News

Network News – December 2018

Network News – December 2018

Network News December 2018

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

We:

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

To find out more visit our website here.

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

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

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tena Koutou Katoa

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the Members – Skylight Trust 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skylight delivers:

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

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

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

CNA office closed over Christmas / New Year

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

IRD changes coming up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find out more about changes coming up here.

Governance in the community sector 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online resources

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

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

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

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

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

Child Poverty Action Group Campaign – Welfare fit for Families  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the report here.

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

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

Government reforms/consultations 

Current consultations

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

Other reforms to note

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

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

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

To blog, or not to blog…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: bruceandrobyn