SEWN’s Submission to Christchurch City Council’s Draft LTP

SEWN is disappointed to see that Council in this LTP continues to treat economic development more favourably than social / community development – an approach that has been consistent over several plans now.

Over the term of the draft plan, the budget for economic development shows a 3.7% increase.  In contrast, the budget for Strengthening Communities grants declines – if we take it from this financial year’s budget, it is a decline of almost 12%.

Understanding the Council’s commitment to funding the non-profit sector is complicated by the removal of around $1 million from this year’s Strengthening Communities grants budget to be placed in a separate Community Resilience Partnership Fund.  There is no indication where in the LTP budget this three-year fund is included, or whether the funds removed from the Strengthening Communities fund will be re-allocated to the sector in some other budget line when the fund ends.

The Council’s various discretionary grants are an extremely important source of funding for the many non-profit / community based groups and organisations that are so fundamental to developing and maintaining community wellbeing and resilience in Christchurch.  SEWN urges that social / community development be treated equally to economic development, as both are equally essential to the wellbeing of Christchurch communities.

The council has often stated how much it values the contribution of the sector to Christchurch wellbeing.  It is important that decisions are taken that reflect that sentiment.  SEWN strongly recommends that this could be demonstrated by abandoning the cuts to the Strengthening Communities grants budget over the life of the Plan and instead increasing them by the same percentage as the 10 year budget for economic development.

Sharon Torstonson, Kaituiora, Social Equity & Wellbeing Network (SEWN)

State of the Nation report 2018

The  State of the Nation  report this year is the eleventh  report The Salvation Army’s Social Policy ParliamentaryUnit has completed.
New Zealand as a nation has changed  in many ways over this time and each of these reports have served as markers along the way. In this report, we have analysed the 2017 year, measuring the key social indicators, as previously, but we have also endeavoured to look back over 10 years to provide an indicator of social progress over a more extended period of time. This report has the key theme ‘Kei a Tatou’, or in English— ‘It is us’.
For many of us, the statistical information provided can seem somewhat technical, theoretical and separated from our lived realities. However, behind these statistics are people—women, men, children, families and communities— sometimes thriving and in rude health, while on other occasions they are isolated, living with extreme levels of stress, in poverty and highly marginalised.
The story that emerges out of these reports is not something abstract and external to us—it is us, Kei a Tatou.”
-Lt. Colonel Ian Hutson
Director—Social Policy & Parliamentary Uni

See Full report:


Ministers of the Labour-Greens-NZ First Coalition Government 2017


  • Jacinda Ardern: Prime Minister, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage; National Security and Intelligence; Child Poverty Reduction
  • Winston Peters (NZ First): Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs; State Owned Enterprises; Racing
  • Kelvin Davis: Minister for Crown/Māori Relations; Corrections; Tourism; Associate Minister of Education (Māori ed)
  • Grant Robertson: Minister of Finance (incl regulatory reform); Sport and Recreation; Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Phil Twyford: Minister of Housing and Urban Development; Transport
  • Megan Woods: Minister of Energy and Resources; Greater Christchurch Regeneration; Research, Science and Innovation; Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission
  • Chris Hipkins: Minister of Education; State Services; Leader of the House; Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services
  • Andrew Little: Minister of Justice; Courts; Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations; Minister Responsible for the GCSB; NZSIS; Pike River Re-entry
  • Carmel Sepuloni: Minister for Social Development; Disability Issues. Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage; Pacific Peoples
  • David Clark: Minister of Health; Associate Minister of Finance
  • David Parker: Attorney-General; Minister for Economic Development; Environment; Trade and Export Growth; Associate Minister of Finance
  • Nanaia Mahuta: Minister for Māori Development; Local Government; Associate Minister for the Environment
  • Stuart Nash: Minister of Police; Fisheries; Revenue; Small Business
  • Iain Lees-Galloway: Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety; Immigration; ACC; Deputy Leader of the House
  • Jenny Salesa: Minister for Building and Construction; Ethnic Communities; Associate Minister of Education; Health; Housing and Urban Development
  • Damien O’Connor: Minister of Agriculture; Biosecurity; Food Safety; Rural Communities; Associate Minister of Trade and Export Growth
  • Clare Curran: Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media; Government Digital Services; Associate Minister for ACC; State Services (Open Government)
  • Ron Mark (NZ First): Minister of Defence; Veterans
  • Tracey Martin (NZ First): Minister for Children; Internal Affairs; Seniors; Associate Minister of Education
  • Shane Jones (NZ First): Minister of Forestry; Infrastructure; Regional Economic Development; Associate Minister of Finance; Transport


  • Kris Faafoi: Minister of Civil Defence; Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Associate Minister of Immigration
  • Peeni Henare: Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector; Whānau Ora; Youth; Associate Minister for Social Development
  • Willie Jackson: Minister of Employment; Associate Minister for Māori Development
  • Aupito William Sio: Minister for Pacific Peoples; Associate Minister for Courts; Justice
  • Meka Whaitiri: Minister of Customs; Associate Minister of Agriculture; Associate Minister for Crown/Māori Relations; Associate Minister of Local Government


  • James Shaw (Greens): Minister for Climate Change; Statistics; Associate Minister of Finance
  • Julie Anne Genter (Greens): Minister for Women; Associate Minister of Health; Transport
  • Eugenie Sage (Greens): Minister of Conservation; Land Information; Associate Minister for the Environment


  • Michael Wood: Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities
  • Fletcher Tabuteau (NZ First): Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Regional Economic Development
  • Jan Logie (Greens): Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues)

Mapping support services for children, young people and their families in Christchurch

Recently, Right Service Right Time (RSRT) partnered with the University of Canterbury Internship Programme to undertake a project that mapped support services within Christchurch neighbourhoods.  This report resulted from the project for your reference and use.

Report:  Mapping Support Services for Children, Young People and their Families/Whanau across Christchurch Neighbourhoods.

RSRT Mapping Report v 10_August 2017


Third Sector Recovery Report – forum summary

Summary of Taking Stock – a forum to learn about central and local government’s and funders’ initiatives that support sector recovery

23 May 2017

This forum, convened by Social Equity and Wellbeing Network, was held as part of a stocktaking exercise in relation to the CERA-initiated report Third Sector / Not-for-Profit Sector Recovery in Post-Earthquake Christchurch.  The report contains over 30 Action Points to aid in the recovery and wellbeing of the third / not-for-profit sector.  Some of the Action Points identify a main stakeholder group that they apply to.  Funders and central and/or local government were included in the stakeholder groups.

Lots has been happening for sector wellbeing since the earthquakes, resulting in progress on some of the Action Points.  SEWN invited a sample of funders, and of central and local government units that were closely involved with the sector, to talk about what their organisations were doing that supported or aligned with any of the Action Points.

Following the speakers, participants joined in a discussion about what the speakers had shared, and various issues and initiatives relating to the sector.

Additionally, sheets with the Action Points from the report were spread around the room.  People were invited to add relevant initiatives that they knew of to any of the sheets.

Read the full summary:

 Sector recovery hui summary Jun17


Update: ICLD collection 24 May 2017

The Government will be advising social service providers that their new contracts will not require the collection of individual client level data until a new data protection and use policy is in place, say Social Investment Minister Amy Adams and Minister for Children Anne Tolley.  “Our Social Investment approach is about intervening earlier to help change lives for the better. We want to be working alongside providers on ways data sources can help ensure our most vulnerable New Zealanders are getting access to the services that they need,” Ms Adams says.

“To help us deliver the best results for New Zealanders, better analysing the effectiveness of services is critical, this means working with providers on how we gather data about individual clients and the appropriate purposes for which that data can be used.  The Social Investment Agency will lead a Working Group with Statistics New Zealand and NGOs to agree on an approach to increasing the availability of data in a way that is scalable, and builds and maintains trust and confidence.”

“It makes sense for the Social Investment Agency to lead this work as the data we need to collect and analyse will be used by the wider social sector,” Mrs Tolley says.  “Extensive engagement in this process is important. The Working Group will also include representatives from Iwi and Pasifika. Separate to the Working Group, there will also be opportunities for interviews, workshops and an online forum for key partners.

“An advisory group will provide oversight and lead the work to identify, evaluate and recommend a robust approach. It will bring together a number of agencies, as well as the Government Chief Information Officer, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, and independent data consultants. The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will be writing to providers to advise them their 1 July 2017 contracts will not require the collection of data until the approach has been agreed and suitable IT systems are available. We then intend to write to providers to agree a contract variation by the end of the current financial year.”

The Working Group will provide advice on the collection and use of data from a client and provider perspective, including privacy issues, as well as how providers can access data and use the results to improve their services. It will also look at what support and training the sector will need, and it will oversee ongoing engagement.  The advisory group will ensure that appropriate security and privacy assessments are completed. It will also identify and approve risk mitigation, and develop and oversee engagement with key partners.

Press Release: Charities Report March 2017

Confusion but food for thought in Charities Report

“Confusion over figures and sectors should not obscure some useful insights contained in the recently-released JBWere report The New Zealand Cause Report: Shape of the Charity Sector”, says Social Equity and Wellbeing Network (SEWN) Kaituiora, Sharon Torstonson.

Generally, commentary in the report is careful to differentiate between the entire not-for-profit sector and its smaller subset of charities, but in some places it conflates the two, in other places it’s not clear which is being discussed, and a comparative table contains a mixture of data that creates a misleading picture.

“While the table says that the data is for the whole not-for-profit sector, it’s obvious that some of the figures relate only to the much smaller charity sub-sector”, says Sharon Torstonson.

“The table says that there are 27,380 not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand.  In fact there are over 114,000.  The smaller figure quoted is the number of registered charities in New Zealand.  Figures for the workforce, the shape of the sector, and the income and expenditure all appear to be about the whole sector, while the $40 billion assets quoted are just for the charity sub-sector.  It’s like having a mixture of apples and pears, but calling them all apples.  Because of the differences between the two groups, the figures for one can’t be extrapolated to the other.”

After reviewing trends relating to income, expenditure and assets in both the wider sector and in the charity sector, the report makes a number of predictions for the sector.  One that has made the headlines is the potential for mergers and acquisitions.

“Certainly this theme of ‘there’s too many groups’ is one we hear often in the not-for-profit sector” says Sharon Torstonson.  “While there may be opportunities, it’s difficult to look from the outside in and say where this should happen.  For instance, I could point to Russley, Shirley, McLeans Island and Tai Tapu golf clubs, all registered charities, and suggest that they should merge, but as I know very little about golf there may be very good reasons that I don’t understand as to why not.  It’s the same with social service organisations and other fields in the charities sector.”

Other valuable discussion in the report includes the potential of organisations to self-generate more income, the need for funders to be prepared to fund risk in order to foster innovation, and better availability and use of data.

“In spite of the reservations we have around whether figures and discussion apply to the wider not-for-profit sector or just the charities sector, SEWN really values the insights and analysis that this report contributes”, says Sharon Torstonson.  “We particularly appreciate the way that the report stresses the enormous value of the sector to our society’s wellbeing and applaud JBWere for this recognition.”

The New Zealand Cause Report: Shape of the Charity Sector:

MSD’s Community Investment Strategy

MSD’s new Community Investment Strategy policy requires individual client information (identifying data) from contracted non-profit service providers. This policy is generating quite a bit of discussion around the sector and Trevor McGlinchey from Christian Council of Social Services (NZCCSS) asks whether Commu-nity groups are to be Defacto Arms of Government!
It came to Trevor’s attention recently when the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the new style budgeting programme, Building Financial Capability, was released. Buried in the RFP supplementary information is the requirement to provide Individual Client Level Data, or ICLD. This individual data includes the re-quirement to provide “Client Name, address, gender, date of birth, primary ethnicity, Iwi. Dependents Name, date of birth, relationship to client”. The following analysis is from his recent blog.
The latest update to the Community Investment Strategy (link below) spells out the new requirement: “Starting from July 2016, we will begin collecting individual client level data (client level data) from providers. We will do this progressively over the year, so that we are collecting client level data from all providers by July 2017.” This means that all Community Investment funded service providers will be required to collect and provide to government Individual Client Level Data.

see full article HERE

Our position:

At its November 2016 meeting the SEWN  Board resolved that it “strongly stands against the move by the Ministry of Social Development to oblige contracting NGO’s to provide the personal information of clients and their dependants.”  We would be happy to lend our support to any initiatives that the sector is taking in relation to this.