Policy Watch 2nd August 2016

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Overall, it looks like non profits, while crucial to New Zealand economy and society, are more precarious than they have been, for at least a decade and possibly longer.”

Garth Nowland-Foreman, LEAD.

Welcome to the latest Policy Watch e-newsletter and for this edition we reflect on the contribution of non profit organisations in New Zealand.

It might have taken nine long years but the “Non-profit institutions satellite account: 2013″ [NPISA], produced by Statistics New Zealand, contains a wealth of data about how the non profit sector has fared since the 2004 satellite account was first published in 2007.

The story is mixed. The data indicate areas of positive contribution but also signs of increased precariousness across the non profit sector. A point explored by Garth Nowland Foreman, LEAD and NZCCSS Council member, at a recent Community Research webinar : The size and significance of the New Zealand not-for-profit sector.

Given the increased role played by community organisations in activities traditionally contracted to government, NPISA is a critical source of information to understand the impact of this trends on the non profit sector.  Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait another nine years for the next update.

Take Action

There are many ways we can take action to express our social justice conscience from: attending a seminar or conference to raise our awareness of a social issue, expressing our views in submissions, to donating to a charity or fundraising campaign. Here’s a round up of take action possibilities covered in this edition of Policy Watch.

Housing

Housing Action and Inaction – NZCCSS round up of the latest updates on the housing (it’s a challenge not a crisis) front.

Child Advocacy

Child Rich Communities: Bright Spots – A report commissioned by Inspiring Communities, Plunket, UNICEF and Every Child Counts turns on its head the usual deficit analysis of child vulnerability and community deficit.

In light of the tentative name given to the new ministry to replace Child, Youth and Family (Ministry of Vulnerable Children), the report is timely and may offer much needed advice to those charged with deciding the title on how to rethink deficit language at a systems level.

Justice Speak

Dr Kim Workman (Ngati Kahungunu ki Waiarapa, Rangitane, head of the prison service 1989-93, and awarded a QSO in 2007) has written an open letter to the Minister of Justice. Stirred by the prospects of 10,000 prisoners by the end of this year, a remand population that has increased by 40% (between Feb 2014-2016), Dr Workman draws on international evidence to support an investment approach that will see a reduction to the prison population.

Update from the Secretariat

NZCCSS has been busy over the last month consulting with its Policy Groups on several submissions. Links to these submissions will be available on the NZCCSS website early next week.

Welfare law must be child-centred. Paul Barber recently represented NZCCSS at a Social Services Select Committee hearing on the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill, arguing for changes to income support to reflect a ‘child-centred’ approach that lines up with current legislative changes to the soon to be former Child, Youth and Family.

The CYF Amendment Bill. Submissions on the Child, Young Person, and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill have now closed. NZCCSS supported the Amendment Bill in principles. A range points and clarifications were raised in the submissions. These included: the need for a shared understanding of what is meant by ‘child-centred’ clarity across key stakeholders, and for community-based organisations to be supported while transitioning into the new ways of working.

Terms of Reference.Social Workers Registration Act. The registration of social workers (under the Social Workers registration Act 2004) is generally supported across NZCCSS networks. Cost and time were raised as the main challenge to registration particularly given there has been no increase to funding to support the delivery of government funded services over the past eight years.

Spotlight on NZCCSS members

New Children’s Missioner – Meet the new Children’s Missionerat ACROSS, Palmerston North. Karlyn Sullivan-Jones has taken up this role and will serve as an advocate for the needs of children in the Palmerston North community.

Support for female products  The steady increase of requests for basic female sanitary products has spurred the Salvation Army into action with its new initiative that allows shoppers to donate $15 women’s hygiene bundle to young women who go without sanitary products. NZCCSS heard there has already been an amazing response, with a marked increase in donations and pledges to this programme.

New Data

Family Violence Summaries 2016 data – The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse (NZFVC) has published the latest Family Violence Data Summaries 2016 data summaries.  It is a sombre read but essential to understand how this preventable complex societal problem can be tackled.

Legislation and submissions

Health of Older People –  The Ministry of Health is consulting on the draft update of the Health of Older People Strategy.  “New Zealanders live well and age well in age-friendly communities” is the vision guiding the draft strategy.  NZCCSS is working on analysis and comment will be shared through the NZCCSS website, and encourages members to have their say on the strategy. Submissions are due by 7th September.

Disability Strategy Released – The Office of Disabilities has released the Disability Strategy for consultation. This is the second round of consultation and reflects the voices of 600 submissions.  There are eight key outcome areas for targeted action set out in the draft strategy: education, employment, health and well-being, justice, accessibility, attitudes, choice and control, and leadership. Submissions close 21 August.

Upcoming conferences/  seminars

Dangerous Conversations Lecture Series – The title is certainly an attention grabber for Wellington Cathedral of St Paul who is hosting a new lunchtime lecture series on important contemporary issues. The series focuses on four of the critical challenges facing New Zealand – the housing crisis, low wages, gender inequality, and the limitations of traditional models of charity in meeting social needs.

Conferences: Gerontology, Home Support, Alzheimers. Wellington is the city of choice for three major sector conferences in 2016!

Making Active Ageing a Reality is the theme for the NZ Association of Gerontology conference 2016 on 15 – 17 September at the James Cook Hotel in Wellington.

Looking Out, Looking In is the title for the Home and Community Health Association 2016 conference being held at Te Papa in Wellington on 28 – 29 September.

Dementia Today: Diverse Communities Collective Action is the title chosen for the Alzheimers Asia Pacific Regional Conference and Alzheimers NZ biennial conference which takes place 3 – 5 November 2016

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