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Never stopping till you’re done

photo of Tara D'SousaTara D’Sousa
National Manager, Social Service Providers Aotearoa Inc.

All the world loves a beaver, or so the community sector will have you believe. How else can you rationalise the extraordinary motivation behind ninety-five community workers participating in a seminar “Navigating through the Changes in the Family Justice System” held in Wellington last week? Clearly they were willing to spend the morning learning, questioning and challenging; finding out about better access to justice for the people with whom they work. Read more »

Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished (Nelson Mandela)

img-ros-riceRos Rice
Executive Officer, Community Networks Aotearoa

I want to talk about Nelson Mandela.  The 18th of July was Mandela Day when we celebrated Nelson Mandela’s birthday.  The UN General Assembly instituted the day of recognition in November 2009. Read more »

Fathers rock!

Sue McCabe
CEO, National Council of Women New Zealand

The role of the Dad is often underrated because all too often our societal stereotype is the Mum as primary caregiver. Our society is still hungover from the tradition that Dad earns the money and Mum keeps the home fires burning.

This is outdated thinking. The lines are blurring as women seek greater choice over their destinies and more equality – the right to earn the same pay, enter the same professions without encountering sexism, and compete fairly for leadership roles. Read more »

Does Government understand what New Zealanders expect of it?

photo of dave HendersonDave Henderson
Manager, External Relations, Hui E! Community Aotearoa

Writing a submission in response to the Productivity Commission’ Draft Report on Social Services caused me to do some thinking about the relationship between government and the community and voluntary sector, how that is changing, and why.

It’s pretty clear in the ongoing confusion of ideas and announcements around the future of community housing that government is being forced by public opinion to take on responsibility for some things it is not ideologically comfortable with.

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Letting in Some Light

Phil McCarthy
Director, Prison Fellowship of NZ

One of the great cultural differences between the USA and New Zealand is out attitude to the state and private sectors.  There is a spectrum of views in both countries but also a fundamental divergence between our two societies.

In New Zealand, we have been deeply suspicious of the private sector and the bête-noire is privatisation.  Though it is becoming harder to spot, and notwithstanding periodic concerns that Nanny State is over-reaching herself, it seems there is a streak in the Kiwi psyche that distrusts big business, that fears profit too often comes at the expense of people, and that looks to the state to ensure the common good is protected.  In this world, social services are most assuredly the State’s business.

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Responsible Lending – What is this all about?

photo of Raewyn FoxRaewyn Fox
Chief Executive, Family Budgeting Services

On 6 June 2015 a new requirement for all lenders comes into law. It is the Code of Responsible Lending. This code gives guidance which all lenders must follow for all loans made from 6 June. So why is this important?

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Relationships – broken and building

photo of Peter GlensorPeter Glensor
General Manager, Hui E!

It was a tragedy to learn that Relationships Aotearoa has decided to close down.  Many of us have been inspired over the years by people whose skills in personal relationships, and passion for social justice, were developed by what was then the Marriage Guidance movement.  So much of what we take for granted today as helpful ways of building strong teams and strong organisations we learnt from them.  And there are countless people whose lives have been enriched, some even saved, by the skilful intervention of counselling – provided by both paid and unpaid people – but all professionals. Read more »

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 »

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