Survey: Snapshot of the Otago Community Sector 2016

Welcome to Connect South’s sector survey 2016.

You may have read about the recent survey by ComVoices, a network of national organisations in the tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector. You can find the results at

Connect South wants to see how non-profits in Otago are doing and how this compares to the national picture.

In 2014 ComVoices conducted their first New Zealand-wide “State of the Community & Voluntary Sector” survey. Connect South followed this up with an Otago-specific mail-out. Eighty organisations responded and the results were shared with the Otago community through newspapers, and our newsletter and website.

Again, we will share the results with you through the newspaper and our website, publicised through Facebook and Twitter.

This survey should take you between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.

All responses are anonymous.

Please complete only one response for each organisation.

The survey will close at 12 noon on the 30th November, 2016

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or comments regarding this survey.
You can call us on 03 471 6177 or email You are also welcome to come in and see us at Dunedin Community House, 301 Moray Place.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey and have your say!

Camera image is by Ashley Linh Trann

Feedback wanted: Draft Children’s Action Plan Core Competencies Framework


The Pre-Workshops on the Draft Children’s Action Plan Core Competencies Framework were held this week.

We are now gathering feed on the Draft Framework to better assess gaps between current practice and the Framework’s aspirations. The survey will take you approximately 25 minutes to complete. You can find the presentation slides and Draft Framework below.

Give Feedback

Please encourage other stakeholders to submit too. If they would like to register for one of the three workshops in April, ask them to contact Amber at

Draft Framework
Draft Framework


If you weren’t able to attend this week and you have questions about what you may have missed, feel free to call/email Amber 03 471 6177.

We look forward to your input.

Children’s Action Plan: Feedback Workshops

The Dunedin Council of Social Services is inviting key stakeholders and influencers of the children’s workforce to take part in the next phase of consultation of the Draft Core Competency Framework: A Pre-Workshop Meeting on 3 March and the Workshop on either 5 April or 6 April. The Ministry of Social Development and Children’s Action Plan faculty are leading the conversation, while the Dunedin Council of Social Services is assisting in the coordination of the local meetings. Register for the pre-workshop and workshop no later than 29 February: Workshop Registration

Why We are Developing a Core Competency Framework:
Children have a right to have all their needs met and to be safe from abuse and neglect. A better future for vulnerable children is at the heart of the 2012 Children’s Action Plan, which was informed by submissions from almost 10,000 New Zealanders – including children. The Children’s Action Plan led to the Vulnerable Children Act  and other legislative change in 2014.

Part of that change is better protection of our children. We are enhancing the children’s workforce so that it is responsive and able to recognise and act when something isn’t right. The core competency framework will support children’s workers to better identify, support and protect vulnerable children.

The Framework will not replace existing specialist and professional standards and frameworks. Instead, it will sit alongside and complement these in a way that unifies and reinforces common understandings and ways of working – a common language for supporting, protecting and identifying vulnerable children.

We will get the best results for vulnerable children if our children’s workforce shares open, honest and robust dialogue leading to trust and wide agreement on the best ways forward. We are seeking your experiences, opinions and insights to inform the core competency framework and options for implementation. The Draft Framework will change in response to what we learn from the children’s workforce.

We are asking for your feedback. We plan to consult with you in three ways: a pre-workshop meeting, an electronic survey that will follow the meeting, and then a follow up workshop about the Framework:

Pre-Workshop Engagement Meeting:
You are invited to attend a pre-workshop engagement meeting about the Draft Framework. At this meeting, we will discuss the original vision to improve the lives of vulnerable children – the White Paper for Vulnerable Children. We will talk about how the draft framework has been developed so far, the Draft Framework’s current state, and how you can help improve the next version of the Framework to make sure it’s fit for purpose. This meeting will be offered at two different times; you only need to choose the one that works best for you. Register Here:Workshop Registration

Pre-Workshop Engagement Meeting Timetable
Date Time Venue
Thursday 3 March 2016 8:30 – 9:00 AM     Networking
9:00 – 11:00 AM   Meeting
Dunedin Community House, Alexander McMillan Room,
301 Moray Pl, Dunedin
Thursday 3 March 2016 12:30 – 1:00 PM   Networking
1:00 – 3:00 PM      Meeting
Dunedin Community House, Alexander McMillan Room,
301 Moray Pl, Dunedin

If you have questions, please contact

Gathering your feedback
After you attend the initial meeting, we’ll send you an email to request your feedback via Survey Monkey.

You’re also invited to attend a workshop to discuss your response to the draft framework. Attendees should be able to participate in one of the two offered pre-workshops and one of the three offered workshops.

Register For All Workshops Here by 29 February – SPACES ARE LIMITED:
Workshop Registration

Workshop timetable
Date Time Venue
Tuesday 5 April 2016 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Work and Income, Dunedin
Waipori Room
(corner of Castle and St Andrew Streets)
Tuesday 5 April 2016 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Work and Income, Dunedin
Waipori Room
(corner of Castle and St Andrew Streets)
Wednesday 6 April 2016 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Work and Income, Dunedin
Waipori Room
(corner of Castle and St Andrew Streets)

We appreciate your valuable time and commitment. Thank you in advance for being a part of this journey to protect and support our vulnerable children/tamariki and whānau. If you have any questions about the Draft Core Competency Framework or the consultation process, please email: If you have any questions about local coordination, please contact Amber Ptak

Finally, we are making every effort to include as many voices as possible in these workshops, but we have likely missed someone. Please do not hesitate to forward this email on to someone who you think may want to join us.

Ngā mihi nui,

Alan Shanks
Executive Officer
Dunedin Council of Social Services

Consultations Unpacked: More Effective Social Services

DCOSS and Commuity Law Otago invite you to our next Consultations Unpacked event around the Productivity Commission’s More Effective Social Services draft report.

12:15 – 13:45 Friday 5 June 2015 at Dunedin Community House, 301 Moray Place

The Productivity Commission has been tasked with looking at current arrangements in Government funded social services, housing, crime reduction and more. They’ve issued a draft report for comment and this is your opportunity to join DCOSS, Otago Law Centre  and Law for Change to discuss what’s been raised and what we have to say about it.
Available are the:
Following the meeting we’ll write up a submission based on what was discussed and organisations and individuals will be able to add their names to this if they wish. This is a big issue and we hope that this will be an effective way to have a say.
Different groups will see the issues differently and we hope to accurately represent smaller Otago organisations’ views.
Also available on the Commisison’s website are case studies on Employment services, Whänau Ora, Services for people with disabilities, Home-based support of older  a report on The economics of social services and Handing back the social commons, a report by James Mansell, an intereting read on information sharing to deliver better outcomes.
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Experiences with the Medical Appeal Board (MAB) Process an exploration of how the Work and Income medical criteria decision review process is working

Consultations Unpacked Background Paper.

Friday 6 June 2014 12-1.30pm
Dunedin Community House

 a Dunedin Council of Social Services, Dunedin Community Law Centre &
Community Law Canterbury Community Forum


The MAB is the place to go to appeal a Work and Income decision made on medical criteria (such as eligibility for Supported Living Payment, Jobseeker Support and the Child Disability Allowance). The board is independent of Work and Income. The MAB has the power to change decisions made by Work and Income. It can either agree with the decision, or change the decision. There is no right of appeal against a decision of a Medical Appeal Board. This means it is very important that a case going to the MAB is well prepared, there is strong medical evidence to back up your case and if you need it, you have someone to support or represent you at the hearing.

The MAB is a decision making panel made up of three people. MAB members are appointed by MSD’s Chief Executive and are paid by MSD for their time taking part in hearings. MABs consist of three members* who are:

  • Doctors
  • People with expertise in rehabilitation, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and psychologists.
  • Other people with the right expertise.

* The board members at your hearing must not have had any involvement in your case or treated you as a patient.

Concern has been expressed locally at the length of time it can take for an appeal to go through, and the composition of the board. While it is recognised that board membership does require people with the right expertise, some clients have indicated that the expertise is limited to specific areas of medicine and their case may fall outside of this area, other clients have expressed concern the board is not gender and culturally diverse.

The forum is interested in hearing local stories and experiences with the Medical Appeals Board so that we can look at ways of supporting beneficiaries who are taking medical appeals.

 Sources and links for further Information

 Work & Income New Zealand

 About medical appeals: medical-appeals.html

About the medical appeal board hearings: hearings.html

COSSD's new constitution: your comments wanted

The executive committee of Council of Social Services Dunedin thinks we need a new constitution to better fit the organisation we have become and want to to be.

We want your comments on the proposed constitution.

You can download it as a PDF below, pick up a copy from our offices in Dunedin Community House or call Alan or Rob on 03 471 6177 or email and we’ll post you one.

Comments have to be with us by 9am Monday 12 May 2014.

Comments can be emailed to or delivered to COSSD, Dunedin Community House, 301 Moray Place, Dunedin 9012 or just post them in the form below.

 COSSD Rules for comment April 2014 Please leave your comments below[contact-form-7 id=”217853″ title=”Comments box”]

Feedback on the Government response to the Health Committee’s Inquiry into Improving Child Health Outcomes and Preventing Child Abuse

Consultations Unpacked – Improving Child Health Outcomes and Preventing Child Abuse

Council of Social Services Dunedin (COSSD) and Dunedin Community Law Centre (DCLC) invite you to joins us at a Community Forum.

12pm to 1:30pm on Friday 28 March 2014 at Dunedin Community House

On Thursday 6 March the Government released its response to the Health Committee’s Inquiry into improving child health outcomes and preventing child abuse with a focus from preconception until three years of age – a number of you may have submitted to the Inquiry.

130 recommendations were made, and the Government has accepted or accepted in part 109, 14 have been noted and seven not accepted.

You can download a background paper including links to articles and papers: Child_Health_Background.

Feedback and questions will be reported back to the Health Select Committee.