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NZCCSS_Conferences_April2012

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I produced this one-off publication after attending the three days of this combined conference event as an 'official scribe and photographer'.

I produced this one-off publication after attending the three days of this combined conference event as an 'official scribe and photographer'.

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  • 1. Social Services for Government funding more flexibility in the “how” of what they do. At the same time she pulled no punchesNew Zealand’s Future in saying that her Ministry will only be paying for social services that deliver results that can be measured in milestones. Good intentions alone won’t count, and hard calls will be made onCommunity based social service be expected within an already stretched which deliverers to continue to fund.agencies are on the cusp of a time of social services sector needs to be carefullygreat change and challenge, a theme staged - in everyone’s interests. For her own part Minister Bennett will bethat was explored from many different judging her time as Minister on the basis Just as a guiding principle of workingangles at the Future Wellbeing social of the agenda to be set via the soon to with clients is to provide some assuranceservices conference run in Auckland on be published White Paper on facing up, and safeguard against “further harm”, it18-19 April 2012. first and foremost, to the vulnerability of would be important to ensure essential children and young people in our society.This theme was continued at the services are not compromised wheninaugural Auckland Social Futures significant changes to the sector occur. In a wide ranging, free and frank mannerconference on Friday 20 April, also held Rod said that change processes would the Minister talked about the “mammothat the University of Auckland. need to be deliberately managed, in the beast” of a portfolio she oversees. She hope that what emerges does not result asked people to consider what it is theyAs Dr Rod Watts, chief executive of stand proud of, and whether society in inefficient short-term contracts thatPresbyterian Support Northern (and in New Zealand can somehow reach competitively pit one service against the current chair beyond consisting simply of the ‘haves’ another for relatively small amounts of of conference and ‘have nots’ through seeking to adjust money (a prevalent risk). The implications convenors the NZ the picture so that no child is “born into of short-term thinking carry into things Council of Christian welfare”. like short-term recruitment, said Rod, Social Services), making it more difficult to “employ the reminded the 200+ How exactly the changes ahead are best to do their best”. people present, going to change or reshape the world of these coupled If the driver for deciding priorities is social services remained a looming issue events were not just to produce evidence of the timely and for those in the room, most of whom, inabout the contribution made by social targeted benefit that funded services reality, physically operate separately – andservices agencies in the common cause deliver, then government services should as the conference touched on – evenof wellbeing for New Zealanders, but not be exempt from transparent scrutiny competitively to each other.also about the wellbeing of the agencies either, be that central or local government For those aware that their workplacesthemselves. (see back page). might not be as ready for the soup ofBy gathering together a cross-section of Social Development Minister Paula challenges they are about to face as theyagency and sector representatives at a Bennett, speaking on could be, another backdrop providedvillage-like level, some valuable space the afternoon of at this conference was the possibilitywas intentionally created for taking the 19 April, reaffirmed that the tide of economy-centric policytime for that type of reflection. A space the point of in developed countries might slowly beparticularly where becoming ‘better’ is difference the turning - with income inequality finallynot about being individually ‘better off ’, Government she dawning as too big an elephant in thebut more about being reaffirmed around belongs to is seeking room for any agglomeration of personallythe way the sector rolls – its collective to inject into a sheltered economists, politicians, policyvalues, its collective knowledge and the sector she described makers or economic and business thinkcollective skills embedded in each other’s is fundamentally tanks to ignore.community based activities. working well. In talking to an audience of The engine rooms are needing to be people from agencies who already aspireA point raised by Rod was that change recalibrated and that can’t be done to apply the best governance they can inand transformation is actually at the without a higher regard for human capital the best organisational forms they can incore of what agencies strive to bring to in the fullest senses . order to have people working together topeople in the community who seek and Speaker Tim Hazeldine, Professor of best effect, the Minister was adamant thatreceive their services, but that the extent Economics at the University of Auckland, policy changes she would be institutingof turbulent structural change that can suggested there are any number of would give agencies that receive Community.Scoop is a new collaboration between Scoop, New Zealand’s Independent News site, and ComVoices. This 4-page report was designed and authored by Stephen Olsen, a Community.Scoop rapporteur. Stephen was sponsored to attend and cover the conference by NZCCSS. His views are not those of NZCCSS. Sign up now at www.nzccss.org.nz 1 FINAL DRAFT
  • 2. options, some as radically difficult as Through sharing about his own life probably consist of fewer and largerstepping back from and resisting “forced experience and organisations.globalization”, if a growing call to seriously leading roles he A former chief executive of Barnardosrethink the responses to the ongoing has played in in New Zealand, Murray now sits atrepercussions of the global financial crisis organisations the nexus of decisions on funding andis ever going to be heeded. such as changes in policy direction as the new Australia’sTim’s starting point was that orthodox head of Family and Community Services Brothers of Saintthinking about paths to redistribution at the Ministry of Social Development. Laurence, Nicof wealth or laughable ideas of trickle- Given that position and his message contextualiseddown effects are as depleted as our fossil that the sector is “about to go on an a direct andfuels, that trading our way into wealth is interesting journey”, the general advice he pointed set ofjust a persistent illusion and that elected offered was closely listened to. problem-solvinggovernments need to consider what lessons. After beginning with three questions –economic and social sufficiency for their what are you passionate about doing?own citizens would look like – with the From being what drives your resource engine? whathopeful note being that with some pain awarded an are you best in the world at? – Murraymight come greater happiness. MBE for services to charity after an encouraged everyone in the room to earlier career in stockbroking in the UK In a similar “think about doing even better”, because through to his work in Australia and review of “doing what we’ve always done won’t be global projects of social enterprise, a key policy trends acceptable”. realisation Nic had made in his own career Australian social shifts was about acquiring a healthy “I suspect we’ll be the difference (in the policy academic disregard for money; that in the scheme changes ahead), but are we good enough, Professor Paul of things an ambitious shoot-for-the-99% collectively. Are we prepared?” Smyth outlined idea, if scaled and planned and pursued a growing In the workshop’s question and answer passionately into a compelling business number of session Murray agreed that while there proposition, will be followed with money. situations is a perception that the government and under which If it’s not being spent to do the wrong social service organisations are joined atopportunities to “rule social policy in” and things in the wrong place, don’t be the hip, what matters most is what occursto gain traction for different forms of a frightened by money, he urged. in local communities and at the level ofrenewed social contract for societies in everyday life experienced by families. Using his own story as a case in point,the 21st century, have grown. “There is a real risk that we confuse the Nic contrasted the risk taking potential community with the community sector –In particular he advocated getting offered by fast moving models of social they’re not the same thing”.the maximum leverage from words enterprise with the weighty structurallike “investment”, terms like “social forms of many established not-for-profit Whanau Ora Minister, Tariana Turia, spokeinfrastructure” and platforms like organisations, noting that it can often be to the conference about whanau ora as a“inclusive growth” – especially given better to start out as a for profit enterprise “lens to see the world with” and a way tothe fact that developed economies before evolving into a charity. “Learn the re-bond families together.are increasingly turning to an game, be in it… give it all a go”. Minister Turia affirmed the conferenceacknowledgement that old recipes for In the case of the Brothers of Saint theme that this is indeed a time ofsuccess, most notoriously the idea of Laurence he said he had found it useful to change, and a time for doing thingstrickle down, have no currency left and bring to mind the risks that the founder, differently. In addition to Whanau Oraare only adding to inequality and poverty. Anglican Father Gerard Tucker, had the Minister is committed to moreTalking of what can be put on the table taken at the outset of “working out” that interconnectedness across portfoliosfor creating a new narrative, Professor organisation. and views intersectoral co-operation as aSmyth suggested it would be a missed critical success factor. The “hardest part” In Nic’s worldview the easiest path is theopportunity to passively accept push- of implementing the Whanau Ora way one that constantly weighs up whichbacks on funding of social services based of doing things has been implementing calculated risk or innovation to take next.on the line that the “cupboard is bare”, collaboration between providers. He favours the dynamic of constantlywhen more productively speaking this interrogating motives, and suggested The Rt. Hon. Bill English began his addressis a time to reframe the bigger picture of all social services organisations would to the conference with a recognition ofwhat the “cupboard” actually is. benefit from regularly questioning the the consistently constructive and gritty“There is a realisation (across developed policy and advocacy direction their discussion afforded the government byeconomies) that what is actually needed agency, or for that matter their whole Church leaders and the NZ Council ofabove all are strong societies and well sector, is taking. Christian Social Services over many years,educated workforces,” he said. That, particularly from the angle of “what we He expressed his strong personal beliefhe suggested, is a reason for the social can do together”. that the greater good of serving theservices sector to capitalise on the worth community is a privilege not to be As a Finance Minister who spends 95%of more investment, not less. wasted. “If anything gets in the way (of of his time focused on the economy, heCONFERENCE HIGHLIGHT that) for a second I have no time for it”. then left no one in any doubt about the chastened economic times we are livingA highlight of day one of the conference One of the conference’s workshop leaders in, times in which we are “borrowing fromwas the mix of humour and humanity Murray Edridge expressed confidence the future to cushion ourselves from thebrought by keynote social change agent that the community services sector “can sharp edge of the present”.and Cool nrg founder Nic Frances. do better”, but that in the future it will 2
  • 3. He used examples such as the known direction, Minister English said it would scale of youth offending as a reason not be wrong to jump to conclusions about to repeatedly over-analyse certain areas there being a single model. of social breakdown, in favour of taking On the aspect of what capacity is required a more empowering, more humanising to ensure a cohesive sector however, “one person at a time” approach along he suggested a parallel between social with an “uncompromising commitment infrastructure and roading infrastructure to what works” of the kind taken by his would not be inappropriate, referring to Cabinet colleague Paula Bennett. the capacity a company such as Fulton The government will be looking to Hogan needs for its part in tendering for the public service – judged to have the mending of “potholes in roads” as a become “too self-satisfied” – to increase helpful way to consider not just how that Jane Drumm of Shine, in an animated its capacity to learn through, for market operates but the key componentsdiscussion with Finance Minister Bill English. instance, a range of initial trials focused of capacity. on youth, along with an expectationAnswering questions after his talk Minister English noted that on the face of that communities will take on morethe Minister made it clear that the it some communities must be confused responsibility for making their owngovernment has, through an actuarial by the sheer number of social services decisions.evaluation, crunched the numbers, so agencies in their midst, a point also madethat it knows, for instance, that the “thick The Minister was critical of some policy by the Hon. Tariana Turia, adding “(weend” of its liability over a lifetime of those making in the past which had, he have) no process or legitimacy or well-currently in the welfare system is in the said, held “too much sway”; leading to informed way for helping to sort that out”.order of $40 billion. programmes that lacked effectiveness Minister English concluded his time at measures, within an operatingMr English reminded the audience of the the conference with the statement that environment that was admittedly not“10 challenging results” that PM John Key “every week we delay reorganising we geared for the speed needed to takehas put forward to be achieved - eight lose another life”. proactive actions in real time. “Changingof which are related to welfare, health, the way things are done is inevitable, andeducation and justice issues. you are absolutely critical (to that)”. SPEECHES • Speeches, workshop presentations andIn Minister English’s view the community Jane Drumm, the executive director further reports will be made available via www.sector remains “part of the ecosystem of Shine (Safer homes in New Zealand nzccss.org.nz - including those delivered bycreated by government spending”. The everyday) alerted the Minister to the keynote speakers Manu Caddie (see manu.org.biggest proportion of attention, and the experience of changes made to create nz), Kate Frykberg, chair of Philanthropy NZmotivation behind that attention, needs and Ray Lind, chief executive of Careerforce. her organisation, an amalgamation ofto be about “what’s at stake”. • Copies of speeches by Ministers Paula Preventing Violence in the Home and Bennett and Tariana Turia are available at“Human misery (fragmented Safer Families Foundation, that had posed www.beehive.govt.nzcommunities, directionless youth, roadblocks to success. She explained CONFERENCE SPONSORSvulnerable children) costs a lot of money. there had been no financial incentives • The NZCCSS Social Services ConferenceWe will balance our books when we’ve to merge and a quantum of funding had was sponsored by the Families Commission,got our community in good shape … (We been lost even though the formation of Ministry of Social Development, Careerforceall need to) roll out of bed determined to the new organisation ennabled more and Presbyterian Support.make changes that change the headlines”. needs to be met. NZCCSS PUBLICATIONSThe Minister stated that the ethos for In response Minister English said the • Regular NZCCSS publications available atthe sector will need to shift from one example of Shine was an example of why www.nzccss.org.nz include Kete Kupu, Policy Watch and the Vulnerability Report.perceived to be based on demonstrations change is needed, so that organisationsof care and sensitivity and awareness with “serious intent” could be identifiedraising (good intentions), to a greater and incentivised.emphasis on responsibility and the role of The Minister indicated that this period ofholding and exercising that responsibility change should be seen as an opportunityto produce concrete results. for community based social servicesAt the same time he referred to the agencies to get to know their business, tosupporting importance of there being benchmark administration costs and tomoral frameworks that can be seen focus on areas where real change can beto be operating in neighbourhoods made to the life course of individual lives.through the work of faith-based Christian In the absence of major adaptation withinorganisations, even in such a secular the sector the Minister’s message wassociety as New Zealand’s. “Those are blunt; contracts will stop, organizationsthings that can’t be rebuilt with money”. will adapt or disappear. “Read the signs…In a small country such as New Zealand if it doesn’t work, we’ll stop (funding) it”.there isn’t just a name behind every The message of doing more with less andnumber, there is a much stronger sense of gaining savings at the margins, wasof knowing who we are: our community, equally prominent.our iwi, our relatives. For that reason the On a question about what the scaleMinister expressed confidence that our and nature of the social services sector“human misery” isn’t 100% intractable. might look like after a decade of such a 3
  • 4. Co-creating Auckland Social FuturesThe call put out by the Auckland Services Group of the NZ The workshops, with facilitators in brackets, covered:Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) to attend • Social services and vulnerable people (Peter Sykes, Mangerea one-day Auckland Social Futures Conference was East Family Service Centre, and Mike O’Brien of the Childextremely well responded to on 20 April. Poverty Action Group)As promoted beforehand this was an event tailormade for • Community development (Puamiria Maaka of Te Waipunafocusing on how the social services sector, along with Auckland Puawai)Council and Government, can work off the platform now • Social housing (Lisa Woolley of Vision West, and Davidprovided by the Auckland Plan (adopted in March 2012) to Zussman of Monte Cecilia Housing Trust).co-create “a social future where all Aucklanders are valued andincluded”. Council staff contributors to the workshops included Catherine Fitzsimons, Tina Abbey and Anne-Marie Mujica.Penny Hulse, Deputy Mayor of Auckland, delivered the day’sopening address and began with an acknowledgement that Catherine was instrumental in ensuring input from children andthe inaugural Auckland Plan was by no means perfect, but that young people to the Auckland Plan - noting that their messagesit points to ways to “shore up the future (in preparation) for sometimes differed from “the experts”. Tina urged people tofuture ‘shocks’”. She also acknowledged that Auckland Council, think of the Southern Initiative proposition as a rallying point.a sponsor of the event, would need to continue to talk more “We need your input to operationalise it”.and more and more with community representatives, while also David Zussman said the biggest relief in the Auckland Planworking hard internally to overcome its own silo-like structures. was seeing the word “crisis” used in relation to housing needs,Her advice to everyone present, Auckland Council staff included, supply and demand. “With Housing New Zealand backing offwas not to be “boggled by the size of Auckland”, adding that in social housing at a rate of knots, I am concerned that we needher view housing affordability should be kept at the heart of much clearer targets”. Participants in the workshop heard thatfuture planning. the Council is considering how best to settle on a target for increasing its own housing stock (currently sitting at 1500 units). Next up was Ree Anderson, At the end of the day a panel was drawn together to summarise Council Regional main points from the group discussions of each workshop. Strategy Manager, A consensus that emerged from the housing workshop was that who particularly the implementation of actions on housing, and retaining a focus highlighted two on community housing, would be a critical success factor for the aspects of the Auckland Plan as a whole. Auckland Plan: the NZCCSS chair Rod Watts returned to the theme of the Southern Initiative immediately preceding Future Wellbeing Conference held on proposed in the 18-19 April, that the community sector’s operating environment plan, and work nationally and locally is entering a period of major realignment that will be done and transformational change required by shifts in policy on formulating a direction. He drew attention to the importance of having a Strategic Housing healthy community sector - “the more robust we are the better Action Plan. we can weather the pressures”. He then described a set of This provided a dilemmas, often ethical in nature. What if, for instance, the sector good basis for experiences pressures to move towards commercialised supply the interactive, chains? “What are the implications? ... Should we change what community-led we do? ... Do we expand or shrink ... ?” workshops held In his closing whaikorero Trevor McGlinchey, NZCCSS executive Lisa Woolley of VisionWest leads a discussion throughout the officer, described this Auckland-focused event as the “beginning at the housing workshop held during the remainder of the of a process” whereby networks are strengthened for the future. Auckland Social Futures Conference on 20 April day. 4