Community Headlines

Change in the Not-for-Profit Sector – what does it all mean?

Raewyn Fox
NZ Federation of Family Budgeting ServicesRaewyn Fox

In recent months many meetings I have attended and many of the articles read are discussing the changes in our sector. This is particularly so in the MSD Community Investment area. The particular sector I work in, previously the Budgeting Sector, now known as Building Financial Capability (change No.1!) has been one of the early areas to undergo the Community Investment revamp. There has been a co-design process for designing the services to be delivered, a complete change of funding methodology, new reporting measures and Individual Client Level Data reporting. Wow! I always wanted to be leading the way for others to a great new future but at the moment I feel more like a guinea pig. Read more »

‘Uber’ is coming to the NGO Sector

Josie PaganiJosie Pagani
Council for International  Development

International NGOs are changing the way they work. Part of that is a response to the public who are changing the way they give.

While the New Zealand public continues to be the principle source of funding for international NGOs, providing 56% of revenues, that support has declined by nearly 15% over a decade (18% of NGO funds comes from government, and 26% from self- generated income – selling goods and services).

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It is not ‘them’ or ‘us’ – it is ‘we together’

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

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā maunga, e ngā awaawa o ngā hau e whā, tēnei te mihi atu ki a tātou katoa.  All authorities, all voices, all mountains, all rivers – greetings to us all.

I spent Waitangi Day with whanau and a wide community representation at Ōtākou Marae commemorating this important occasion with Ngāi Tahu whānui. We were privileged to hear a number of excellent speakers, one of whom was Tā Tipene O’Regan.   He reflected on the maturity we have gained as society when considering the Treaty of Waitangi and what it means for New Zealanders. Read more »

Them or Us?

Phil McCarthyPhil McCarthy
Prison  Fellowship of New Zealand

In their 2013 book ‘Contrasts in Punishment , John Pratt & Anna Eriksson explored the differences between the Criminal Justice approaches of ‘Anglophone’ countries (specifically England, Australia and NZ) and those in Scandinavia.

Scandinavian counties are less punitive and have far lower rates of incarceration than NZ and systems like ours.  The authors argue a root cause is that Nordic countries are, and have for centuries been, more inclusive. Read more »

Building a wall – who’ll pay for ours?

Dr Katie Bruce
Just Speak

Walls. A campaign promise and a metaphor. Barriers, exclusion, racism and hate threaten values of equality, peace and hope. But we’re better than that. That would never happen here. We can be secure in our moral outrage here in Aotearoa right?

Right now it’s pretty easy to in a perpetual state of outrage as the new US President signs order after order and strips away hard fought-for rights, freedoms and opportunities. I marched. I marched with my husband and our son to mark our outrage. To show solidarity with those who are already suffering and those who will. To show solidarity with those who marched for the first time and those who wonder why they have to march again for the same things they marched for 50 years ago. Read more »

What do we want? Participatory democracy. When do we want it? Now (more than ever)!

Scott Millar Aug 2015_croppedScott Miller
Chief Executive
Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ)

Marchers filled streets across the world over the weekend, generating a sense of collective purpose and demonstrating the authenticity of physical engagement in a world of slacktivism.

While each of the estimated 3 million people in over 670 locations across the world had their own reasons for marching under the umbrella of challenges a newly appointed, democratically elected President will provide to humanity, I felt some nascent hope for participatory democracy. Read more »

Social Investment – are we getting it right?

Brenda photoBrenda Pilott
National Manager
Social Service Partners Aotearoa

With Bill English and Paula Bennett now PM and Deputy PM, social investment’s main champions are well and truly holding the reins of power.  Social investment was already the only game in town –here’s Treasury’s summary of what it means:

Social Investment is about improving the lives of New Zealanders by applying rigorous and evidence-based investment practices to social services. It means using information and technology to better understand the people who need public services and what works, and then adjusting services accordingly.”

Seems uncontroversial?  Not so much. Read more »

Nanny State and a spoonful of sugar

Warren L 200x300Warren Lindberg
Chief Executive
Public Health Association of New Zealand | Kāhui Hauora Tūmatanui

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman said back in April, “There is still no evidence a  [sugar] tax would actually decrease obesity.  There is no simple answer otherwise people would have tried it”.

We can agree with the part of his statement that says “there is no simple answer”, but there’re also quite a few people in the health sector determined to help the Minister find a range of answers – some complex, others quite simple.

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Working together in times of hardship

Ros 2015 short hairRos Rice
Executive Officer
Community Networks Aotearoa

This is a hard blog to write, but lately I have experienced examples in our amazing community sector, of how competition can destroy incredibly good and collaborative organisations.

Let’s not get this wrong.  Monopolies are not the best way to ensure that costs are kept down, and can allow organisations to get too comfortable in their mode of working without keeping up with what their client’s needs are.  Sometimes we all need a bit of a shake-up.  But in our sector’s case, it is our funding reliance on others that has forced us into this competitive model. Read more »

Keep it local

Josie PaganiJosie Pagani
Council for International  Development

The good news is that according to a recent survey about 85% of Americans now believe that climate change is real and man made. Unfortunately the remaining 15% are now in the White House.

Maybe Donald Trump’s bite won’t be as bad as his bark. But the evidence isn’t great. During the election campaign he said that climate change was a hoax made up by the Chinese. He woke up one day, it snowed and he felt cold. If he ate lunch today, that would mean global hunger is a hoax too. Read more »

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