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Letting in Some Light

Phil McCarthy
Director, Prison Fellowship of NZ

One of the great cultural differences between the USA and New Zealand is out attitude to the state and private sectors.  There is a spectrum of views in both countries but also a fundamental divergence between our two societies.

In New Zealand, we have been deeply suspicious of the private sector and the bête-noire is privatisation.  Though it is becoming harder to spot, and notwithstanding periodic concerns that Nanny State is over-reaching herself, it seems there is a streak in the Kiwi psyche that distrusts big business, that fears profit too often comes at the expense of people, and that looks to the state to ensure the common good is protected.  In this world, social services are most assuredly the State’s business.

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Responsible Lending – What is this all about?

photo of Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox
Chief Executive, Family Budgeting Services

On 6 June 2015 a new requirement for all lenders comes into law. It is the Code of Responsible Lending. This code gives guidance which all lenders must follow for all loans made from 6 June. So why is this important?

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Relationships – broken and building

photo of Peter GlensorPeter Glensor
General Manager, Hui E!

It was a tragedy to learn that Relationships Aotearoa has decided to close down.  Many of us have been inspired over the years by people whose skills in personal relationships, and passion for social justice, were developed by what was then the Marriage Guidance movement.  So much of what we take for granted today as helpful ways of building strong teams and strong organisations we learnt from them.  And there are countless people whose lives have been enriched, some even saved, by the skilful intervention of counselling – provided by both paid and unpaid people – but all professionals. Read more »

The art of getting lost

photo of Tess CaseyTess Casey
CEO, Inclusive NZ

We are in the middle of organising a conference.  It’s been a learning experience.  Not because we haven’t organised a conference before (we’ve organised lots) but because this time we aren’t organising a conference on our own and we aren’t organising an event just for us.  This time we are stepping into entirely new territory, with new partners and a deliberate decision to host an event that is broader than any single sector. Read more »

Déjà vu or have we been here before?

Tara D’Sousa, National Manager
photo of Tara D'SousaSocial Service Providers Aotearoa Inc.

Many of us working in the social services sector have spent so many long years honing our skills and practice that we often approach complex situations as “all in a day’s work”. Read more »

You can turn the wheel on the bridge of the Queen Mary, but it takes a long time to bring the ship around

Ros Rice, Executive Officer
Community Networks Aotearoa


I have been reading the Productivity Commission’s comprehensive Draft Report written in response to the Issues Paper on More Effective Social Services. Read more »

Oh the places you’ll go

photo of Gabrielle O'BrienGabrielle O’Brien
CEO, Birthright New Zealand

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the official opening of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, the culmination of a project in which I have been a participant (albeit a minor one) for the last ten years.  Read more »

Sweeping changes for social services?

photo of Trevor McGlincheyTrevor McGlinchey
Executive Officer, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS)

Some government funded social services organisations report it’s been over ten years since they last received a cost of living allowance for the services they deliver.    The increase in inflation over that period is over 27% (http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary_policy/inflation_calculator/).    So during a time of huge demand for services, especially since the Global Financial Crisis, and increasing demands for accountability, achievement of outcomes, and payment of increased costs like KiwiSaver, social service organisations have effectively decreased their spending power by over a quarter.   During this period as well there has been a dramatic increase of the complexity of the services required by whānau, families and communities. Read more »

Leading within organisations for a digital future

from Vanisa Dhiruphoto of Vanisa Dhiru
Executive Director, 2020 Trust

I had a phone conversation recently where someone said their newly walking toddler was holding an iPod to her ear, acting and using it as if it was a phone. I was speaking to her laughing father, who explained to me that he sees his daughter use any object with buttons as a phone. She thinks the TV remote is phone, the iPod is a phone, the calculator is a phone… and realistically for this toddler, she will one day have a single device that will do all of those functions.



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It’s all about us but it’s not all about us…

photo of Sue McCabefrom Sue McCabe
Chief Executive, National Council of Women New Zealand 

I have temporarily hit the wall seeing all the opportunities there are for me and my fellow women to be more successful.

As Chief Executive of the National Council of Women, I’m in the information loops to receive updates on the seminars, networks, conferences, top tips etc that exist to help me because I’m a woman. Read more »

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