for NGOs and Community Groups providing essential services

  • The important information we want to get out there is:
    • Please don’t worry – you’ll continue to be paid your regular benefit payments.
    • MSD has already done a bunch of things to make it easier for now.
    • If you’re already getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or Supported Living Payment, you don’t need to provide another medical certificate.
    • If you’re already getting Disability Allowance and Child Disability Allowance you don’t need to do anything – they will continue to be paid.
    • For now there will be no annual reviews or social housing reviews.
    • Special benefits won’t expire.
    • There will be no new obligation failures for now.

Remember, the Work and Income website, is the place to go for the latest information.

How’s Your Well Being?

The Hypnotherapy community has come together to create an impact on the well being of New Zealanders in their time of need.. With hypnosis you can strengthen and boost your  immune system, help to stay more calm and relaxed, improve your sleep quality and increase your overall well being.

Hypnosis can help you to strengthen and boost your immune system, it can help you to stay calm and relaxed, improve your sleep quality and increase your overall well being.

Hypnosis New Zealand have free downloadable audio recordings covering various areas to help you manage your anxiety.
To got to the recordings please CLICK HERE

IRD Updates

In these extraordinary circumstances, ensuring people get their entitlements, including their COVID-19 relief, is an essential service and Inland Revenue’s top priority.We are now required to operate very differently, including how we work with you. Our phone services will be severely limited and the only effective way to contact us, will be online and through myIR. Within Inland Revenue, all front office services in all localities are now closed and all of our staff, except a small number of special exceptions, will be working from home

For those receiving payments – Working for Families in particular – you will be paid. 

It may be that some squaring up of over or underpayments needs to be made and that will happen – maybe not immediately but it will happen. If you need to contact us urgently about your entitlement, then online through myIR is the best way. Inland Revenue remains committed to implementing the latest round of our transformation changes in April. Maintaining the pace of IR’s transformation is important and any delay increases the risk that we won’t be able to meet customers’ needs at this difficult time.

By upgrading our systems in line with our current plan, we increase our agility to respond swiftly to situations such as Covid-19 which gives the Government more flexibility to help New Zealanders. Please be assured that the people who work at Inland Revenue will be doing their very best to make sure all New Zealanders get what they need as soon as they need it. That is our top priority.
We will be providing more detail on things you need to know as this situation develops.

Collaborative Voices 

Due to the current lockdown we’re off air for the time being. You can hear updates and the latest information on RNZ, the dedicated emergency broadcaster.IN THE MEANTIME
We’d like to suggest these fascinating podcasts to listen to at Seeds (CLICK HERE)You can also download previous episodes of Collaborative Voices as a podcast.

Available interviews include
  COVID-19 with Dr Prudence Stone from 
Public Health Association of New Zealand Kāhui Hauora Tūmatanui.
 Healthy Aging with Stephanie Clare from Age Concern
MP Paul Eagle;
Climate Change with Dave Kennedy

Anyone else now find it weird when people touch on TV?

ComVoices Blogs

Links to the latest ComVoices blogs on Community Scoop. We highly recommend the fascinating reading to be found here.

About Community Networks Aotearoa

  • 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.

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.

And don’t forget we’re here to help. If you have any problems, 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 © 2020 Community Networks Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

Photo: bruceandrobyn