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Fiction is the new fact

photo of Tess CaseyTess Casey
Chief Executive
Inclusive NZ

Truth has always been a bit of a movable feast.   Any student of history, or parent who has tried to get to the bottom of an argument between their kids, knows that there are two sides to every story.  It’s the reason that the Romans portrayed the goddess of justice holding scales.  Getting to the truth isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. Read more »

There’s an Election coming up – What sort of Democracy do we Want?

photo of dave HendersonDave Henderston
External Relations Manager
Hui E!

News that Forest and Bird, one of New Zealand’s largest and most respected conservation organisations has quit the Land and Water Forum comes as no surprise. (DomPost, 8 March)

The forum is described as “a Government-led body which brings together dozens of environmental, industry and recreational groups to improve freshwater management.” Forest and Bird (F&B) was one of its earliest members. Read more »

ComVoices calls for pause on Government demand for personal information

From July 2017 Community Organisations provider contracts with Government are to include the requirement to gather and share identifiable data about clients accessing services.

ComVoices Chair, Brenda Pilott says: “We think that the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) is on the wrong track and our members are worried that the MInistry is pressing ahead with this work when so many issues are unresolved.

“We have written to the Prime Minister and other Ministers asking them to stop the current work, and work with community organisations to develop an information system that delivers the big picture information being sought, respects individual privacy and is sustainable for providers who will have to gather the information.”

A letter and a proposal suggesting a different way forward has been sent to Ministers.

This blog has been posted by  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.

Click here for our website:  http://comvoices.org.nz/

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

Raewyn Fox
CEO
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
Director
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).

Read more »

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
Director
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
Director
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 »

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