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The community sector – key allies for Localism

marionblakeeditedMarion Blake

Chief Executive | Platform Trust

Revitalising democracy was the message from Dave Cull, President of Local Government NZ (LGNZ) as he opened their annual conference last weekend. He then went on to launch the ‘Localism’ policy project. This joint project between LGNZ and The New Zealand Initiative is calling for a shift in the way public decisions are made in New Zealand. Instead of relying on central government to decide what is good for our communities, Localism calls for councils and communities themselves to make such decisions. The principles and values describe, amongst other things, a world where New Zealand citizens will have a meaningful say about the range and nature of local services in their communities. Localism ensures that a “place-based” and integrated approach will be taken to the provision of services and local governance. Read more »

Ending homelessness in Aotearoa – will Budget 2018 do the trick?

marc-and-scott-resizedScott Figenshow
Chief Executive, and
Marc Slade
Senior Programme Manager
Community Housing Aotearoa

The Government has made a commitment to end child poverty, with housing at the heart of its policies to achieve this. Budget 2018 included a NZ$100m emergency housing package to tackle the growing problem of homelessness, and $2 billion towards the KiwiBuild affordable homes programme – moves heralded by some as ‘momentous’. Read more »

Royal Weddings and other Metaphors

Ros 2015 short hairRos Rice
Executive Officer
Community Networks Aotearoa

I can’t call myself a royal follower, but I did watch the Royal Wedding explaining to my American husband that I loved the rituals and the frocks and the amazing horses and such.  Read more »

Wellbeing is the new black

tess-2-copyTess Casey
Chief Executive
Neighbourhood Support

Since the government announced their intention to introduce wellbeing as a framework for policy making, everywhere you turn you seem to become involved in a conversation about well-being.  After years of trying to get this on the agenda and being met with polite smiles, overt eye-rolling and/or the irritated response of ‘Yes, that’s all very nice but how do you measure it?’, the community sector should be jumping and up and down with joy.  But experience has told us that when a concept becomes popularised the result is not always what we had wanted. Read more »

Snap, Crackle and Pop

Anya_ComVoices (1)Anya Satyanand
Executive Officer
Ara Taiohi

I want to talk about hope. Yesterday I had the privilege of witnessing one community opening its space, arms and hearts to another community, full of hope and generosity. In the whaikorero much was made of the easiness of beginnings- but it’s what happens in the weeks and months that follow and how we deal with difference and difficulty that defines the real quality of a relationship. Afterwards kids ran around in the dusk and we talked about hope. The kind of hope that is always present at events like these, but hangs particularly heavy in the air right now around Aotearoa in all the places where people are doing it tough. It’s in these communities that the community and voluntary sector are doing their most important work. Read more »

Sanctions for Christmas

photo of Trevor McGlincheyTrevor McGlinchey
Executive Officer
NZ Council for Christian Social Service

Work and Income – A Caring and Supportive Environment?

Reports from the members of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Service (NZCCSS) consistently relate to the negative treatment of New Zealand citizens at Work and Income offices.  These citizens were seeking to access their rightful support from the New Zealand Government. NZCCSS acknowledges that fine people are employed at Work and Income and they are committed to ensuring individuals and families do get the income and other supports they need.  Yet, somehow, people exposed to Work and Income feel demeaned and threatened by the way these offices work. Read more »

Let’s do this – better

Brenda Pilott
National Manager
Social Service Providers AotearoaBrenda photo

Moving from Opposition to Government is a major life change for any politician (and so is moving in the opposite direction).  New and mainly first-time ministers are settling in to their new roles, swotting up on the Cabinet manual, appointing new staff, absorbing reams of briefing papers, facing an endless stream of requests for meetings, and getting the wheels turning on their policy plans. Read more »

Money versus passion: parliamentary lobbying

Warren Lindberg
Chief Executive
Public Health Association of New ZealandWarren L 200x300

“It’s a great time to be a lobbyist,” according to Victoria University politics teacher and independent blogger, Bryce Edwards. Dr Edwards advises that lobbyists are in big demand whenever there’s a change of government.  It’s a prime opportunity for influence at a time when the new government has to move quickly on at least some of its promises and can’t rely entirely on the advice of government departments that have been driven by a different political philosophy from their predecessor.

Read more »

Getting ready for government

Brenda photoBrenda Pilott
National Manager
Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA)

I’m writing this column as we near an announcement about which parties will form the next government.  It’s been a week since the final election results were declared and three weeks since the polls closed.  Read more »

Budget 2017 – where’s the Justice?

Katie Bruce
Director
katie-yj
Just Speak

It was hidden, but there was an announcement of housing 1800 more people, and we’re not talking insecure housing here. This housing is certainly secure…

There is five times as much money to house more people in prison than for social housing in this budget. A billion dollars. The same cost as the entire budget for Treaty Settlements. Ironic really given that over 1000 of the people ‘housed’ by this expansion will be Māori. Read more »

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