Network News – July 2019

Network News July 2019

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

  • Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice
  • Guest column – Budget 2019, commentary from NZ Council of Christian Social Services
  • Meet the members: SociaLink
  • Notice of CNA AGM
  • CNA and NZCCSS joint conference 27th and 28th Aug 2019
  • On Air
  • To blog, or not to blog
  • Government reforms/consultations
  • Campaigns / programmes / events
  • Special offer for members

About Community Networks Aotearoa

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.

We encourage you to send this newsletter our through your networks

Update from CNA Executive Officer, Ros Rice

Tēnā Koutou Katoa

It has been interesting to process all the commentary on the Government’s budget released in May. In this newsletter we’ve included commentary from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services. Reading different commentary it’s clear there is lots of good in the budget, and well done to those in the community who have campaigned hard for such changes. But equally there is a sense that the budget is not transformational, and much, much more is needed to address the significant issues facing our communities across the country.

In saying this, it’s timely to think about the General Election coming up next year and how we can effectively push for change. In June I attended the Equality Network Hui, the purpose of the day was to hear and collect views on a strategy for the network, especially as we head into an election year. I’m on the network’s Steering Group so I’ll be involved in helping to pull it all together and will keep you updated as this work progresses.

A reminder that CNA and the NZ Council of Christian Social Services are holding our joint conference on the 27th and 28th August 2019 in Wellington. Everyone is welcome. The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing. To find out more or register, click here

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 

Guest column: NZ Council of Christian Social Services commentary on Budget 2019

The Coalition Government’s Wellbeing Budget represents a vision of a new way of working that will move away from prioritising economics, and put people, their families, whānau and communities at the centre of government priorities and spending, alongside a joined-up government approach to wellbeing.

Here at NZCCSS we are heartened by the 2019 Wellbeing Budget and see it as providing a hopeful start to building intergenerational wellbeing across all of New Zealand.

We acknowledge the complexity of this approach when applied to the budget process but remain positive about the inclusion of a wider set of factors beyond economic and fiscal measures in the Budget. When combined with the intergenerational approach, NZCCSS believes a wellbeing approach provides a solid basis for a more inclusive and equitable future for our country. This will take time to bed in.

Our mission calls us to improve the lives of those living in poverty and at the margins of society, and to give commitment to Te Tiriti O Waitangi. We are encouraged by new funding allocations to mental health, domestic violence, children in care, Whānau Ora, and on supporting Māori and Pasifika aspirations and other areas.This funding will make a positive difference to the lives of those struggling with complex issues, and who seek support from our social service networks.

Could the government have gone further? Yes. The ongoing constraint derived from the Budget Responsibility Rules as Dr Ganesh Nash pointed out at the CPAG post-budget event, has ‘no economic rationale’ and needs to be extended to support a truly transformative wellbeing approach and address underpinning structural issues.

$26.7 million (over four years) to community organisations is welcomed by NZCCSS but is insufficient against a backdrop of decades of underfunding, and cost pressures, particularly those around wage increases. The community NGO social service sector plays a critical role in supporting the overall wellbeing of children and their families and whānau through the delivery of services that work across the continuum of need from early intervention through to complex and intensive services. Without sufficient funding, in an environment of increased government performance expectations, the sustainability of individual services will remain in question.

All Budgets have a flagship announcement and mental health and addiction services was the standout of this budget. The Government’s flagship budget announcement went to mental health and addiction services; the traditional poor cousin of health. The announcement puts money behind Government’s acceptance of 38 of the 40 recommendations of He Ara Oranga (the report of the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction). All up, the investment into mental health priority is worth $1.9 billion over five years and spans health, correction, housing, justice and education. NZCCSS supports this cross government approach and level of investment but remains concerned the structural inequities that underpin many personal experiences of mental distress have not been addressed in this budget.

Summary of key parts of the Budget

In our comments, we focus on three main issues covered in our submission in January on the Budget Policy Statement:

  • First issue is the need to spend more now to support children and others in need through direct government transfers.
  • Secondly, the housing crisis is a real emergency now and needs urgent and significant capital funding from government to support community housing developments.
  • Thirdly, non-government social service organisations are the partners of government and communities in delivering wellbeing outcomes in our communities. This budget needs to increase funding because most organisations have had no funding increase for 10 years.

To keep reading click here.

From time to time CNA invites individuals to contribute to our newsletter as a guest columnist. The thoughts, ideas and opinions shared by guest columnists are not necessarily those of CNA. 

Meet the members: Liz Davies from SociaLink: Opening the Blinds to the Real Life of Us 

SociaLink, an organisation that supports and empowers the social and community sector in the western Bay of Plenty, has recently undertaken a range of research, produced videos and are commissioning an artwork to highlight community issues and the social sector that responds to these issues. SociaLink is launching the research and videos on 9 August 2019, all are welcome!

The key themes of the works are:

  • WBOP Social Issues – The Real Life of Us

    A lot of people are struggling in the western Bay of Plenty – vulnerability can come in many forms –  living in poverty, experiencing violence, struggling to find affordable and suitable housing, having a disability, being isolated etc.

  • Waiting Lists for social and health services

    The demand or need for social and health services is far higher than can be currently met by existing services.

  • Mapping the Social Sector Update, including low pay of workers research

    We have a diverse and resourceful social sector which is stretched and under stress.

Summary of Research and Videos                                   

WBOP Social Issues – The Real Life of Us

This provides an overview of the social wellbeing of people in the western Bay of Plenty e.g. health, income, employment, education, social connection etc. For example, 28% of the population in Tauranga live with a disability, 4% higher than the national average. 13,500 food parcels were given out in 2018, 25% of those to people who were working.

A video highlighting the damage and prevalence of family harm in the western Bay of Plenty will be played as part of this section of the presentation.

Clients experience of accessing social and health services

People in vulnerable circumstances often need to access a range of support services. We asked clients about their experiences of accessing a wide range of health and social services. This report looks at the enablers and barriers to accessing services. Enablers included the relationships that are formed with staff and other clients. Barriers included things like physical accessibility of services and the need for transport as well as a lack of services to meet their needs.

Waiting Lists for social and health services

The lack of services is well demonstrated by the number of social and health providers that have waiting lists for their services. For example one child/youth/whānau service had over 130 children on their waiting list and it could take between six-nine months for the child to receive the service. A foster provider had 100-200 children waiting for assessments to help with behavioural, learning and developmental conditions including foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The waiting list for FASD was up to two years. The waiting list for speech therapy services was from six months to two years.

As a result, many providers are providing services that they are not funded to provide. For example, two organisations provided twice the number of services they are funded for and are still not meeting the demand. Another organisation saw 178 people that was not covered by their funding contract.

Mapping the Social Sector Update, including low pay of workers research

This research describes the social sector that are delivering services to people with social/health issues or people experiencing vulnerable circumstances. The research describes the number and size of organisations, training needs of workers, the range of services that are provided, client demographics, and funding.

An issue of growing concern is the lack of pay equity for workers providing these services, given the workforce is predominantly female and as a result of a recent significant increase in salaries for social workers in government agencies e.g. Oranga Tamariki. This makes it very hard for non government organisations to attract and retain staff to deliver badly needed services. Nationally, 41% of social workers earnt between $30-50,000. Locally, 36% of workers that we surveyed earnt less than $25/hour or $53,000 or under, this includes non-clinical staff e.g. administrators. Workers were most likely to be on low pay if they worked for a Māori provider or a non-Government Organisation. Only 30% of staff received annual pay rises.

For more information on SociaLink and this work, click here.

Notice of Community Networks Aotearoa AGM 

The Community Networks Aotearoa (CNA) AGM is on Tuesday 27th August, 5pm-6pm at Westpac Stadium 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington.

The AGM is an important part of our organisation’s democracy so we encourage you to come along, especially if you’re a member.

The AGM is being held at the joint CNA and NZ Council of Christian Social Services conference. We hope you are able to stay for the full conference, but if you can only stay for the AGM you are not required to register for the conference to attend the AGM (there is no cost to attend the AGM).

If you are intending to attend the conference, you can register for the conference and AGM together here.

If you wish to attend the AGM only, you can register by emailing

Call for AGM motions / remits 

We would like to formally call for any motions or remits, these must be received by Monday 15th July 2019, 5pm. Please note there will be no elections for the Executive Committee at the 2019 AGM, as per the constitution elections are held every two years. The next election will be held at the 2020 AGM.

Registrations are now open for the joint Community Networks Aotearoa and NZ Council of Christian Social Services 2019 conference

  • Do you want to hear what the Minister of Social Development and other high profile Ministers/MPs have to say about better supporting the community sector?
  • Do you want to explore how community-based organisations can contribute to a sustained response to exclusion and discrimination following events in Christchurch?
  • Do you want to hear more about how community organisations can build meaningful, effective relationships with the people they serve and with each other?
  • Do you want to learn more about how the Government’s focus on wellbeing affects communities and community organisations?

All of this and more will be explored at the joint conference of Community Networks Aotearoa and NZ Council of Christian Social Services.

Quick facts

  • It’s on the 27th and 28th August in Wellington.
  • The conference is earlier than usual this year – it’s now only a couple of months away so please get in quick and register.
  • The theme this year is Tātou tātou e (all of us together): The value of relationships in building wellbeing.

CNA members may be able to access funding to help with conference expenses. If you are a CNA member and would like to learn more, please email

To find out more, or register, click here.

Click here and listen to Ros interview Dr Ganesh Nana on budget 2019.

You can also listen to previous interviews, including Sarah Doherty, about  Navigator, Tracy Martin, Minister for Children, Seniors and Internal Affairs, Dave Henderson on the Charities Review and Jo Cribb on a governance project she’s involved with (along with CNA).

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…

Government reforms/consultations 


  • The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is open for public consultation. The closing date for submissions is Tuesday, 16 July 2019, click here for more information.

Reforms to note

  • The Charities Act 2005 is being reviewed to ensure that it is effective and fit for purpose. Public consultation on the review recently closed, but you can keep up to date on the review here.
  • The Government is reviewing of the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. For more information click here.
  • The Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – is working on long term solutions to improve community safety and the way justice works. They released the report He Waka Roimata (A Vessel of Tears) – which provides valuable insights into public attitudes and ideas about New Zealand’s justice system, To read the report and find out more click 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 Mental Health and Addiction Report has been released, for more information click here.

Campaigns / programmes / events

Do you or your organisation have a campaign or event you would like to highlight? If so send through a brief description to

  • Inclusive Aotearoa Collective is seeking to create a collaboration of people across the country committed to building a socially inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. To achieve this vision, they will create a National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy that can bring diverse groups together in a way that will direct and empower communities to build and strengthen actions at the regional and local level. To get involved or find out more click here.
  • CPAG’s Welfare Fit for Families campaign is about building a welfare system based on principles of compassion and caring, and the real needs of families, without stressful over-emphasis on work, and punitive, corrective methods. More information can be found here.
  • CPAG and ActionStation have launched a petition calling for a welfare system which takes seriously the real needs of people, one that is truly compassionate and kind and cares about the dignity and mana of the people of Aotearoa when they are experiencing truly tough times. You can sign the petition here.
  • Join the call to stop loansharks and introduce an interest rate cap in the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill. Click here.
  • Strategic Grants have a number of online and face to face training opportunities coming up, which teach the best-practice processes, strategies and skills required to successfully and sustainably access grants funding for your projects. Learn more and book online at the links below.

    Wellington Grant-Seeker Workshop 
    Wed 10 Jul 2019 9:00 am-1pm – $200 (Excl GST)

    Auckland Grant-Seeker Workshop 
    Thu 25 Jul 2019 9:00 am-1pm – $200 (Excl GST)

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.

Photo: Jason Pratt