Community Scoop

It’s goodbye from me

photo of Peter GlensorPeter Glensor
General Manager
Hui E!  Community Aotearoa

A strong community sector builds strong communities.  Strong communities mean a resilient, thriving, healthy Aotearoa.  It’s a simple logic map.  We’ve known for a long time that it’s a true picture.  So how come it’s not working?  How come we now have another logic map – “A competitive market, administered by a strong government, will deliver the outcome of a strong New Zealand”? 

Partly, it’s our own fault.  We’ve tended to stand by quietly, not rocking the boat, while a series of practical and thinking processes have moved us away from community-led development to government-led priorities.  Hui E! is a strong leader and participant in ComVoices, and we’ve been part of the work on a recent survey showing the increased pressures being felt by community sector groups.

The three issues that emerged from the survey were cost, complexity and compliance.  Financial pressures continue to grow, with nearly half the survey respondents reporting great worry about their financial future.  Groups report that the issues they deal with are larger in number and larger in complexity.  And there is an unceasing demand for more and more reporting and compliance, adding to the pressure.

In Hui E! we’re working to help groups feel strong and proud about being community-based, voluntary, not-for-profit, agencies.  We are proud of our competence, our knowledge, our engagement with the communities we’re based in.  In Hui E! we’re working to help our sector claim its place as the Third Sector – an essential part of a healthy society, sitting alongside the public sector and the business sector.  In Hui E! we’re helping groups to reach out to other sectors – we know that the way to true community development is by working together – not competing for markets, not imposing ideas or goals.  The people will thrive when you share from your food basket, and I share from mine.

So – the journey continues.  This week I hand over after three years of work to set up Hui E! Community Aotearoa.  It’s been worthwhile, and I leave a sector-wide entity that is committed to building a strong sector, strong communities, and a strong Aotearoa.  Kia ora tatou.

This blog has been contributed by a member of ComVoices

ComVoices  actively promotes the value that community sector organisations and their people, both paid and unpaid, add to New Zealand’s economic and social wellbeing through information, and political advocacy and dialogue.

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