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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% (    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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Undermining Public Safety?

 photo of Phil McCarthyfrom Phil McCarthy
National Director, Prison Fellowship New Zealand

“Sex crims walk in park” screamed a front page Dominion Post headline last week.  Apparently “two paedophiles and a killer” had the temerity to be taking some fresh air together.

Had they escaped?  Were they on the prowl?  How had three such characters managed to get together in these circumstances? The headline and article opening were perfectly cast to generate a sense of moral outrage.  Read more »

Perfect Planning – a smooth year

 Raewyn Foxfrom Raewyn Fox, Chief Executive
New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services Inc.

Every year I promise myself, next year I will plan properly at the beginning so things go smoothly. Well, year after year I fail, muddle through and end up feeling stressed many times along the way. This time I decided it was time to break the mould.

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Governance and Management – Doing it our way

photo of Peter Glensorfrom Peter Glensor
General Manager – Kaiwhakahaere Matua
Hui E! Community Aotearoa

Like others, I’ve been working in the community and voluntary, the NGO sector, for many years.

This sector is a huge part of our community life here in NZ – “if in doubt, form a committee” was supposed to be the saying!!  Now, there are nearly 100,000 formal “Not for Profit Institutions” in NZ, according to the nearly 10 year old work of Statistics NZ.  A very large number of people are involved in leadership and in the active work of these groups – some with paid staff but many with none.  Some doing highly skilled and technical professional work, others, engaging with a cross section of ordinary people who have committed themselves to the organisation’s goals.

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Community is the Answer: What’s the Question?

TaraD'Souza-ComVoicespicfrom Tara D’Sousa
National Manager, Social Service Providers Aotearoa Inc.

In November last year I participated in the Wellington seminar facilitated by Margaret Wheatley which was captivatingly titled: “Community is the Answer”. It was inspirational. Whatever the issue, says Meg Wheatley, community is the answer. For me it continued to raise a critical line of questioning: what is the place of community in New Zealand, and what part does community development play in the New Zealand NGO sector? Read more »

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