Connect South Annual Report 2016-17

Here’s our Annual Report – if you’d like a printed copy just call 03 471 6177 and ask!

2016-2017 Annual Report Final_web.compressed

Job Vacancy: Community Worker – Accommodation Services

Community Worker- Accommodation Services

20 hours per week

Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society (Otago) is based in Dunedin and provides reintegration support to prisoners on their release from prison. A large component of this work involves access to accommodation. We have a new position available for a part-time community worker to join our small but extremely passionate team. The role will focus on supporting people referred to PARS to access our accommodation services and assist them in managing any immediate needs. Clients will also be supported in securing long term sustainable accommodation of their own. The position is 20 hours pw and will be spread over 5 days (Monday to Friday at this stage).

The person we are seeking will possess the following attributes and skills:

  • Non-judgemental attitude.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Empathy for the people we support and the challenges they face.
  • Able to manage assigned work in an organised and task oriented manner.
  • Able to contribute to a team based approach to support.
  • Strong relationship management and networking skills.
  • Good computer skills- particularly Microsoft Office.
  • Current New Zealand Drivers Licence (with no driving convictions).

The following would be desirable although not essential (you will be very well supported in learning what you need to do the job!):

  • Previous experience supporting people in the community.
  • Good knowledge of resources available in the community.
  • A qualification in social services or supporting people
  • An understanding of solution and outcome focused support.
  • Practical experience of risk management and safe personal practice.

For a Position Description please email

Applications with your CV and a cover letter should be emailed to the above address or posted to PO Box 763, Dunedin 9054 no later than 4pm, Friday 22 September 2017.

Vodafone emails will stop working at the end of November

Vodafone NZ has announced they are ending their email service on 30 November 2017. This includes all the other email services they have scooped up over the years. You won’t be able to send emails but you can have incoming emails forwarded.

That means if your email address ends in any of these then you need to find a new provider:


So what’s a NonProfit to do? Fortunately there are plenty of options but don’t delay making a decision; the sooner you take action the better.

The answer involves finding a new email provider – there are plenty of them out there and some are free. But rather than jump to another domestic arrangement why not take this opportunity to improve your security and name recognition?

There are many advantages to a custom domain but the most persuasive one for me is asking – would you trust an email from to be from your bank? If not why would your clients or donors trust

Using a custom domain name (like our own email addresses) separates your email address from the service that provides it, meaning you can change provider and keep the same address – like we can now do with phone numbers.

The domain name can be used for a website too so if you’re already using a domain for your site you don’t need to buy another.

A custom domain costs around $40 a year to buy. You can often find sign up deals for the first year. The Domain Name Commission maintains a list of registrars who can sell you a Kiwi domain at

If you don’t want to use a custom domain it is easy enough to visit, or myriad others and sign up, forward your old emails to the new one and start replying from the new one then email everyone on your address book to tell them you’ve got a new email address. Keep an eye on emails continuing to arrive at the old address – you might need to offer a personal reminder to change.

If you are switching to a custom domain you need to find a provider. If you are buying hosting for your website you might already be paying for email addresses – you can check that out with your supplier.

If not, Google and Microsoft both offer free email to registered charities.

You verify your eligibility through in both cases. 

Google’s free offer is through G Suite for Nonprofits it also includes contact syncing, calendars, online storage, online office apps and more – there’s even free online advertising!

Microsoft’s free offer is through Office 365 Nonprofit and it too includes contact syncing, calendars, online storage, online office apps and more.

If you need under 25 users Zoho Workplace is free too and you don’t need to be a charity. You might have heard about Zoho recently when The Warehouse signed up with them. If you have more than 25 users they’ll cut the price for you if you drop them an email.

None have adverts – these are business services provided for free. Other email services are out there but at a cost.

In all cases you sign up, provide a code from TechSoup (Google and MS only), verify you own the domain and start adding email addresses. Office 365 is more customisable (to a dizzying degree), G Suite is simpler and probably complex enough for all but the biggest NonProfts and probably most of them too. You can have thousands of email addresses through either scheme for free – possibly more!

You can transfer existing emails to the new service and for some emails that’s going to be absolutely necessary. How you achieve this depends on a few factors – POP3 vs IMAP, local vs hosted how many users and emails – it’s an article in itself – possibly several!

Vodafone has a forwarding service  and you can download all your messages – you can find out more at – there are tidier ways of doing this if you know how – give Rob a call on 03 471 6177 and he’ll talk you through some options.

You might want to take the time to see how any change affects your policies and procedures. You’ll want to check IT and privacy policies definitely.

The Ministry of Health has good up to date guidelines on using ‘cloud’ services with personal information. Cloud means any digital service that is provided outside your premises so the Vodafone email counted as a cloud service too.

Both Google and Microsoft offer two step verification meaning you need to have something more than your password to get access – for instance you might need to get a text to a phone number. This is a chance to increase your security.

There will undoubtedly be some pain in the move but the sooner you move and the more of the opportunities you take up the slicker it will be.

If you have questions Otago NonProfits can get free support from Connect South. Just email or call 03 471 6177.

Outside Otago we’re still available but the support would be chargeable. In either case we can undertake the work for you for a fee.

Connect South – nominations sought for Board members

Do you think strategically?

Are you in touch with what’s happening in the community sector?

Do you want to be involved in defining Connect South’s future?

If so, then why not stand for one of the places available on Connect Souths board?

The board ensures the ongoing development of the organisation, including delivering its governance and decision-making processes.

Nominations are made using the form below which asks you to consent to your nomination and state that you qualify under section 16 of the Charities Act 2005.

On receiving your nomination we will ask you to complete:

  • a confidentiality form
  • a conflict of interest declaration stating you have no direct conflicts of interest in fulfilling the role of a board member

If you would like to discuss what’s involved give Alan Shanks, our Executive Officer a call on 03 471 6177

Nominations need to be received by Connect South by 20 September 2017.

We look forward to receiving your nomination,

The Connect South Team

Strong communities with effective NonProfits that are well resourced, solidly supported, recognised and connected.

Download the nomination form

Individual Client Level Data presentation and update

On Friday the 26 May Connect South hosted a forum with the aim of updating Otago providers on matters relating to ICLD.
Veronica Bennett, a member of ComVoices ICLD Working Group provided an update on where things were with MSD’s ICLD collection.

Here’s the presentation from the day.

Connect presentation ICLD updated

Things have continued to unfold since, here’s an update on development:

In the presentation Veronica noted the announcement re the handing of the work over to Social Investment Agency (SIA) to form a working group

Brenda Pilott for ComVoices met soon after the announcement and her understanding is that ComVoices would be part of developing the ToR. There has been no word from SIA about the formation of the working group. The Privacy Commissioner hadn’t been asked for input last week.

ComVoices will continue to advocate for this process being managed as promised.

The Social Investment Unit transmogrified into Social Investment Agency so it is possible this has delayed progress.

The Privacy Commissioner’s Inquiry Into The Ministry Of Social Development’s Collection Of Individual Client-level Data From Ngos is available online.

SUPERU: What works for children exposed to family violence?

Another in the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit’s ongoing series of What Works reports has been released.

This time it looks at what family violence services are being delivered, how well they work and what the international evidence says on the subject.

There’s not a lot of fat in the report – it’s very focused and summarising any of it seems to come with the caveat that you need the context. With that in mind the key messages are:

  • Witnessing family violence and non-physical violence can be as traumatic as experiencing physical violence but this isn’t reflected in the programs available across New Zealand
  • Oranaga Tamariki’s birth is an opportunity for significant change
  • We need to tailor services to individuals
  • The quality of service provided is important and it needs to be trauma informed
  • Psychotherapy and parenting skills work best
  • We need more evidence about what our NZ programs deliver
  • Graded responses, including considering exposure to violence are needed
  • Resourcing services is an issue

There is a handy section on what people who work directly with families can do on page 17 that’s summarised in this video.

4 pages of references round out the report if you’d like to dig further.


The Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project – Phase 2 Assessment

Superu has had a busy couple of months – they’ve released assessments, tools and reports.

Their summary report on the Youth Mental Health Project focuses on what aspects of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project have worked and what more can be done, drawing from their earlier reports and a cost benefit analysis. We’ve embedded the report below.

They find the programme has been effective – even quantifying the value at $1 to $1.60 out for every $1 in.

The Project focused on five areas – better access, early identification of mild to moderate issues, more supportive schools, better access to information and improved knowledge of what works.

In identifying what could work better – they divided their answer into two – youth getting help and providers giving help and four themes…

  • Theme #1 – Asking for help – youth being willing and feeling supported to reach out
  • Theme #2 – Accessing help – youth and their support networks knowing how and where
  • Theme #3 – Delivering help in primary care – service providers knowing how, and being able, to support youth
  • Theme #4 – Referring onwards for help – specialist and other secondary services being available and known to referring schools and GPS

Despite this being the the Prime Minister’s project the report isn’t uncritical – although universally positive in focus and tone. The report is clear and assuredly free of jargon.

Suggested improvements include:

  • More connectedness and integration of local service delivery
  • Broadening the focus to all youth (12-19)
  • Encouraging youth friendly services and co-location
  • Identifying and targeting specific youth populations – there’s more about this in the companion report Youth Mental Health Project – At a Glance: Spotlight on youth less well-served
  • Promoting existing resources and services to youth, families, whānau and communities
  • Addressing stigma

A concerning note was the recognition of overstretched resources (and staff?) meaning services aren’t always available when needed – compounding the problems are access issues including transport, school holiday closures and cost.

Working together more is a common theme in the suggested solutions.

Hopefully with a clear assessment of how things are the Prime Minister’s focus will be on how their project can build on successes to reach more youth and do more good.

Connect South maintains – a database of youth health and wellbeing services in Dunedin aimed at youth and their whānau – you can check it out to get an idea of the breadth of services available – and if you spot anything missing be sure and let us know.


Help improve OAR FM… and you could win free radio promotion for your organisation!

OUr friends and neighbours OAR FM are looking for your feedback:

Otago Access Radio (OAR FM) is Dunedin’s station, proudly serving our diverse local communities by providing them with a voice in the media and promoting the services that support families and whanau.

OAR need to know how effective and relevant their services are to your organisation, and would greatly appreciate your response to our short seven question survey by close of business Thursday 20 July 2017.

Every organisation participating in this survey goes into the draw to WIN $300 in FREE PROMOTION with OAR FM (for your organisation or a charity of your choice).

Take the OAR FM survey

Thanks – Lesley, Jeff, Domi and Geoff