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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 »

Seismic shifts and other revolutions

Gabrielle OBrienGabrielle O’Brien
Birthright NZ

Come opinion writing time, I am always watching out for a topical or newsworthy event to comment on.  This time around I feel like it’s a case of be careful what you wish for!

Here in New Zealand we have felt the ground shift literally under our feet whilst in the United States, the physical earth may not have moved but there is no doubt that they have experienced change of significant magnitude. Read more »

Whangia ka tupu, ka puawai: That which is nurtured, blossoms and grows

Anya_ComVoices (1)Anya Satyanand
Executive Officer
Ara Taiohi

It’s International Youth Worker Week! An extraordinary youth worker from Rainbow Youth, Morgan Butler, has been named from the hundreds of nominees as a finalist in the Commonwealth Youth Worker Awards. Morgan is a Support Manager at Rainbow Youth, an organisation which supports queer and gender-diverse youth by providing and running training opportunities, peer support services and advocacy campaigns. Read more »

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”?  Read more »

T-shirts change lives

Lynn McKenzieLynn McKenzie
Chief Executive
National Council of Women of New Zealand

Social media has a way of igniting conversations and providing access into a diverse array of ideas and points of view instantly and globally. On September 24 a conversation about gender equality was started and has been viewed to date over 2+million times.

This spokesperson for gender equality wasn’t anyone famous, not a recognised academic or commentator. Rather it was 8 year old Daisy Edmonds from the UK.

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A look at loyalty schemes

Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox
NZ Federation of Family Budgeting Services

Fly buys, Onecard, Airpoints, AA Smart Card and the latest loyalty programme – Mega Card, the list is endless. Retailer loyalty schemes are ever increasing all trying to lure consumers to shop with their brand but this can end up costing consumers more in the long run for the reward. People’s wallets are bulging with various loyalty cards which may not be as rewarding as you first thought. Read more »

Community groups to be defacto arms of Government?

Trevor McGlinchey
Executive Officer
photo of Trevor McGlinchey NZ Council of Christian Social Services

There has been a quiet revolution occurring which will have profound impacts on community-based social services organisations.  This revolution was brought to my attention recently when the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the new style budgeting programme, Building Financial Capability, was released.  Buried in the RFP supplementary information is the requirement to provide Individual Client Level Data, or as it is colloquially known in government circles, ICLD.   This individual data includes the requirement to provide “Client Name, address, gender, date of birth, primary ethnicity, Iwi. Dependents Name, date of birth, relationship to client”. Read more »

When can we talk about the money?

photo of Tess CaseyTess Casey
Inclusive NZ

The disability community is changing it up this week.  We’re having a Rally at Parliament to let the Government know that they must invest in inclusive education.

This action has not been taken lightly.  Like most of the community sector our aim is to have constructive interactions with government and we are a little nervous about damaging what feels like a fragile relationship.  So it says a lot that the Education for All collaborative who are organising the rally felt that it was time to do something different.  Disabled people and families, in particular, feel that they have not been listened to and it is time to take a stand. Read more »

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