Changes to Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes Insulation Scheme

The Government’s subsidised insulation scheme has changed as of 1 July 2016.
The programme is now called Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes Rental. It will sunset on 30 June 2018.
The number of subsidies allocated to Dunedin/Otago will be announced by the Government on or around 1 September 2016, though some subsidies have been awarded for July and August to ensure there is no disruption in service. It is expected the subsidies will be claimed well before the 30 June 2018 end date. This is a first-come, first-served programme for those who qualify.
The programme now applies only to tenanted properties in which the main tenant has a Community Services Card (and the property was built before 2000). This qualifies landlords for a 50% subsidy for ceiling and underfloor insulation from government and local funders (Otago Community Trust, Dunedin City Council and Cosy Homes). The landlord pays the remaining 50%. There is no cost to the tenant.
There are two approved installers for this programme in Otago:
Technobond: 03 476 4221 or 0800 55 88 22
Smart Energy Solutions: 03 455 6521 or 0800 888 766
Interested tenants or landlords can contact the installers directly, or contact Cosy Homes for a referral or with questions.
This programme no longer applies to owner-occupied homes, and at this time there are no free or subsidised programmes available. Cosy Homes is working on a solution alongside local partners.
For owner-occupiers within the Dunedin City boundaries, or for Dunedin rental property owners who don’t have the cash to pay for the remaining 50% of the subsidised programme, they can access the Council’s “Warm Dunedin” programme, which allows rates payers to spread the cost of insulation and/or clean heating appliances (log burner, pellet fire, heat pump) across their rates for 10 years, up to $5000. More information about Warm Dunedin can be found here:
Repayments would likely be between $30 and $61/month added to the property’s rates, depending on how much funding is needed to complete the desired work. Property owners must use an approved installer under this programme; a list of approved installers can be found at the link above. Restrictions do apply. A similar programme is also being launched in Clutha District in the coming months.
For any questions about the government’s insulation scheme, or about Warm Dunedin or other warm homes/healthy homes work, please contact the Cosy Homes Project Manager at: Jordana@cosyhomes.org.nz or by text/phone at 021 999 395. Emails are preferred.

Don’t get caught out by fake Government calls

Thanks to Media for this article.
Media contact: media@mbie.govt.nz

The recent wave of scam phone calls falsely claiming to be from government agencies have diversified, with a range of nationalities now apparently being targeted.

“These phone scammers call out of the blue saying they are from a trusted government agency such as Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue. They then demand payment to avoid deportation or arrest, either in cash or in iTunes vouchers. These calls are scams,” says MBIE’s Consumer Protection Manager Mark Hollingsworth.

“Calls like these are from scammers and the safest thing to do is hang up and report it through the Scamwatch section of Consumer Protection’s website.

“Initially scammers appeared to target Indian nationals living in New Zealand, but recent reports show Fijians, Cook Islanders and Filipinos have also been targeted, prompting Consumer Protection to reissue warnings.

“We are aware of over 300 reports from consumers who have been contacted by callers in context of this scam in the past two months, but this scam has been present in various iterations for quite some time.

“While the name of the scam changes, the tell-tale signs don’t. Members of the public should be aware that government agencies such as Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue will never call, email, or text demanding payment or threatening deportation. Banks will never call and ask for online banking passwords. These agencies will also never use money transfer services such as Western Union or demand payment via iTunes vouchers.”

“Consumer Protection is working to raise awareness of the scam in the community and educate consumers on how to avoid it.

“Scammers are constantly looking for ways to seek your personal information in order to profit. To protect yourself, get to know about the common types of scams and typical red flags you should be looking out for on Consumer Protection’s Scamwatch page.

“Our advice is be wary of unexpected calls or texts seeking your personal information and do not pay money to anyone you have not met. If in doubt, hang up and report it to Scamwatch straight away to help prevent others from becoming the next victim of a scam,” Mr Hollingsworth says.

Register for NZAG 2016 Conference

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Registration is completed online here – http://confer.co.nz/nzag2016/registration/.

Programme Online!

The full programme of presentations is now available online – http://confer.co.nz/nzag2016/programme/ (please note this is subject to change).  We had such a great response to the call for papers which has enabled us to have such a full programme of high quality presentations covering a wide range of disciplines and interest areas in ageing.

Please pass this information on to any colleagues to make sure they don’t miss out on the early bird rate!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate the conference organisers by email nzag2016@confer.co.nz.

 

Community Wellbeing Seminar- Navigating our Changing Landscape

Social Service and Health Not for Profit Organisations will be expected to respond to a number of changes including those brought about by the Government’s review of social services funding; the Community Investment Strategy, the implementation of Charities Services new reporting requirements, the tendering of contracts, changes to services for vulnerable children, any Government response to last year’s more effective Social Service report and an increased focus on outcomes and social investment.

To assist you in managing the changes going forward, we have arranged an afternoon of information sharing. Ministries will update you on where these changes are currently at, will offer advice on what actions organisations need to be undertaking now and into the future.

The Seminar will take place on the 7th of June 2016, at 1:00pm-4:30pm.

Venue is the Port Otago Lounge, Edgar Centre, Portsmouth Drive.

There is no cost, RSVP by 4th June to carol@oct.org.nz or call 03 479 0994

 

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Animals and Social Work: New Paper at the University of Otago

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There is a new interdisciplinary postgraduate paper being offered at the University of Otago in the second semester of this year: SOWK 522 Animals and Social Work. The paper will be taught by distance and as such would be an ideal professional development opportunity for anyone interested in the human-animal connection in the human services or caring professions. This paper contributes to a Master of Social Work degree but can also be studied as a stand-alone paper outside of this qualification with special admission from the Department Head.

The paper covers:

  • The inclusion of domestic animals in family assessments and their role within the ecological model
  • Violence towards animals as a precursor and indicator of violence towards humans
  • Animal assisted interventions and their efficacy in the helping professions
  • Discussion on animal ethics, animals within legislation and challenges the use of animals pose for the social work and other caring professions

See the distance prospectus for enrollment information: http://www.otago.ac.nz/courses/distance_study/otago122545.pdf

And this listing on the Otago University website for more information about the paper: http://www.otago.ac.nz/courses/papers/?papercode=SOWK522

Shake-Up for Social Services

DCOSS Executive Officer Alan Shanks was recently interviewed by Channel 39 Dunedin Television. Here is what he had to say:

Final Report of the Expert Panel on Modernising Child Youth and Family

The Government has announced major state care reforms and a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family to improve the long-term life outcomes for New Zealand’s most vulnerable population. The Minister for Social Development, Hon Anne Tolley, says that the whole system needs to be transformed if we are to give vulnerable children and young people the protection and life opportunities they deserve.

“After making a very clear case for change in its Interim Report, the Expert Panel advising me on the radical overhaul of Child Youth and Family has delivered a final report with a bold set of recommendations for a new child-centred system which the Government is taking action on,” says the Minister.

The package of reforms, which is expected to take up to five years to be fully implemented, will include:

  • A new child-centred operating model with a greater focus on harm and trauma prevention and early intervention. It will provide a single point of accountability for the long-term wellbeing of vulnerable children, with the voice of the child represented in planning and strategy.
  • A social investment approach using actuarial valuations and evidence of what works will identify the best way of targeting early interventions, to ensure that vulnerable children receive the care and support they need, when they need it.
  • Direct purchasing of vital services such as health, education and counselling support to allow funding to follow the child, so that young people can gain immediate access to assistance.
  • A stronger focus on reducing the over-representation of Maori young people in the system. Currently, 60 per cent of children in care are Maori. Strategic partnerships will be developed with iwi groups and NGOs.
  • Legislation this year raising the age of state care to a young person’s 18th birthday, with transition support being considered up to the age of 25. Cabinet has also agreed to investigate raising the youth justice age to 17.
  • Legislation establishing an independent youth advocacy service to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard in the design of systems and services.

Intensive targeted support for caregivers, including some increased financial assistance and better access to support services. For the first time, National Care Standards will be introduced so that there is a clear expectation for the standard and quality of care in placement homes.

The system will focus on five core services – prevention, intensive intervention, care support services, transition support and a youth justice service aimed at preventing re-offending. Delivery of these services will require a suitably trained workforce, with a requirement for a greater range of specialist skills, to better prevent harm and trauma.

The Report notes that CYF staff, agencies and the Government can’t do this in isolation. Communities need to be engaged and play their part. Work is already under way on attracting and retaining a wider pool of quality caregivers, who will receive increased support to take on such an important role.

http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/investing-in-children/index.html

 

Participatory Science Platform – Otago Pilot Round

Otago Science Into Action is pleased to invite proposals for its 2016 Participatory Science Platform (PSP) – Otago Pilot round.

Key points to note:

  • The deadline for this 2016 round is: Noon, Tuesday 19 April 2016.
  • PSP Project Funding can be for up to a maximum of $20,000 (excl. GST) per project.
  • All projects must be completed and reported by December 2016.
  • There will be approximately $135,000 of Project Funding available in this round.
  • Applications should be submitted by email to: craig.grant@otagomuseum.nz by the noon 19 April deadline.

Note: We do not anticipate at this stage issuing a further call for projects in 2016.

Guidelines and application forms are available on our website: www.scienceintoaction.nz/funding.

If you are interested in applying please first register at: www.scienceintoaction.nz/registration and someone from the Otago Science Into Action team will be in touch to discuss your idea.  We strongly encourage all groups wishing to apply in this 2016 round (either new or those who may have registered previously) to discuss their project ideas with the Otago Science Into Action team as early as practicable

For any queries please contact Craig Grant: craig.grant@otagomuseum.nz or (021) 279-8465.