Community Headlines

What does it take to make democracy work as it should?

Scott Miller, Chief Executive 
Volunteering New ZealandScott Millar Aug 2015_cropped

Turkmenistan, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, everyday people like you and I, citizens, are frustrated with how democracy currently works, and how we think it should work in our countries. Read more »

Grass root earthquakes

Phil McCarthy
Prison Fellowship of NZ P1050738 (2)

Like many baby-boomers, I spent a couple of years in Europe in my mid 20s.  For a few months, I worked in a pub in the East of England.  Tipping was a new experience for a Kiwi abroad in those days but in both my bar and restaurant work, I saw little of the proceeds.

Management insisted that tips be pooled, ostensibly to support the back-room workers.  In reality most went to subsidise the owners’ annual holidays.  Little of it trickled down. Read more »

Time to use our collective voice

Brenda photoBrenda Pilott
Social Service Providers Aotearoa

Politics is looking extremely volatile round the world.  Those who feel marginalised and don’t feel well served by the traditional political process are making their voices heard.  Voters are showing they prefer to risk the uncertainties of change when the status quo isn’t working for them.  Read more »

Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence (ocean)?

Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox
Chief Executive Officer
New Zealand Federation of  Family Budgeting Services

In New Zealand we have been pretty overwhelmed in recent months by media articles about homelessness, housing crises in Auckland spreading and general poverty issues, not to mention domestic violence. It makes me feel like we are going backwards pretty quickly compared to other similar countries as we don’t hear much about these issues in overseas news reports. Read more »

Trust in a time of change

photo of Trevor McGlincheyTrevor McGlinchey
Executive Officer
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services

The Minister of Finance the Hon Bill English has been re-framing the relationship between social services providers and their “clients” as a provider/customer relationship. In this model the client as the customer becomes central to the organisation’s business and operating model. If a commercial company was marketing a product or service they would want to become a trusted supplier to their customer base.  In order to do so they need to know their target market’s preferences, know how to reach out to them through their marketing and how to develop a loyal customer base of satisfied customers and expand their business through these customers word of mouth advertising. Read more »

Are we OK with this?

photo of Tess CaseyTess Casey
Inclusive New Zealand

This week the NZ Herald published a story about Ashley Peacock – a man with autism who has been in ‘seclusion’ in a Capital and Coast Health District Health Board facility for five years.  That means living in a room of about 10 square metres with virtually no furniture and only being allowed outside for about an hour each day. Read more »

The more we are together …

photo of Peter GlensorPeter Glensor
General Manager
Hui E!

Last Saturday 60 people from diverse backgrounds met together at Victoria University Wellington for the second Ethnic Communities Engagement Summit.  These were co-hosted by Multicultural NZ and Hui E!, with a team of local agencies in each centre.  The first was held last month in Auckland, hosted by AUT, and over 100 people also gave up a Saturday to work on the same three issues:

How do ethnic communities relate to tangata whenua and the Treaty of Waitangi? Read more »

Open Government Partnership – will it help me and my organisation?

photo of dave HendersonDave Henderson
External Relations Manager
Hui E!

Recently I was sponsored to attend International Civil Society Week (ICSW) in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. It’s far from Colombia’s Caribbean beach resorts like Cartagena, being in the foothills of the northern Andes, but it’s a very liveable city.

Contrary to all the media focus on kidnappings and the long guerrilla war with FARC and other rebel groups, Colombia is making great headway towards internal peace. The involvement of civil society organisations in that process made it a very real place to hold the ICSW. The theme was “Active Citizens – Accountable Actions”. Read more »

It’s just what we do

Gabrielle OBrienGabrielle O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer
Birthright NZ

Like many others, I have struggled to follow the news coverage regarding the death of 3 year old, Moko Rangitoheriri. Not because it hasn’t been accessible but because the circumstances were so horrific that it is stomach churning. Only the conviction that we need to face up to this tragedy to understand what we can do to change our shocking record of child abuse in New Zealand keeps me reading and listening. Read more »

NGOs and trade unions – natural allies in making NGOs great places to work

Brenda photoBrenda Pilott, National Manager
Social Service Providers Aotearoa

I’ve just joined Social Service Providers Aotearoa as its national manager, after a decade working for the PSA, NZ’s largest union which includes thousands of community sector workers amongst its membership.  So I came to the job with some views about NGOs as employers and how they treat their staff.  I also brought with me a strong view that unions and NGOs are natural allies. Read more »

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