End-of-year-updates from New Zealand Council of Social Services

Council of Social Services (Dunedin) is a member of the New Zealand Council of Social Services. Below we’ve included selected updates from NZCOSS’ end-of-year news update:

Notes from the Executive Officer

Ros Rice

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In the last two weeks, I have been travelling to a few places with three colleagues: Tina Reid from Social Development Partners, Vanisa Dhiru from Volunteering NZ and Jan Hinde from the Tangata Whenua Community & Voluntary Sector Research Centre.

We have been talking to community organisations about the big picture changes that we are seeing and hearing — about ways government is working with the community sector.

Simply outlining the mass of work this government is undertaking is staggering in itself, but the new ways of working that fall out of these work streams are topics of strong discussion.

Our four organisations have found great value in joining up to travel and jointly present at these events. We feel we are modeling one type of collaboration that is of benefit. Each of us is an independent organisation, but together we can bring more information from a broader perspective to our members at one meeting. It’s got to be good! This leads me to think about how well we can deliver a communications project to convey “government information” when we work together.

And talking about Government information: It was with some shock I and colleagues received the news sitting in Jo Goodhew’s office last week that the promised review of the Charities Legislation has been put off indefinitely.

I suspect many people will wonder what the fuss about this is, and rather than go into detail, I direct you to the group of commentaries that we have reprinted in this issue of Network News — please see below.

View from the 2011-2012 Chair

Andrew Beyer

Meeting the Future — Te Tutakina a Mua

“Meeting the Future – Engaging Youth in the Community and Voluntary Sector”. This was the theme of the New Zealand Council of Social Service’s Conference held in Taupo in October.

The Conference delegates received a gracious welcome from representatives of Tuwharetoa, backed by a spirited Kapa haka group from Tauhara College; we all then enjoyed a busy Conference programme on brilliant spring days beside the glimmering lake and under the watch of the snow covered mountain peaks.

NZCOSS recruited a range of contributors to give context to the place and participation of young people in community development and social services. Many more contributors formed a wonderful array of young people engaged directly in community and social activism with stories to tell and energy to impart to offer information and inspiration to Conference delegates.

In plenary sessions Miranda Harcourt provided a humourous journey through her experiences in the arts, theatre and social services.

Dr. Natalie Jackson from the University of Waikato reported on her research data about population age trends in Aotearoa. A lively panel discussed how to attract young people to the community and voluntary sector.

Gina Scandrett reported on her experiences with the Student Army that achieved so much after the big Christchurch earthquakes and also described and analysed the use of social media in communication.

In streamed sessions the presenters explored and developed the practices of engaging our next generation of leaders and described innovative and successful projects with and among young people.

  • Kylie Turuwhenua-Tapsell and Jason Sebestian from the Ministry of Youth Development set out the pre-conditions for involving young people in organisations and action: (i) organisational commitment (ii) create space for young peoples’ involvement (iii) create a youth-friendly environment.
  • Dr. Arif Saeid from the Refugee Youth Action Network spoke of the Network’s services to young people from refugee backgrounds and described a programme to identify clearly some fundamental needs and requirements and to respond to these directly with relevant and effective programmes.
  • Guy Ryan from The Inspiring Stories Trust wove together the powerful stands of environmental awareness and protection with story-telling and film making and with the involvement and participation of young people.

These are a few examples of the many streamed presentations that developed the Conference theme and offered powerful information and continuing inspiration.

A jovial Conference dinner gathering was entertained by a troupe of musicians and vocalists from Tauhara College. On the second day NZCOSS conducted its 2012 AGM and received reports on activity over the past year, a report of a sound financial position and re-elected its Executive Committee members for a two year term.

The Conference delegates joined NZCOSS in strong appreciation of the welcome extended by Tuwharetoa, the support and assistance from the Taupo Council of Social Services and the hospitality delivered by the Suncourt Hotel and Conference Centre — as well as, to all the presenters, panellists and entertainers who contributed to the Conference and joined in many Conference activities. Thanks is also extended to the following sponsors and supporters: Taupo District Council, Westpac Bank, Bay Trust and John and Philippa Terry.

As this report reflects, there was a need to make some hard choices about what to attend from a stream of compelling presentations. Fortunately an accounts of most of the presentations have been placed on the NZCOSS website: www.nzcoss.org.nz/conference

The whole Conference expressed appreciation to NZCOSS staff members Ros Rice and Jill Turquet for their diligent work in putting together the event and programme.

Worried about a Child? Speak Up…………

NZCOSS has been very aware of the focus on vulnerable children in our society by the Government. The scale of abuse, neglect and suffering in New Zealand is far too high and we think that as members of society, we all need to take personal responsibility for being able to look after our children.

Over the next year, NZCOSS plans a series of articles in our newsletter that we want all of our members to consider and also to forward on to their members. Every organisation and every individual in New Zealand needs to work towards influencing and changing society’s attitude so that it will not overlook, ignore or condone violence.

Children rely on adults to keep them safe. They need us to recognise when something may be wrong and to help them. Parents play a big part, but just as important are other adults in the community — whanau, family, friends and neighbours. (1)

NZCOSS has been considering what we and our members can do to show our support for the movement to Educate to Prevent Child Abuse. We think the first step is to consider ourselves and our members.

The NZCOSS office staff and Executive are going to discuss how we can take responsibility ourselves and what we can do to encourage our members and our members’ associates to be pro-active, to be supportive, to be up-to-date and to hold to our belief that violence is not OK.

The Tangata Whenua Community & Voluntary Sector Research Centre

Community Research gathers research about New Zealand’s tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector, shares it with a broader audience, creates a virtual hub for researchers, iwi and community organisations to share their ideas and finally, advocates good methods in community research.

Have a look at this very useful information. It’s all available free of charge in one click from their website: www.communityresearch.org.nz

  • Promoting the visibility of, and access to, community research in New Zealand.
  • Promoting quality assurance and good practice in community research.
  • Promoting and strengthening connections between the Tangata Whenua and Community and Voluntary Sector.
  • Conduct or commission research of significance to the sector.
  • Ensure the ongoing, sustainable operation of the organisation

Community Research develops research capacity in the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector. Their five strategic objectives are:

  1. Te Anga Mua – The Community Research Seminar Friday 23rd November 2012 in Wellington for more here http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/te-anga-mua-whanau-ora-research-seminar/
  2. Erena Kara, (Ngapuhi) Project Manager at Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe, spoke to community researcher Rawiri Blundell (Ngati Porou) about how he became a community researcher, his favourite piece of research and an important whakatauki. http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Community-research-int-Erena.pdf
  3. A round up of the community research recently uploaded to the Community Research website. New items of research, from people working in New Zealand’s Tangata Whenua Community and Voluntary Sector http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/New-to-the-kete.pdf
  4. Most popular downloads from our website and Facebook page http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Liked-those.pdf
  5. Call for research from Community Research

Founded in 2008, Community Research promotes research capacity in the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector, because communities who learn better, do better. They’ve built this website to share learnings, research papers, evaluations, case studies and articles which will help pass on new ideas, approaches and good practice to make the community sector strong in Aotearoa. Upload your research and share what you’ve learned: http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/before-you-upload-research/

What’s on this site

This website gathers and disseminates research. This is the place to upload, search and download research that’s been undertaken by, with or about communities in New Zealand. This site gathers research, evaluations, reports, studies, dissertations, power points, conference papers, case studies, multimedia files and more.
Check it out!

And Just to Keep Everyone Up-To-Date……….

We’ve just had our Annual General Meeting at our 2012 Conference in Taupo, and have a new Executive Committee; this time — and for the first time — elected for a two year term. Funnily enough, it’s basically the same cast of characters……minus one very valuable member, who will be much missed: Owen Lloyd from Gisborne East COSS.

Our new Executive Committee Officers for the next two years, will be:

  • Chair Sharon Torstonson
  • Deputy Chair Denise Lormans
  • Secretary Chrissy Hodkinson
  • Treasurer Alan Shanks (Alan is Council of Social Services (Dunedin)’s Membership Support and Services Officer)

The other members are as follows:

  • Andrew Beyer
  • Graham Foster
  • Jocelyn Frances O’Kane