Network News August 2018

Network News August 2018

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


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

To find out more visit our website here.

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

  • Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice
  • Meet the Members – Bishop’s Action Foundation
  • Mapping the social sector in the Western Bay of Plenty
  • Salvation Army survey highlights the reality of the winter struggle
  • NZ Government Procurement’s NGO initiative 
  • Mobilising the community to improve child wellbeing
  • On Air
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Things to note before you go…..
  • Special offer for members

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

Serious stuff today.

CNA has been talking to a representative from the Ministry of Health regarding the preparedness of communities to deal with the threat of pandemics. In 1918 the flu epidemic killed 9000 people in two months. That is more deaths than we would be likely to suffer following a massive earthquake in Wellington. This is a higher death toll than almost any natural extreme event. Yet we are not knowledgeable in neighbourhoods and communities about what we should do if a pandemic occurs in our country or region.

Here in Wellington CNA is going to hold a meeting with the Ministry of Health officials and has invited other National NGOs to hear information that we can then share out to you. When we send this out, please send it as far and broadly as you can.

Next month look out for another project we are involved with that supports the community and voluntary sector. But before you go, make you sure you check out my interview with Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector here.

We know how great you all are, but sometimes its good to talk to someone else so don’t forget, we’re here to help. If you’re a member of CNA and have a problem or issue, or just need some information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (04) 472 3364 or

Meet the Members – Bishop’s Action Foundation with Simon Cayley, CEO  

We’re BAF, or The Bishop’s Action Foundation. We’ve been working throughout Taranaki for a long time now, researching, collaborating and supporting projects that help our communities to flourish. We’re a charitable organisation working to create and sustain flourishing communities.

To achieve this we work to identify the root cause of community and social issues and develop partnerships that can create lasting solutions to them. We have three core action areas of Research, Collaboration and Service which we talk about below. We like to see ourselves as a catalyst for change, developing collaborations and solutions that can thrive beyond our involvement so that we can continue to look for more good to be done.

Research – Think Tank

We bring community members together to start conversation, think creatively and research ways to create fundamental social change. Our research creates a foundation for change through conversation, discussion and exploration of key social issues. Recent areas of research include the need for affordable housing in Taranaki; sustainability strategies for regional/rural townships and the potential impact of social enterprise for regional social and economic outcomes. Our research is always action focused – our aim is to use the knowledge we gain to create better informed responses. As examples our housing research led to the creation of Catalyst Housing Ltd – a charitable company established to develop affordable housing responses in our region. Our social enterprise research led to us being a partner with a local co-working space to create a social enterprise hub/incubator.

Collaboration – Backbone Organisation

BAF works collaboratively with a number of partners across Taranaki and wider New Zealand to lead, support, and sustain programmes that create social change. We believe working in partnership offers the greatest chance of developing a solution that will be sustainable and effective. A leading example of such collaborative projects is The Wheelhouse – The initiative brought together 9 partners, all of whom were involved in work to enhance the capacity and capability of voluntary and community sector organisations. By forming a partnership approach we now have a purpose built online portal that acts as starting point for all organisations and includes training, funding advice, resources, access to mentoring and access to other relevant programmes and opportunities.

Programme and Service Hub

We support and implement a number of programmes and services where we can offer a unique response or where we can add value to what already operates. By operating as a programme and service hub we minimise duplication of structure and overhead maximising available energy and resource to focus on responding to needs. Our programme and service hub has a wide range of initiatives within it including parenting support programmes, youth mentoring and support, peer-based grief and loss support for children and young people and ICT support for community sector organisations.

Our website includes a full overview of the research, projects and services we are involved with – or you can contact us for more information through

Mapping the social sector in the Western Bay of Plenty  

Mapping the Social Sector in the Western Bay of Plenty project emerged from a need expressed by the sector to better understand itself, provide data for future planning, and to demonstrate the value and contribution it makes to the region.
The project gathered information about social service organisations and their services and the impact they have in the Western Bay of Plenty via desktop research (225 organisations, 724 services) and subsequent interviews (144 organisations, 530 services).

Organisational Purpose

Most organisations state their purpose as:

  • Social cohesion and connectedness (46.5%) e.g. service brokering, social work.
  • Health (44%) e.g. screening and assessment, community nursing and rehabilitation.
  • Advocacy (34%) e.g. service brokering.
  • Access and Inclusion (32%) e.g. home visits, transportation, help lines.
  • Mental Health (21.5%) e.g. counselling, support groups.

Nearly 60% selected more than one purpose; often a combination with social cohesion and connectedness, health and advocacy.

The social sector’s value and contribution to Western Bay of Plenty communities

The findings support what is already known about social issues impacting Western Bay of Plenty communities, with housing, isolation, poverty and health identified as major challenges for social sector organisations and the communities they serve. The findings also highlight the sector’s resourcefulness and ability to maximise service delivery beyond what they are contractually funded to provide. The organisations identified many areas of unfunded work, including how lack of funding impacted on their capacity to collaborate with other organisations. This is not to say they do not work together, rather that it stretches resources with efforts to connect to other organisations largely unfunded.

Configuration and value of the social sector

Other findings are not so well known, particularly the number of people involved in the sector; the 123 organisations that provided staffing information employ 988 full time equivalents (FTEs) along with 4937 volunteers. Based on their number of FTEs, 88% of organisations are either small or medium-sized, with the sector dominated by five very large organisations that employ approximately half of the FTEs. Kaupapa Māori organisations (five interviewed) were staffed by Māori (58 FTEs), bar one staff member.

Understanding the social sector’s needs

Attracting Māori staff was a capability need identified by nearly all very large organisations, while small and medium sized organisations tended to identify marketing and communication and fundraising as their capability-building needs. Digital infrastructure as a capability need was more likely to be identified by the large organisations.

Funding the social sector

Most services in the Western Bay of Plenty (355) are funded by philanthropic and community agencies, followed by central government (263 services). Although this does not capture the relative size of funding, it does demonstrate the sector’s reliance on philanthropic and central government funding, with central government being the sole funder in more than half the services it funds.

Looking forward

The Mapping the Social Sector report is the first step in analysing the wealth of information available from the sector, and it is hoped that support for an additional phase will allow the other 81 organisations identified in this project to be interviewed, with the data collected and updated.

This report has initiated discussions by the social sector, funders and other stakeholders along with the Western Bay of Plenty community as a whole. Specifically whether the sector’s configuration and funding arrangements produce the best social outcomes for our communities; this report provides a useful baseline to examine those questions.

To read the report, click here.

Salvation Army survey highlights the reality of the winter struggle  

A nationwide survey commissioned by the Salvation Army found that close to one in two New Zealanders have gone without heating in the past year, or put off going to the doctor because they didn’t have enough money.

National Practice Manager for the Salvation Army’s welfare services, Jono Bell, says the results show that the winter struggle goes much further than those who have typically needed the Salvation Army’s support.

“We are seeing our most vulnerable people struggle this winter and these new statistics show that the problem is even wider than what we see through our work. It is very alarming,” he says. While most New Zealanders are using a heat pump (47 per cent) or electric heater (46 per cent) to warm their home this winter, one in ten are warming their home using just their oven or stove.

“Unfortunately conventional heating is often the first to go when money is tight. It’s common for us to see families pull mattresses into the lounge and bunk down to share heat in the winter,” says Bell.

The survey of more than 1000 respondents found that 37 per cent of people skipped a meal and 16 per cent missed a rent or mortgage payment in the past year because they couldn’t afford it.

Earlier this year the Salvation Army released its annual State of the Nation report, which highlighted other concerning trends. In particular, it highlighted that for many incomes have hardly moved, welfare needs have increased and rents are rising faster than incomes. This comes despite more jobs being created and GDP rising. The report noted that the benefits of recent strong economic growth have not been shared across the board.

The report is well worth a read, and covers progress (or not as the case may be) across a range of areas, from crime and punishment to income and social hazards.

This article is based on content from the following Salvation Army documents:

NZ Government Procurement’s NGO initiative 

New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) is launching an initiative to help non-governmental organisations (NGOs). To be eligible NGOs must be providing social services on behalf of government, largely government funded and based in New Zealand.

This initiative aims to link NGOs that are delivering social services on behalf of government with suppliers interested in providing them with discounted pricing. NZGP has developed a list of suppliers of common goods and services interested in providing NGOs with discounts. The goods and services they provide range from office stationery, gas and electricity, banking and vehicles. Supplier’s participation in this initiative is voluntary and any discount provided would be set confidentially between both organisations.

If eligible, you will be provided with a list of these suppliers. You then need to contact each supplier and discuss pricing with them. Suppliers are not obliged to enter into a supply agreement if they choose not to do so.

Instructions for NGOs

  1. Go to the NZGPP website and then complete an online eligibility form.
  2. Once completed, email the supporting documents to
  3. If you are eligible you will be sent a link to the supplier list, which includes the name and contact details of the business willing to discuss discounted pricing. Please do not share the list beyond your organisation.
  4. It is your responsibility to contact the supplier and begin discussions with them.

NZGP will publish the names of eligible NGOs on a webpage and will provide suppliers a link to this information so they are able to see which NGOs have come through the initiative. This page will only have your NGO name and will not contain any of the contact details or other information you provide.

Want to hear more about how people around the country are mobilising their community to improve child wellbeing?  

Come along to the Child Rich Communities webinar series! Through three webinars the principles behind Child Rich Communities are explored, and how they can create an environment that mobilises the community and improves child wellbeing.

DATE: 4, 13 and 28 September
TIME: 11am-12pm
LOCATION: Your computer

The webinars will combine theory and experience, with community members from across Aotearoa sharing their experience and there’ll be space for questions and discussion on what’s making a difference for children and families.

To register or find out more, click here.

What’s the Child Rich Communities Movement? Below is information from the movement and what it’s all about!

The Child Rich Communities project is about growing a movement of people who think and work in community-led ways to improve child, family and whānau wellbeing. It builds on research with ‘Bright Spot’ communities and initiatives proudly taking community-led action in their places – here’s how they see it.

The project is guided by Inspiring Communities, UNICEF, Plunket and Barnardos, with funding from S.K.I.P to run the webinars and other actions to support people working in community-led ways.

It’s well known that there are big issues when it comes to the wellbeing of our children in Aotearoa, and many of the issues have been with us for a while – through successive governments, different policies and multiple reforms. So where do we go?

Well as the quote goes – you can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. It’s time to focus on doing things differently. We believe one part of the jigsaw is changing how we approach issues – not just changing the policies.

It’s time to better support communities to decide what solutions will work best for them, sharing power, decision making and resources to enable locally-led responses and action. This represents quite a different tack than the traditional approach to policy, which tends to be top-down and service-focused, with solutions largely developed away from the very people it’s all about. The traditional approach to policy will not alone generate the scale of change needed. Rather, we believe big change comes from supporting communities to lead.

Local whānau and communities have a unique basket of skills, knowledge, strengths and assets fundamental to achieving long term positive change. This is where the Child Rich Communities movement comes in – it’s about harnessing this knowledge, for the benefit and sustained well-being and development of children, families and whānau, and communities themselves.

Across Aotearoa, there are many community-led initiatives making positive change for local children and families. They all look very different – with local contexts, histories, experiences and resources shaping what happens in each place.

There is no single model or definition for what a Child Rich Community is. Rather it’s a way of working, is driven by a set of principles, that enable people in local places to make positive changes for themselves, their children, their family and the wider community.

A movement takes people – this is where you come in! We’re currently focused on raising awareness of Child Rich Communities, and supporting and connecting like minded people, organisations and initiatives across Aotearoa so that we can all learn from each other.

Does this sound like you, or something you’re interested in? Get in touch and join us. Or if all of this sounds like what you’re currently doing in your community, we’d love to tell your story, drop us a line! To find out more, click here.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Minister Peeni Henare, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Paul Barber from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services, Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi and Tim Ng from Treasury.

Government reforms/consultations 

       Current consultations

  • Stats NZ is developing Indicators to track New Zealand’s progress. The set of indicators will go beyond economic measures, such as gross domestic product, to include well-being and sustainable development. Have your say here.
  • The Government is reviewing New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan. The review will consider whether the government has the right resources and the right arrangements to address the increasing cyber threats facing New Zealand. Have your say here.
  • The Government has released a discussion document and opened consultation on a new positive ageing strategy. Closing date for submissions is 24 August 2018. Click here for more information.
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information click here.
  • As part of the national Education Conversation, Kōrero Mātauranga, the Government is reviewing Tomorrow’s Schools. This is the name given to the reforms that dramatically changed the governance, management and administration of our schools nearly 30 years ago.The review is wide ranging. It will look at the way our schooling system works, and whether it meets the needs and aspirations of all learners. The review is being carried out by an Independent Taskforce of experts appointed by the Minister of Education.Have your say – you can share your views through a survey or submission (closes 6 August), for more information click here.

    Other reforms to note

  • The interim report from the Tax Working Group is due in September. For more information click here.
  • The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has had its first reading in Parliament. This Bill seeks to restore four aspects of community wellbeing in legislation (social, economic, environmental and cultural). For more information click here.
  • The Government has appointed an Advisory Group to review the welfare system. The Advisory Group is due to report back by 28 February 2019. For more information click here.
  • Formal submissions have closed for the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The Inquiry is due to report back by 31 October 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government is considering the establishment of a sector-level bargaining system. This would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation.The Government has established the Fair Pay Agreement Working Group to make recommendations on the design of this system. The Working Group is due to report back with its recommendations by November 2018. For more information click here.
  • The Government has announced a review of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. An interim report is due by July 2019, and a final report by 31 January 2020. For more information click here.
  • Treasury is working on a “Living Standards Framework” for policy. Consultation recently closed on a proposed Living Standards Dashboard to support the application of the Living Standards Framework to policy issues. More information can be found here.

To blog, or not to blog…

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

Things to note before you go ……

  • Save the date! The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. Registration details will be sent out in August.
  • Charities Services are holding a free webinar on 23 August about the charities register, for more information (and to view past webinars) click here.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: bruceandrobyn