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Network News – September 2018

Network News – September 2018

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Network News September 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 – Tararua REAP
  • A matter of fact – talking truth in the post-truth world
  • When not if, preparing for a global pandemic
  • Govt proposals to improve renting – have your say
  • Payday filing starts soon – get ready now 
  • 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

A subject that has been exercising my mind, is one of how competitive our world has become. We are living in a different paradigm these days, and Boards of Governance are more accountable and more responsible than ever for the ability of their organisations to survive.

I was reading an interesting book the other day, called The Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers. It was first printed in 2013, and it is an American book but the authors who are part of The Centre for Association Leadership in Washington have hit on these strategies, even back then, which are still important today and that can be applied to Boards and Committees of our NGO sector.

With permission of the authors I thought I would share those strategies with you. They define strategy as “the skilful, creative, and disciplined use of an organisation’s resources to achieve its objectives.”

Basically these are the strategies they suggest we all need to consider.

  • Build on strength
  • Concentrate resources
  • Integrate programmes and services
  • Align people and processes for efficiency
  • Abandon services and activities when necessary

The last one is probably the hardest. Our organisations are very much tied to our passion and our missions, and that holds us tightly to what we believe we are set up to do.  But if we continue for example, to plant five trees, when other organisations can fill the gap and plant more trees efficiently, then why do we continue to do this? Of course there may be good reasons why we continue providing a service even though others may be able to do it more efficiently, for example we may be providing a social value others are not. But it’s important to ask, is what we’re doing still the best use of resources, or is there somewhere else we would be better to put our time and energy?

Key to this is good governance. We will never be winners in a competitive world if we suffer from poor governance, and that is where we are looking next. Let’s make governance training the next ‘’must have feather in every Board member’s cap” and let’s set a standard for that training that ensures it meets our specific needs. More on this in 2019

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.

Ref: Road to Relevance: 5 strategies for competitive Associations by Harrison Coever and Mary Byers, CAE.
Published by ASAE: The Centre for Association Leadership: 2013

Meet the Members – Tararua REAP with Claire Chapman  

It’s never too late to learn. And with Tararua REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme), it’s never too early. From babies to school age, through youth, to adults, we design courses, seminars and workshops that provide training and learning opportunities to help Tararua people and families succeed.

The picture shows knitting dropped off for young mums and a wishing well built for Tararua REAP by the local Men’s Shed for people to let us know what courses or support we should look at providing.

Like everyone, we want our region and its communities to thrive. And this is about the people – so this is where we start. Through learning and education we support people to participate in the community, and we create opportunities for people to use their skills, experiences and expertise to support others. What’s important is that everything comes from those who know best – those who know its people and the opportunities that will see our region thrive.

So what does this look like on the ground? We work with families, supporting parents to grow their skills in early childhood education through programmes like SKIP, and positive parenting. We work with local schools to develop specialist programmes for children that support the New Zealand Curriculum – like reading assistance, music and kapa haka. We work with individuals of all ages to give them the skills in areas from finance and computers to health and wellbeing so they can get involved in the economic and social life of our region.

An example of one of our programmes is the new reading initiative RRIP programme. RRIP is a researched based reading programme that combines reading comprehension and decoding strategies. Rather than individual instruction, children are bought together in groups of two to four. Research has shown children’s learning can be more effect when it is facilitated within small groups that encourage children to, share discuss, learn and critique ideas, strategies and knowledge alongside each other.

More examples of the work we do is in early education. We’ve delivered workshops across a range of areas, including Exploring and Creating Healthy Food, Ephemeral Art, Firewise and Xmas Crafts workshops, all of which create playful and positive learning experiences that link to the new Te Whāriki curriculum. To encourage participation in Early Childhood Education locally we’ve organised community interactive sessions, such as storytelling and puppet sessions at the Dannevirke District Library.

As the new General Manager of Tararua REAP, I’m really thrilled to be here. Every day since my first day three months ago, something has happened that has inspired me – be that people offering their services to Tararua REAP as volunteers, staff going the extra mile, the commitment of members of the community, talking with people who have heart-breaking stories to tell but are now living a new life and offering their support to help others, or a woman dropping off hand-knitted baby blankets, hats and toys for us to give to young mums in need, the list goes on and on. It’s an enormous privilege to be part of this. Follow our journey and keep up to date here.

A Matter of Fact – Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World 

Jess Berentson-Shaw has released a new book exploring the science of communicating. Considering the challenges posed by the modern world when it comes to communication, this is a really timely and helpful read.Jess talks about her book below.

I knew, and know still, that there is good science and bad science, misinformation and reliable information, truth and falsehood, and also much grey in between . . . But being more adamant, more right, having more facts, was not helping. It was possibly even the problem.

Today it seems that conspiracy and rumour spread faster than ever and are increasingly hard to debunk. How do we convincingly explain the difference between good information and misinformation?

A Matter of Fact explores the science of communicating and presents innovative ways to talk effectively (and empathetically) about contentious information. It is both an informative guide to constructive communication and a passionate reminder of the importance of finding what matters to all of us.

Click here for more information.

When not if, preparing for a global pandemic  

Bill Gates has been in the media recently speaking about the risk of a global pandemic, noting a “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes” – read more here.

It makes for scary reading, but the Ministry of Health is prepared for a pandemic, and have a very thorough plan of action should one hit. Community Networks Aotearoa joined a number of other Non-Government Organisations recently to discuss the role of community in pandemic response and planning. We think this is crucial because in a serious pandemic – community is going to be critical in getting us all through.

So watch this space – we’ll provide more information as work progresses, but in the meantime, it’s worth taking a moment to think about what you can do to prepare. You’ll find some helpful resources here.

Govt proposals to improve renting – have your say 

The Government has announced a set of proposals aimed at improving renting conditions.

In announcing the proposals, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said: “our tenancy laws are antiquated and don’t reflect the fact that renting is now a long-term reality for many of our families. A third of all New Zealanders now rent. Insecure tenure can force families to continually move house. This is particularly tough on children whose education suffers when they have to keep changing schools.”

Key proposals include:

  • Ending no cause tenancy terminations.
  • Increasing the amount of notice a landlord must generally give tenants to terminate a tenancy from 42 days to 90 days.
  • Limiting rent increases to once a year.

The discussion document covers a range of other areas, including:

  • Whether changes to fixed-term agreements are justified to improve security of tenure.
  • Whether there should be limitations on the practice of ‘rent bidding’.
  • Whether the general obligations that tenants and landlords have remain fit for purpose.
  • Whether further controls for boarding houses are needed to provide adequate protection for boarding house tenants.

The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available here. Consultation closes at 5pm, on Sunday 21 October 2018.

In addition, the Government has released a discussion document on proposed standards to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards), following the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in December 2017. A copy of the discussion document and a summary of the proposed standards are available here. Submissions are open until 6pm on Monday 22 October 2018.

Payday filing starts soon – get ready now 

All employers will need to file PAYE information each payday from April 2019. Over 400 employers have already started so do you know what you need to do to get ready?

Through September and October, Inland Revenue is holding over 300 free seminars for employers on payday filing across the country.

These seminars are designed to support all employers – both large and small. In around 90 minutes, each seminar will cover what payday filing is, how it works, and what you should do to get ready. And there will be plenty of time to ask more specific questions.

This is a big change for some employers, but it’s important. The more accurate and timely information Inland Revenue gets as a result of payday filing will give New Zealand families more certainty about what support they’re entitled to and what their payment obligations are.

Make sure you talk to your software provider to find out when they’ll be offering payday filing-compatible software.

So to make sure you are ready and if you’ve got questions – register today for a free payday filing seminar with Inland Revenue.

You can also find more information about payday filing here, or email questions to IRTransformation@ird.govt.nz.

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 and Anya Satyanand from Ara Taiohi.

Government reforms/consultations 

       Current consultations

  • The Government has released a discussion document on proposed standards to create warmer, drier rental homes (the healthy homes standards), following the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act in December 2017. A copy of the discussion document and a summary of the proposed standards are available here. Submissions are open until 6pm on Monday 22 October 2018.
  • 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 online submission process is open until 30 September 2018.
  • The Government has announced a set of proposals aimed at improving renting conditions.The discussion document and a link to an online submission survey are available here. Consultation closes at 5pm, 21 October 2018.Other reforms to note
  • The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector has announced a review of the Charities Act 2005, for more information 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. In a recent update the Inquiry thanked everyone who submitted, they received around 5500 submissions and over 2000 people attended 26 public meetings. They have now moved on to the deliberation stage, with their report due 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 has 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.
  • The Government is reviewing the schooling system. Consultation has closed and the taskforce appointed to carry out the review is due to report back by 9 November 2018. More information is 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 ……

  • The Community Networks Aotearoa Hui for members is on 30 October in Wellington. Members should have received registration information, if you’re a member and haven’t yet received your registration form please email info@communitynetworksaotearoa.org.nz.

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: Jason Pratt