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Speaking Out

Ros Rice,
Executive Officer, Ros 2015 short hair
Community Networks Aotearoa

As some of you might know, I am a total music nut.  What kind of music?  Anything and everything that speaks to me.  I spent a wonderful 3 ½ hours at the Vector Arena which were solid wall to wall “The Cure”.  I cried for a month over David Bowie’s death.  But nothing has quite got to me as much as the latest Jeff Beck album called ‘Loud Hailer’. Read more »

Beyond aid versus trade – what’s the combination that gets results?


Josie PaganiJosie Pagani
Council for International Development

I was in an ornate windowless room in Sweden last month with a handful of Social Democratic leaders when German economist Max Roser told them some good news; in 1981 more than 50% of the world population lived in absolute poverty – this is now down to about 14%. ‘Still too many, but good news’. Poverty, he said is now falling more quickly than ever before in world history. Read more »

Why bother?

Gabrielle O’Brien
Chief Executive  OfficerGabrielle OBrien
Birthright New Zealand

One of the things that I love about my job is the diversity of things I get to think about.

Today I have been contemplating big global initiatives (Open Government Partnership), statistics (the latest Families and Whanau Status Report from SUPERU) and a range of comments and reaction to articles we post on our organisation’s Facebook page (often focussed on the challenges but also the resilience and triumphs of those parenting alone).  This is, of course, sandwiched in between existential domestic conundrums such as “How is it possible for a nearly 15 year old to lose not one but two named school jerseys in less than 6 months???” Read more »

Enough is enough New Zealand, it’s time to promote positive gender culture

Lynn McKenzie
Chief Executive
National Council of Women of New ZealandLynn McKenzie

What do an influential advertising executive, an elite rugby team and a leading defense lawyer all have in common?  Sadly, they all share an archaic and disturbing attitude towards gender.

It’s been an extraordinary week in New Zealand in which we have been forced to confront the outdated attitudes towards gender that continue to pervade the many tiers of our society. Read more »

Young people in Aotearoa: growing up in a policy vacuum

Anya Satyanand
Executive Officer
Ara Taiohi,Anya_ComVoices (1) Peak Body for Youth Development

The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they – at some distant point in the future – will take over the reins. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely… because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile.”
― Alvin Toffler

Read more »

What does it take to make democracy work as it should?

Scott Miller, Chief Executive 
Volunteering New ZealandScott Millar Aug 2015_cropped

Turkmenistan, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, everyday people like you and I, citizens, are frustrated with how democracy currently works, and how we think it should work in our countries. Read more »

Grass root earthquakes

Phil McCarthy
Prison Fellowship of NZ P1050738 (2)

Like many baby-boomers, I spent a couple of years in Europe in my mid 20s.  For a few months, I worked in a pub in the East of England.  Tipping was a new experience for a Kiwi abroad in those days but in both my bar and restaurant work, I saw little of the proceeds.

Management insisted that tips be pooled, ostensibly to support the back-room workers.  In reality most went to subsidise the owners’ annual holidays.  Little of it trickled down. Read more »

Time to use our collective voice

Brenda photoBrenda Pilott
Social Service Providers Aotearoa

Politics is looking extremely volatile round the world.  Those who feel marginalised and don’t feel well served by the traditional political process are making their voices heard.  Voters are showing they prefer to risk the uncertainties of change when the status quo isn’t working for them.  Read more »

Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence (ocean)?

Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox
Chief Executive Officer
New Zealand Federation of  Family Budgeting Services

In New Zealand we have been pretty overwhelmed in recent months by media articles about homelessness, housing crises in Auckland spreading and general poverty issues, not to mention domestic violence. It makes me feel like we are going backwards pretty quickly compared to other similar countries as we don’t hear much about these issues in overseas news reports. Read more »

Trust in a time of change

photo of Trevor McGlincheyTrevor McGlinchey
Executive Officer
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services

The Minister of Finance the Hon Bill English has been re-framing the relationship between social services providers and their “clients” as a provider/customer relationship. In this model the client as the customer becomes central to the organisation’s business and operating model. If a commercial company was marketing a product or service they would want to become a trusted supplier to their customer base.  In order to do so they need to know their target market’s preferences, know how to reach out to them through their marketing and how to develop a loyal customer base of satisfied customers and expand their business through these customers word of mouth advertising. Read more »

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