Photo of Dave HendersonANGOA Coordinator, Dave Henderson, writes to update us on what’s happening about the new entity. ANGOA and Social Development Partners have been working towards our amalgamation for six months now, and a lot of useful groundwork has been laid. It’s like a construction site, where time has to be spent laying the right foundations before anything becomes visible above ground. The two governance groups have established a Joint Oversight Group (JOG) that is working closely with the staff—Peter and David at Social Development Partners and myself at ANGOA. We have developed a draft set of Objectives for the new organisation, and some key principles that will guide its activities. We we are looking at what structure would best deliver those, drawing on examples from Canada, England, Scotland and Wales. Those countries have similar legal environments to New Zealand, but we have also looked at of other members of CIVICUS—the world alliance for citizen participation—where ANGOA is a long-time member. Countries as diverse as Estonia and Turkey have similar national associations of NGOs. Aotearoa is of course unique—we have the Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document and we are developing clear statements that express our commitment to Te Tiriti. These will be followed through in action, and a special working group has been set up to ensure we carry that through. We also recognise the increasing diversity of our population, with numerous support groups now being set up by immigrant communities. The results of all this will form a proposal that will be taken to members of the two existing organisations in the next month for discussion, debate and amendment if necessary. We’re planning forums in the main cities where most of our members are based, and also some hui with representatives of members organisations who have a particular connection to Te Tiriti and tangata whenua. › Read more