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ComVoices Meetings – 2020

By | ComVoices Meetings, Events | No Comments

All monthly meetings are held 10.30am to 12 midday on the first Tuesday in the month, Level 7, Ranchhod Tower, 110 Lambton Quay/39 The Terrace, Wellington.

  • Tuesday 11 February (exception to the schedule)
  • Tuesday 3 March
  • Tuesday 7 April
  • Tuesday 5 May
  • Tuesday 2 June
  • Tuesday 7 July
  • Tuesday 4 August
  • Tuesday 1 September
  • Tuesday 6 October
  • Tuesday 3 November
  • Tuesday 1 December

Community and voluntary organisations continue to make a difference in our communities

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Media release

12 December 2019 – For immediate use

Community and voluntary organisations continue to make a difference in our communities

The country’s community and voluntary organisations are delivering services where they matter – to New Zealanders in need – even as they continue to grapple with a number of significant challenges.

That’s one of the key findings from a survey of community and voluntary sector organisations carried out by their network ComVoices (https://comvoices.org.nz). The survey is carried out biennially to provide a snapshot of how community organisations are faring.

ComVoices Chair Chris Glaudel says community and voluntary organisations provide many essential social services to individuals and whānau in communities around New Zealand.

“We help people and their communities flourish, often in the face of some tough times, and we’re proud of the contribution our member organisations are making to the wellbeing of this country,” he says.

“At the same time, there’s no doubt that we’re operating in an increasingly complex environment with some challenges around funding and other resourcing, and we’re working with people who often have high or complex needs, and in communities that can really do with a hand.

“We’re continually adapting to the requirements of the environment we’re in as we’re committed to providing valuable social services to our communities, while continuing to advocate for more resources with the people able to make these decisions.”

The main survey findings include:

Service delivery

  • 69 percent of organisations report more people are using their services than two years ago (65 percent in 2016), but only 31.5 percent (34 percent in 2016) have more staff than two years ago.
  • 5 percent are doing more work than specified in contracts (68 percent in 2016).
  • The needs of clients and the community are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, service provision is becoming more challenging and time-intensive.

Financial pressures

  • 34 percent of organisations were unable to offer staff a wage increase in the last two years (42 percent in 2016).
  • One organisation is facing closure and 10 are worried about their financial viability. Nearly half the organisations are struggling to make ends meet – an increase from 33 percent in 2016.
  • Half the organisations are using their reserves to help fund service delivery, and half of those will only be able to sustain this for one more year or less.
  • The sector is highly reliant on grants, donations and central government funding. Nearly 45 percent of respondents are seeking to support themselves by generating their own income.

Organisational pressures

  • The sector continues to undergo restructuring, with 44 percent of organisations saying they have restructured in the past two years. Restructuring is often carried out to change or improve the way an organisation works, or to improve its financial position.
  • Half the organisations say the specifications in their government contracts have changed significantly over the past two years. This can result in additional compliance requirements and costs, without additional funding.
  • Forty percent of organisations say the contract changes have not benefitted them.

A full list of ComVoices members is available at https://comvoices.org.nz/about-us/#who.

ENDS

For more information, please contact ComVoices Chair Chris Glaudel at 027 462 0605 or at projects@communityhousing.org.nz.

State of the Sector Survey Snapshot

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View State of the Sector Survey snapshot

View Media Release

This is the third in a continuing series of Snapshot Surveys conducted by ComVoices.

The survey is called a ‘snapshot’ because it is designed to given an understanding of the NGO sector at a given time.  The survey gives community organisations the opportunity to discuss the issues and experiences they are facing, and to highlight trends.

First run in 2014, and then again in 2016, the survey has become a key source of information about the wellbeing of community organisations working across a broad range of community issues and interests.

The 2018 survey shows that the country’s community and voluntary organisations are delivering services where they matter – to New Zealanders in need – even as they continue to grapple with a number of significant challenges.

Snap, Crackle and Pop – Parliamentary Breakfast September 2019

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Breakfast for MPs and the Community Sector

Hosted by Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister for Ethnic Communities

Focus: Supporting minority communities to gain equitable access to meet community need

Programme

  • Panel of NGO leaders sharing key perspectives, challenges and ways forward (Vanisa Dhiru from National Council of Women, Tayo Agunlejika from Multicultural New Zealand with Inspector Rakesh Naidoo, Police National Headquarters)
  • Facilitated discussion on diversity and the community sector

For a summary of the morning’s key conversations from Vanisa Dhiru our MC, click here

Snap, Crackle and Pop – Parliamentary Breakfast March 2019

By | Parliamentary Breakfasts | No Comments

Breakfast for MPs and the Community Sector

Hosted by Hon Nicky Wagner MP

Focus: youth wellbeing

Programme

  • Panel of young people and youth development practitioners sharing key perspectives, challenges and ways forward for the wellbeing of young people in Aotearoa
  • Commentary from Hon Peeni Henare, Minister for Youth
  • Facilitated discussion on youth wellbeing and the community sector

Click here to read commentary of the breakfast from Rod Baxter, Prince’s Trust New Zealand

ComVoices Meetings – 2019

By | ComVoices Meetings | No Comments

All monthly meetings are held 10.30am to 12 midday on the first Tuesday in the month, Level 7, Ranchhod Tower, 110 Lambton Quay/39 The Terrace, Wellington.

  • Tuesday 5 February
  • Tuesday 5 March
  • Tuesday 3 April
  • Tuesday 7 May
  • Tuesday 4 June
  • Tuesday 2 July
  • Tuesday 6 August
  • Tuesday 3 September
  • Tuesday 1 October
  • Tuesday 5 November
  • Tuesday 3 December

Have your say: ComVoices State of the Sector Survey 2018

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ComVoices biennial survey on the state of the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand is now open. First run in 2014 and then again in 2016, the survey has become a key source of information about the wellbeing of community organisations working across a broad range of community issues and interests.

Previous reports show the sector is under increasing strain with reducing or static funding, increasing complexity of client and community issues, and challenges managing the impact of increasing compliance and contracting expectations.

“We are keen to see what has changed in the past two years. How are community organisations faring and what might that mean for the people of New Zealand?” says ComVoices chair Nicola Sutton.

The reports from the first two surveys were widely used by sector organisations and ComVoices to talk to members of parliament and government agencies. Sutton says that ComVoices is dependent on the sector providing the data and so encourages community organisations of all shapes and sizes to complete the survey. “We need data from local groups run by volunteers and local fundraising just as much as we need data from larger organisations with paid staff and government contracts,” says Sutton.

The 2018 ‘State of the Sector’ report, due to be published early 2019, will include comparative data from earlier surveys and a commentary on current issues and trends facing the sector.

ComVoices invites all community sector organisations to add their voice to the Survey, which can be accessed via this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ComVoices2018

The survey should take 10 – 13 minutes to complete.

The survey will close 5pm, 19 November 2018

 

Snap, Crackle and Pop – a report on the first of the ComVoices Breakfast series

By | Reports On Meetings And Events | No Comments

The background

Recently, ComVoices hosted the first of a series of breakfast events that aspire to create a new kind of relationship between Parliamentarians and the community sector, through wānanga style breakfasts that explore areas of mutual interest. We hope that through shared learning, we can build a different kind of conversation and relationship between our sector and MPs.

ComVoices is a Wellington based network of national community and voluntary sector organisations. Collectively we represent a vast and diverse range services that span Aotearoa’s breadth and support communities across the country. We’re a broad network, and as a network we work to our many strengths, collaborating in the knowledge that we each bring something important from our sphere within the wider sector to the table. We identify issues of common interest, share insights and work to make great things happen.

Late last year we canvased the idea with around 20 Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum. With resounding support from the crew we spoke to at a conceptual level, we planned a first breakfast with a special guest, some evidence about our current state, and some co-design of topics for further events. Poto Williams, a fabulous Assistant Speaker of the House, agreed to host. ComVoices members invited along people who are delivering services on the ground. And early one morning in very late March, with the first real southerly of the year blowing cold round the Beehive, we gathered for kai and kōrero and talked about what awesomeness would look like in the relationship between the sector and Parliament.

What we talked about

People talked about busting silos, more information flowing between the buildings of government and the community sector, relationships rather than transactions. Everyone present wanted a better understanding between decisionmakers and the people delivering on the ground, based on open, honest, trusted and interactive relationships.

There was also a common desire to establish personal and professional connections, and through these connections generate what is needed to permanently change the conditions for New Zealanders for the better- rather than fixes shaped by the electoral cycle. Breakfasters wanted to be equal partners in a cohesive system, for the system to create shared solutions and participatory and accessible modes of communication.

The road map for future breakfasts

Having outlined what awesome would look like, there was even more snap crackle and pop as we designed a road map through topics for exploration at future breakfasts. A collection of these, in no particular order, follow:

  • Taking a community sector topic – like mental health or homelessness – and analysing it from a wellbeing perspective, using the living standards framework that Treasury have published in draft form
  • Creating conversations around ‘tricky’ issues and work it through to the point of action
  • The contracting/commissioning landscape for services across the country
  • What’s the shape of leadership in the sector?
  • Hearing the voices of the sector- being heard
  • A session focused on young people…

This last suggestion is the first one we’ll be picking up – ComVoices are cooking up a special breakfast where young people working in our sector will give their views of the future of our democracy, our economy and our communities.

Watch this space!