New community engagement resources from Charities at DIA

Charities and Creative New Zealand recently joined up to commission some independent research into relationships between the business and community sectors.

More than a thousand business organisations participated in the research, which has been used by Inspiring Communities to create resources and opportunities for charities and businesses interested in establishing or strengthening their partnerships.

The findings were released to a workshop of business, community and government participants in Wellington a couple of weeks ago .

The meeting brought together a range of organisations, including business networks, funders, local council and national community organisations – all of whom are interested in supporting effective partnerships in New Zealand.

Brendon Ward says the report has produced some valuable information about businesses’ levels of involvement and reasons for supporting charities.

“For example 90 per cent of respondents said that their business supports charities and that their support is either increasing or likely to remain constant. It also showed that more than one third of businesses surveyed want to find out how to better support community organisations.”

“And 26 per cent of businesses also said that supporting charities improved staff morale and/or productivity.”

The Report on Engagement between Business and Community Organisations provides recommendations and resources helpful for both community and business organisations.

We’ve also developed some data snapshots and “real-life” case studies, tailored to assist any charity or business who wants to begin or improve an already effective relationship with a community partner.

You can download a copy of the report via the link below, and some useful tools to get you started, or to help develop your existing relationships – feel free to share them with your networks, and with prospective community or business partners:

Community engagement resources from Charities at DIA

Source: Charities Update

Free ebook: Psychology for a better world

Psychology for a Better World: Strategies to Inspire Sustainability is a book – freely available in PDF format – for people who believe it is worth trying to make a world in which both our species and the ecological systems we are part of can flourish.

It is based on the latest research in psychology and is jam-packed with action strategies. It offers new ways to think about how people interact in social settings, why we are tempted to stick with what we know, and how the same characteristics that currently keep us hooked into unsustainable practices can be used to move us forward.

The final chapter is a guide to help you analyse what you are doing to contribute towards a better world, and how you can be more effective while simultaneously increasing your personal wellbeing.

About the author

Niki Harré is an associate professor at the University of Auckland where she has taught social and community psychology for twelve years. Her recent research projects have focused on sustainable communities and schools, positive youth development and political activism.

In 2007 Niki edited, with Quentin Atkinson, the book Carbon Neutral by 2020: How New Zealanders Can Tackle Climate Change. Niki is an active member of the Point Chevalier Transition Town.

Niki’s homepage and contact details



Listen to Niki’s interview about Psychology for a Better World with Kim Hill on the Radio New Zealand website and her interview with Sustainable Simon on the 95bFM website.

Short film summarising the book’s main ideas

Download the book

Purchase a hard copy

Hard copies can be ordered via the University of Auckland website.

Introducing Health Navigator NZ

Health Navigator NZ is a not-for-profit initiative led by clinicians and consumers in response to the need for a central place to find reliable and trustworthy health information and self-help resources.

It aims to provide a centralised resource of accurate and reliable health information, tools, and resources. The aim is to support, equip, and enable individuals and their families to manage their health more effectively, in partnership with their healthcare providers.

The website includes great information on long-term conditions, medication, advice on keeping well, and resources for healthcare providers.

Health Navigator NZ is supported by DHBs and PHOs across the country and can be accessed at

Introducing Dunedin’s digital ambassadors

During the development of the Dunedin Digital Strategy there was a clear message from the Dunedin public that community-specific projects needed to be led by the community. The Digital Office was set up to lead and support Digital Strategy projects and ensure that the proposed benefits are achieved.

The Digital Office is a not-for-profit organisation reliant on local businesses and the community for support and funding.

Its mission is to work closely with community groups and businesses to understand digital needs, support digital projects, advocate digital initiatives, and ensure the successful outcomes of Digital Strategy projects.

When it comes to digital connectivity, there’s a lot of jargon that can be confusing, and it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, the Digital Office has launched the Digital Ambassadors scheme—whereby a team of technology experts volunteer their time to answer your digital questions. For example, you may be curious about options for connecting to the internet, online services, how to create a successful online presence, or simply how to avoid computer viruses.

Contact Stuart Dillon-Roberts to learn more:
The Digital Office logo
Phone 021 270 0686



Community Law Manual now available online

The Community Law Manual sets out comprehensive legal information for everyday users. The 2012-13 edition is the first to be made freely available online.

The Community Law Manual deals with many areas of community and personal life and provides answers and solutions to common legal questions, including:

  • The New Zealand legal system
  • Human rights
  • Legal aid
  • Consumer law
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Tenancy law
  • Privacy law
  • Employment law
  • Legal issues for youth
  • Health and disability law
  • ACC
  • Family law
  • Domestic violence
  • Wills
  • Enduring powers of attorney
  • Harassment
  • Criminal proceedings
  • Police powers
  • Court fines

The Community Law Manual has always been a valuable print resource used by community, private and public sector agencies, and by individuals, to understand common legal problems and take the first steps to solving them.

Making the Community Law Manual available for free on the internet is a bold move, and Community Law says that those who buy a printed copy will effectively be contributing to making free legal information available throughout the community.

“Our goal is to create a community business model by which we can release a new and improved edition of the Manual each year, which responds directly to the community’s needs and styles of accessing information,” says Alexandra Keeble, project worker at Community Law Centres o Aotearoa.

By publishing the Community Law Manual online, Community Law is ensuring that high-quality, accessible, plain English legal information can be accessed and shared freely throughout the community.

“In the immediate future, new chapters will be written, including about Māori legal issues, legal issues for charities, a benefit rights chapter, and a chapter on immigration law. We will be releasing a Community Law Manual smartphone app, as well as improving the platform’s capacity to respond to the specific legal questions and problems of users of the Manual.”

The printed manual is available from Wellington Community Law Centre:

Source: Community Law, via Scoop

Guide to claiming a tax credit for donations

Inland Revenue has published the following information, that charities might like to pass on to donors.

How to claim a tax credit for donations

If you’ve made a donation to an approved donee organisation you can claim a tax credit. There are two ways of claiming this tax credit: by filing a Tax credit claim form (IR526) or by using payroll giving (if your employer offers this).

Filing a Tax credit claim form (IR526)

You send this form to Inland Revenue once a year with details of any donations, childcare and/or housekeeper payments you’ve made for the tax year (1 April – 31 March). All receipts for these payments should be provided with the claim form. Donation receipts should have:

  • The person’s name (or their spouse/partner’s name)
  • The amount and date
  • A statement that it’s a donation
  • The signature of an authorised person
  • An official stamp with the name of the donee organisation.

If you don’t have to file an Individual income return (IR3) and you made a tax credit claim last year, you should have already received your claim form. If you didn’t make a claim last year or didn’t receive your claim form, you can print a copy or call Inland Revenue’s 0800 self-service line on 0800 257 773 to order a copy.

If you’re required to file an IR3, Inland Revenue recommend you file your tax credit claim form and IR3 at the same time to avoid delays. This is so they can check the income in your IR3 before sending your refund.

Using payroll giving through your employer

Payroll giving, if it’s offered by your employer, gives you the ability to donate to approved donee organisations directly from your pay. With payroll giving you don’t need to claim your tax credit by filing an IR526 at the end of the year, you get the tax credit immediately each time you make your donation through your pay.

If your employer offers a payroll giving scheme and you’d like to join, you need to:

  • Check the donee organisation you want to donate to is on our approved donee list by going to (keywords: donee organisation)
  • Check your employer supports the donee organisation
  • Give your employer the:
    • Name of the donee organisation
    • Amount of the donation you’re making
    • Pay period, or periods, you’re making the donation for
    • Donee organisation’s bank account or postal address.

Source: IRD Community Wise

Guide to using social media

Sport New Zealand has developed nine-step guide to using social media for organisations who haven’t used it before.

It was developed in early 2012 and is appropriate for any charity to use.

Sport NZ’s webpage also contains examples of some successful use of social media by sports organisations.

Community Action Tool Kit

The Young Foundation (UK) has developed a Community Action Tool Kit which seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What makes people want to get involved in location action?
  • What stops them from taking part?
  • How do you devolve power and money to communities?
  • How can communities work effectively with local authorities and public agencies?
  • What makes people feel like they belong in a place?

The kit is available on the Young Foundation website.

Source: Christchurch COSS Bulletin

How Communities Heal: Stories of Social Innovation and Social Change

This book, by Vivian Hutchinson and the New Zealand Social Entrepreneur Fellowship, is being published in free fortnightly instalments at

A printed book edition of this project can be purchased at our bookstore online at for NZ$45 (+postage and packaging).

Electronic books, including Kindle, iPad, and PDF editions, are available for sale at

For bulk book orders (eg. for committees or trust boards) please contact