Hui E! Panui – August 2015

1. Quote of the Month

“Many of us have been too busy filling out forms (and) we have failed to notice the science of delivery is killing the art of social transformation”

Each year CIVICUS publishes the State of Civil Society Report, offering a comprehensive picture of civil society and the conditions it works in around the world. the report draws from a series of inputs contributed by members of the CIVICUS alliance, including thematic inputs from civil society leaders and experts, a survey of national level civil society networks that are members of our Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA), and interviews with people close to the key civil society stories of the day. Each year our report has a special theme; this year we focus on the resourcing of civil society.

2. Hui E! Sector Hui in Wellington,

Thursday 13 August
10.00am – Midday, 4th Floor, 120 Featherston St, Wellington

3.1 Dave Henderson – Hui E! Manager External Relations: The Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 – 27 September a UN Summit in New York is expected to approve a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 2015 – 2030. These will build on the Millennium Development Goals but with a very significant difference – instead of focusing on developing countries they are about sustainable economic and social development in all UN member states. What will this mean for New Zealand? Dave and intern Kieran Ireland are working on it.

3.2 Other Speakers to be confirmed!

3.3 Open Forum

An opportunity for you to raise issues of the day, and seek collaborators on your projects and make short announcements about upcoming events.

3. News from Hui E! Community Aotearoa

Comments from Peter Glensor

Annual Meeting for Hui E! – your chance to shape our direction.  The Trustees of Hui E! are seeking three new members – to be elected by the Formal Supporters at our first Annual Meeting – probably in late November.  In order to take part, you need to be a Formal Supporter – it’s easy to do, and it doesn’t cost any money.  Just go to our website – www.huie.org.nz – to the Join With us page – and sign up.  All the Formal Supporters will be invited to take part in the election of three new trustees – we’ll let you know a bit later how that will work.
Want to be involved, but can’t get to Wellington?  We think we can involve people outside Wellington, via video conferencing, in our Annual Meeting.  We’re looking for local hosts in other places – to host others in your town to be with you.  What do you need – ideally a screen and data show to project your Skype call – and enough space for others to join you.  Contact me if you are interested in shaping Hui E! and you think you can host a Skype call.
If you do want to contribute financially to Hui E!, you can become a Sector Champion – you don’t get any more rights, but you will be contributing to a strengthened sector – find out how to do that on our website.  And if you are not an NGO, but believe in a strong community sector, you can become a Hui E! Affiliate.

Thanks to sector leaders in the Waikato for a great conference – Rising to the Challenge – run by Community Waikato.  It was a privilege to hear of the great work being done by so many groups throughout the Waikato – and a big ups to those brave people who presented their pitch to the Dragon’s Den.  Inspiring too to learn of a new philanthropic fund – the Len Reynolds Fund – which will support community initiatives throughout the whole Waikato region.  I’m planning visits in the next couple of months to Dunedin, Auckland, Hamilton, Pukekohe.  If you want Hui E! to visit your town or city – let us know – we’ll do our best to make it.

Contracting and Tendering:  The recent Judicial Review findings on claims from the Problem Gambling Foundation underscore deep concern within the sector about the direction the funding and contracting environment.  The findings were that the Ministry’s administration of the tender process was lacking in a number of regards – so much so that the Judge set aside the tender decisions and awarded costs to the Foundation.  With others in the sector, Hui E! believes that this case is further reason why a serious re-think of the government’s procurement policies and practices is needed.  We don’t think it’s just a matter of government officials becoming more competent in managing competitive tenders (which in this case they certainly need to), but that the whole reliance on pseudo-commercial tendering processes needs to be reconsidered.
Our sector has a long history of commitment to innovation, and to outcomes-focussed work.  We have deep experience in our fields, we are well-practised at working with limited resources, and we know how to make a dollar stretch further.  All these are qualities that fit exactly with the government’s proposed changes that will focus on outcomes, on evidence-based practice, on innovation, and on value for money.  In addition, our experience confirms that we need each other, we need to work collaboratively, and we need to look at the big picture.  That is made so much more difficult when we are forced to enter into a commercially secretive tendering process – where we don’t know who else is taking part – and where the groups we need to work with may actually be putting in bids to compete with ours.  Hui E! is working with others to press for a genuine dialogue with the government about these matters.  Let us know if you want to be part of this conversation, and let us know your thoughts.

Auckland Council and the Community Sector: – at our last Auckland Sector Hui, we agreed to look at how the changes in the Auckland Council are affecting our sector.  Funding for community agencies is being devolved to Local Boards.  Links with the Local Boards are becoming a key element in how community groups interact with the Council, and this trend is reinforced by the new Empowering Communities policies and the restructuring within the Council’s community development department.  Groups who want to take part in this conversation are welcome:  Tuesday August 18th, 10 am, ARMS:, Three Kings Plaza, 523 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings.  Please let us know if you plan to come.

Auckland Sector Hui – Next Hui will be Tuesday 15 September – topics will include a report back on the discussions about how the sector interacts with the Auckland Council. Venue will be confirmed shortly. Any enquiries to peter.glensor@huie.org.nz.

Report from the July 7th Hui at St John’s College Meadowbank –   About 30 people took part.  We had two presentations – Jocelyn Armstrong (Inter Faith Forum), and Cheryll Martin (Research on volunteering in Auckland).  Peter Glensor spoke about the work Hui E! is doing nationally, with positive responses.  A number signalled their interest in an Auckland meeting with the Labour Party caucus.  Others asked to be part of a deeper conversation about links with Auckland Council, to be held in mid-August.  We agreed to hold another Auckland Sector Hui on 15th September – venue to be confirmed.  Contact us if there are issues you want to raise at that Hui.
Wellington Sector Hui on July 9 also was well attended by around 30.  We looked at the Productivity Commission responses, and reactions to the Our Place conference jointly sponsored by Inclusive NZ, Be Accessible, and Inspiring Communities.  There is growing consensus about Hui E! helping build stronger sector cohesion and a sector voice.

A new website – we hope that in mid August we can launch our new Hui E! website.  It will feature news and pictures about the diverse and exciting community sector, and we want it to include a chance for everyone to be part of discussions about what’s important in our sector.  We’ll let you know when we finally get it up and running!!

ComVoices dialogue with govt depts re charities
The ComVoices group of organisations recently held a hui in Wellington with representatives of DIA, MBIE, Charities Services, Ministry of Health, MSD, Charities Services and IRD. The main focus was seeking to develop some shared understanding of what it means to be a charity, and how much advocacy is too much? Sometimes the expectations of some government agencies that we will make input to policies lead us to seem like advocacy is our major purpose, and that could become a problem for a charitable status.

Some good clarity was gained, and some future actions agreed to. For a copy of the notes, contact the ComVoices Administrator Joan Isaac <admin@comvoices.org.nz>

Become part of Hui E!
Please note that (at no cost), you can link up with Hui E! via our website www.huie.org.nz

Community Hub – meeting facilities are available
Our new meeting space is open and available for the whole sector.  At 120 Featherston Street – Level 4 – we have a wonderful meeting space – which can be used by groups up to 30 people.  There are white boards, a data show, Wifi available, and tables for large or small groups.  Our Community  Hub is shared with Volunteering NZ and Community Research –we are happy to make the meeting space available on a koha  basis.  Contact us for more details, or to see if a booking is possible.

4. Interns at Hui E!

Visitors to the Community Hub will have noticed we currently have several extra people helping out. Here are some introductions::

Hello! My name is Maisie Sanderson-Thwaite, I’m 24 years old from Bristol, England. I arrived in New Zealand in April, and am hoping to move here long-term. My background is in child & family services, and I’m really looking forward to getting some experience with Hui E! from an organisational/policy perspective. I conducted sociological research for my undergraduate dissertation, and am very interested in this area within welfare services and the public sector. I am also currently working as a mental health support worker, and am very impressed with the fantastic work that so many charities and NGOs do here. I’ve just bought a campervan with my partner and can’t wait to explore both islands properly.
Maisie is working on our two surveys – of people’s awareness of Kia Tutahi and of examples of good practice in contracting, and of the numbers and frequency of contracts held by community organisations with government.

More from our other interns next month!

5. Hui E! and the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations has developed the Sustainable Development Goals to build on the Millennium Development Goals, with 17 Goals designed to provide a framework for all UN members’ sustainable development.

See the text that was finalised in July for approval in September:
Transforming our world – Finalised text for adoption (1 August)

There is a clear consensus and expectation among UN member states that governments will work together with civil society in developing in-country targets in response to the 169 specific areas that are laid out under the 17 Goals.

In July Hui E! was asked by a range of non-governmental organisations at a meeting in Wellington to lead the push for civil society involvement, and we are currently working to coordinate the NGO sector’s efforts and push Government on what plans it has for the steps that will be required following approval of the Goals at the UN Summit in September.
If you would like to become involved in this process further information on this can be found at http://www.huie.org.nz  or you can email us directly at http://www.huie.org.nz/contact/ .

We have also set up a discussion group on Loomio for interested NGOs to discuss the SDGs; if you are interested in joining in on the conversation it can be found at:
https://www.loomio.org/g/GfHivElx/ngo-discussion-group-for-the-sustainable-development-goals.

6. Government warned not to squander
critical partnership opportunity

“If the Government is serious in its pledge for New Zealand to have a truly open and accountable government, then it’s time for it to walk the talk” says Transparency International’s New Zealand (TINZ) Chair Suzanne Snively in a press statement.

New Zealand signed up to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in late 2013 and is obliged to consult citizens, but Ms Snively says the 24-day window proposed for public feedback is insulting and, if anything, undermines the principle of “Open Government”.

“The grand challenge of the Open Government Partnership is for governments to re-engage with the people in an open and democratic way. It offers a precious opportunity to cement New Zealand’s place in the front rank of the world’s democracies.

“The OGP and its National Action Plan empower New Zealanders to deliver to the Government their priorities and concerns about Government initiatives and policies, whatever they may be – including such core public policy issues as affordable housing or the health spend.

And Meanwhile…
Hui External Relations manager Dave Henderson is an appointee to the Stakeholder Advisory Group that is assisting State Services Commission in its management of the next steps with OGP. Chaired by TINZ Director Fuimaona Tuiasau, the group is already exerting significant pressure on SSC to step up its work and make the intended partnership real. Enquiries to dave.henderson@huie.org.nz

7. Progress of the Health and Safety Reform Bill

There have been serious concerns in the sector about the implications of this Bill for organisations  that work with volunteers. The Select Committee considering the Bill has made some changes to the Bill so coverage of volunteers and volunteering organisations will remain as it is under the current law.
Government stated that these changes “recognise that volunteers contribute greatly to New Zealand communities and aim to ensure the new law doesn’t negatively affect volunteering”.

Read more about the Bill and volunteers

What happens next? The Bill will go through its remaining parliamentary debates before passing into law. The new law (the Health and Safety at Work Act) and supporting regulations will come into force several months after it is passed to give people time to prepare.

Find out more: Read a summary of other changes on WorkSafe New Zealand’s website or read the full Select Committee report and revised Bill.
Read the Workplace Relations and Safety Minister’s announcement

The revised Bill had its Second Reading in Parliament on 30 July and will be the subject of a final debate before it is passed. However that process has been complicate by the addition of 3 Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs) that propose further changes to the Bill before it is passed into legislation.
See the 3 SOPs on the Parliament website.

8. “MARANGA MAI! Standing Strong Together” Conference 2015

17—18 September 2015, Toll Stadium, Whangarei

In a climate of rapid change, policy makers, practitioners, researchers and managers often have to find spaces for dialogue in order to make sense of the complex social environment to be more effective.
Social Service Providers Aotearoa 2015 Conference Maranga Mai! Standing Strong Together is one such opportunity and we invite you to be there!

Where better to kōrero with colleagues than in beautiful Whangarei, with the by-line “Love It Here”? This is an opportunity to network, socialise, collaborate and learn while having fun. The SSPA Northland Committee have organised a distinguished yet grounded line-up of speakers, workshop facilitators and field experiences to inspire us, and entertainment to showcase Te Tai Tokerau.

For full programme and registration, go to: http://sspaconference.org.nz/home.php
Register by 11th August to receive early bird rates.

9. Implementing a citizen-centric approach to delivering government services

When governments deliver services based on the needs of the people they serve, they can increase public satisfaction and reduce costs.

Delivering services to citizens is at the heart of what most government agencies do. Tasks like paying taxes, renewing driving licenses, and applying for benefits are often the most tangible interactions citizens have with their government. Services are therefore critical in shaping trust in and perceptions of the public sector.
Citizens today expect more transparent, accessible, and responsive services from the public sector. And those expectations are rising. Many governments have made efforts to improve service delivery through online portals or “one-stop shops” like centralized call centers, but find they are still unable to meet the public’s expectations. Citizens tell public-sector officials—and it’s been confirmed via a survey conducted by the McKinsey Center for Government1 —that they continue to feel frustrated by cumbersome or confusing websites and find it’s often still necessary to speak with multiple parties before their question is answered or their request is completed. As a result, governments face not only declining citizen satisfaction and eroding public trust2 but also increasing costs associated with delivering services across multiple channels.
Part of the problem is that despite their best intentions, many governments continue to design and deliver services based on their own requirements and processes instead of the needs of the people they serve. But some government agencies—including at the local, state, and federal levels—have successfully implemented a customer-centric approach to service design and delivery. This article draws on their experiences to illustrate the four elements of implementing transformation efforts aimed at increasing citizen satisfaction and reducing costs.
See the full article online

10. Hui E! Sector Hui dates

Offers, suggestions or recommendations of presentations are welcome for any or all of the following events; please contact dave.henderson@huie.org.nz

Hui E! Hui in Auckland

  • Auckland Council and the Community Sector: – at our last Auckland Sector Hui, we agreed to look at how the changes in the Auckland Council are affecting our sector. Groups who want to take part in this conversation are welcome
  • Tuesday August 18th, 10 am, ARMS, Three Kings Plaza, 523 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings.
  • Next Hui will be Tuesday 15 September – venue to be confirmed

Monthly Sector Hui in Wellington

  • Thursday 13 August, 10am to Midday
  •  Level  4, 120 Featherston St – Corner of Featherston and Waring Taylor St.
  • Future Events: 10 September, 8 October, 12 November, 10 December

Wellington Community and Voluntary Sector Research Forum:

  • Tuesday 22 September from 3 pm-5 pm – Refreshments provided from 2.45pm
    Victoria University – Wellington Railway Station; West Wing Room 501

(Victoria University’s door on the left hand side of the Station; take the first lift to the 5th floor, or take one of the other lifts to the 4th floor and walk up a flight of stairs.)

  • DOWNLOAD! Information from past and future Wellington Community and Voluntary Sector Research Forums can be accessed from http://www.victoria.ac.nz/cvsr-forums

Dunedin Community and Voluntary Sector Research Forum:

  • Wednesday 2nd September: 12-2pm: Alexander MacMillan Room, Community House

Theme: Practical Workshop focusing on research skill development for community organisations

  • Wednesday 7th October: 12-2pm: Alexander MacMillan Room, Community House

Theme:  Disseminating research

Disclaimer

This newsletter is produced by Hui E! Community Aotearoa. All the information is intended to assist readers to pursue in a non-partisan way an interest in matters relating to civil society in Aotearoa New Zealand. An effort is made within available resources to ensure accuracy but no guarantee is given or implied. If you have contributions, comments or suggestions, please forward them to dave.henderson@huie.org.nz. We thank you warmly for your support, and hope to see you at our sector hui!

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