Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pan-NGO delegate applications open today.

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou...

and happy 12:12 12/12/12, everyone.  We've just sent an email to the organisations on our registry to let them know that this is likely to be the last message you will receive from us this year, and it is to announce that pan-NGO delegate applications have opened.

As you have heard from us before, following CERA’s invitation to identify a delegate from the NGO sector to join their Community Wellbeing Planning Team, OVTRK has worked with COSS and SSPA to develop the information about the role and the process our sector will use to appoint and support a delegate.  Relevant documents and information about our timeline are now available.  You are welcome to share this with potential applicants.

Click the link on the far right of the menu bar, or just click here to access the page.

Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone.  We look forward to receiving your applications and working together again in 2013.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Applications for Pan-NGO representative open tomorrow

Great to see some of you at the meeting today.  We had some helpful discussions about the role of the upcoming pan-NGO representative and the processes and priorities associated with that role.

We'll put up the latest information about the role and how you can apply for it when applications open tomorrow.  In the meantime, our group agreed that this letter to The Press on Saturday was worth reading.

THE PRESS, Christchurch

Saturday, December 8, 2012 page A21 

I had to understand

I know the time is coming when my five children, all under 10, will ask me, "Dad, why did you let these things happen in Canterbury?" and I will say, "I had to understand that our water had to be shared with Fonterra so they could make money for our country and that ECan needed controlling by the Government to make this happen.

"I had to understand schools needed closing to make education more effective and that children did not need a school in their local community.

"I had to understand that forcing land sales in our central business district and later selling it to a few wealthy people was the just thing to do,

"I had to understand that the Government leaving many homeowners to the mercy of insurance companies and EQC, with no one to advocate for them, was the only way to treat these people.

"I had to understand the old dungers, the heritage buildings plus our cathedral, had to be demolished to make way for tilt-slab boxes because Cera could not wait for their restoration and because the Government had their city plan for us."

My children will reply, "But Dad, why did you let John Key, Gerry Brownlee and Roger Sutton bully you?"

I will say, "Some of us protested, but most didn't. Many were just too tired from so many earthquakes and having to understand what was best for us."

"Dad, we understand, and now that we are bigger we will stand up for you."

And I will put my head in my hands and try not to cry.


Monday, 10 December 2012

Sector forum tomorrow-- see you there!

In the meantime, take a look at this quote...

"The more economy, money, and information become global, the more community will matter. And only the social sector nonprofit organization performs in the community, exploits its opportunities, mobilizes its local resources, solves its problems. The leadership, competence, and management of the social sector nonprofit organization will thus largely determine the values, the vision, the cohesion, and the performance of the 21st century society." 
   -Peter F. Drucker

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

NGO delegate developments and more to discuss at Tuesday's forum!

Important information about the next forum and an NGO delegate...

Hope everyone is enjoying this warm weather.  We have several updates to share.

Details for the open forum next Tuesday (important updates!)
The next Sector Forum for NGOs on our registry is next Tuesday, 11-December from 9am -11am at CWEA (59 Gloucester Street).  In our last email, we explained that we want to discuss OVTRK’s response to CERA’s invitation to identify a delegate from the NGO sector to join the Community Wellbeing Planning Team that is convened by CERA.   We would like to:
  • Discuss the outline for this role and a system for identifying a delegate (click the link for a job description and call for applications)
  • Share views on what this would include
  • Discuss a system for supporting the delegate (click link for support TOR)The next Community Wellbeing Planning Team meeting is on 12-Feburary, so we would like to act in time to have a delegate in place for that meeting.  A more detailed timeline is available (click the link) and will be discussed at the forum on Tuesday.
This is an important opportunity for our sector, and we are looking forward to the input from OVTRK registered NGOs.  There will be time for a short panui at the end if anyone has something they’d like to share.

What else OVTRK has been up to
  • We have been following up with the six statutory bodies as requested during the last forum.  Minister Brownlee did not accept our invitation, and our correspondence with him has been referred to the Corporate and Governance section of CERA.  We will keep you up to date as this correspondence continues.
  • The OVTRK co-chairs met with Labour MPs who asked to meet with OVTRK for a briefing.
  • The Council of Social Services has clarified the difference between OVTRK and COSS in the most recent COSS newsletter (click the link for the newsletter).
  • Members of the OVTRK steering group attended the Association of Non-Government Organisations Aoteaora (ANGOA) seminar on the government’s “Better Public Services” work programme.
  • Members of the OVTRK steering group attended the Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) lecture on Improving Productivity in the NGO sector.
  • The OVTRK co-chairs attended two workshops on the Natural Environment Recovery Programme led by ECAN.

OVTRK plans for the rest of the year
  • OVTRK will send someone to the 6-December Jim Diers' Building Strong Communities Session.
  • OVTRK will have someone at the Community Leaders Meeting on 7-December.
  • Denise Kidd will be giving us some feedback about the CERA wellbeing survey.

Data mapping
Notes from the CanCERN data mapping workshop are now available on their website(click the link for the relevant page).  For more information around using this resource, you can follow up with Brian Parker at brian [at] cancern [dot] org [dot] nz .

Registry reminder
We’ve updated the criteria for being a registrant of One Voice Te Reo Kotahi in order to bring out our kaupapa a bit more.  This information will be available on our website soon.  If you can think of an organisation that isn’t on our registry yet and should be, please direct them to the registration form or this site.

That's our big update!  Hope to see you next Tuesday.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Next Sector Forum scheduled

We have scheduled our next Sector Forum for NGOs
on 11-December from 9am - 11am
at CWEA (59 Gloucester Street).

We have invited Gerry Brownlee, asking him to address the same questions as the last forum.  His office has advised that our request is with him, but they have had no feedback to date as to whether he is able or willing to attend.  They will let us know in due course.  We've agreed to wait for a decision and organise a meeting when or if he is available-- in the meantime, we've organised a sector forum.
This forum – An NGO Voice in CERA’s Community Wellbeing Planning Group - will enable us to discuss with those on the OVTRK register the invitation from CERA to identify a delegate from the NGO sector to join the Community Wellbeing Planning Team that is convened by CERA.  We would like to:
  • Discuss the outline for this role
  • Share views on what this would include
  • Discuss a system for identifying a delegate
  • Discuss a system for supporting the delegate
We hope that those on our registry will be able to make it.

As always-- if you know anyone who might like to join OVTRK or would be interested in learning more about what we've been up to, the easiest thing to do would be to direct them to this site.  Thanks!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Notes from last forum are out

Tomorrow, members of our registry will be receiving the notes from the 9-October OVTRK forum.  There's also a bit of news about a new development between CERA and the NGO sector.

As usual, more information to follow.  In the meantime, we've made a wordle based on the areas of interest and expertise that the organisations on our registry reported.  Great to see the word "community" splashed up so prominently!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Two items of interest for the sector

We've been busy since we last saw many of you at the forum on 9-October.  You'll hear from us again soon when we circulate the summary from that meeting and when we've been able to finalise our follow-up on the action points.

In the meantime, there are two upcoming events that have been brought to our attention-- one by ANGOA (Association of Non-Government Organisations of Aotearoa), and one by CanCERN.  We have decided to pass the details of these events on to the organisations on our registry as these are matters relevant to all OVTRK registrants (by virtue of being NGOs).  We hope that you will find this information useful.  Enjoy your three-day weekend; we look forward to being in touch with you soon.

ANGOA - Changes to the Government Contracting Environment
Some potentially wide-reaching and significant changes to the Government's contracting environment are currently being considered. A series of seminars (one in Christchurch) are being organised to share information on the project and gather your initial thoughts on how these changes may work for you. 

The Government's Better Public Services (BPS) work programme is undertaking a project looking at the way government contracts with the community sector. The project aims to develop a common contract template for the community sector between four government agencies - Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health and Te Puni Kӧkiri. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Treasury have responsibility for this project.  

ANGOA is facilitating seminars to share with you what this project hopes to achieve, what has happened to date and seek your input on what would be required to make it work across the community sector.

The move to a new contract between community organisations and these key government agencies, that contract with multiple community organisations, could have significant impact.  Come and learn more now and have your say.

Seats will be limited so please do register to attend.

CanCERN - Data mapping 
As promised, CanCERN  we will be running a day workshop on how to collect and map data - for real - on Saturday 27th of October from 9 -  3pm.  Venue is tentatively the Wainoni Methodist Church, but may change to a local school because of internet connection needs.  if you register, you will be contacted with confirmation details.  Participants are asked to bring a laptop or book in the use of a laptop if one is unavailable.

At this stage, data being mapped will be physical, to avoid door-knocking.  Things that could be recorded and mapped could include the number of tiled roofs, brick exteriors, wooden exteriors, leaning power poles, pot holes, broken paths, empty sections, special trees... and so on.  This will be decided by the group on the day.  Towards the end of the day, discussion will also take place around colelcting and mapping more complex data (e.g. social data).

Please register by CLICKING HERE.  Please spread this far and wide and invite anyone you know who may be interested as we think this will be valuable for sports clubs, scout and guides groups etc. as well as Residents Groups and NGOs.  

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Great forum today...

Thanks to our guests today:

Phil Shaw (Christchurch City Council), Michelle Mitchell (CERA), Rob Woods and Chrissie Williams (ECAN), Arihia Bennett (Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu), Paul Davey (Selwyn District Council), and Simon Markham (Waimakariri District Council).

Thanks also to everyone who attended or put in an apology.  We'll be in touch soon!

Monday, 8 October 2012

See you tomorrow.

We are looking forward to seeing you at our forum tomorrow (Tuesday) morning from 8:45am -11am at the Mental Health Education Resource Centre (403a Worcester).  We are pleased to have representatives confirmed from CERA (Michelle Mitchell), Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (Arihia Bennett), ECAN (Rob Woods and Chrissie Williams), the Christchurch City Council (Philip Shaw), Waimakariri District Council (Simon Markham) and the Selwyn District Council (Paul Davey).

Below is a reminder of what we discussed at our last forum, as well as updates on action items.

Report to OVTRK Registry on follow up to the 31 August Forum(notes on that Forum already circulated to those that were on the OVTRK Register)
For any further feedback re the work of the OVTRK Organising Group please email
ngovoices [at] gmail [dot] com

The Forum on 31 August noted a number of matters that the Organising Group has since followed up:

CERA's focus on problem areasLiaison after the Forum with Matt Walters (and Denise Kidd) has led to an open invitation to contact Matt (matthew [dot] walters [at] cera [dot] govt [dot] nz) for any matters concerning NGOs. A fifth area (four were listed at the Forum) identified at 31 August Forum was assets (rather than the initial suggested topic for the Forum of hubs).

We have clarified that we are concerned about more than the now 5 "problems".

Profiling our sectorWe briefed CERA about the confusion about the use of the term "community sector". We pointed out that all 3 sectors make up the wider community and that we have decided to use the term "NGO sector" as a shorthand for what is described in the OVTRK kaupapa statement. This sector stands alongside the Commercial and Government (whether local, regional or central) sectors. All can work collaboratively in the wider community.

We also noted that our sector needs a turangawaewae (standing place) for the rebuild The Forum planned for 9 October 2012 (details already circulated) is called to achieve recognition of this amongst the statutory organisations identified in the CER Act.

AssetsWe have clarified that the CERA community assets project is looking at physical infrastructure of community facilities - buildings and spaces. This includes assets owned by either community-based entities, central or local government. CERA is wanting to facilitate managers of these assets to think about the current and future needs of the community, rather than to simply replace what was there before. Mapping of these that is being done by CCC will contribute to the CERA project.

We noted that
  • it is important to be clear about what we mean by ‘community owned’.  Some buildings for community use are owned by central or local government, others are owned by NGOs
  • schools are community assets too, and recent government actions does not demonstrate a commitment to considering the current and future needs of the community
  • a number of residential homes have been allowed by government to be lost to the inner city east by being let to some of our sector agencies who have become the new colonisers in a vulnerable and fragile community
  • the CCDU has no reference to NGO assets e.g. Community House
  • the focus on physical assets only is manifested in the denial of funding for social assets and asked that this view of assets be expanded.
WebsitesWe have informed CERA that we will continue to encourage NGOs to put themselves on the OVTRK Register, put OVTRK on the website being developed by Deon Swiggs, draw attention of NGOs to that website and to both, and We will continue to be in dialogue with Deon.

Wellbeing SurveyCERA is just beginning this process in order to be able to identify emerging social trends and thus enable agencies to respond. A 6-monthly survey of a representative sample of 2500 residents of greater Christchurch, aged 18yrs+ will seek responses either by a postal questionnaire or on-line. Results will be online by March 2013. A website where people can choose to participate will be analysed separately as it will not be representative, and so the data could capture bias. It  will inform the other sample. The website and link will be available in a couple of weeks’ time.

CanCERN dataBrian Parker has followed up on the Data Workshop held on 18 September to look at how communities can collect good data to allow them to lead their own recovery.

Monday, 24 September 2012

The latest public announcement...

Public Notice from One Voice Te Reo Kotahi

This is an Open Forum with those NGOs that are on the One Voice Te Reo Kotahi (OVTRK) Register.
For information about OVTRK see

Note - the full notes of the last Forum have been circulated to those on the Register.
If your NGO is already on the Register please check the information has been circulated.
NGOs (large or small) may wish to put themselves on the register ( at no cost.


Monday, 17 September 2012

What's next: follow-up and upcoming forum

Kia ora koutou...

Follow up from August forum
The last One Voice Te Reo Kotahi (OVTRK) Forum on 31 August decided among other things to invite the organisations specified in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to clarify their roles and discuss our NGO Recovery Strategy at the next OVTRK Forum on 9 October 8.45 - 11am at the Mental Health Education Resource Centre, 403a Worcester St.

Accordingly the following invitation has been sent to the Chief Executive Officers of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, Environment Canterbury and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu:
NGO Recovery Strategy

One Voice Te Reo Kotahi (OVTRK) has set out to ensure Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) make a full contribution to the Recovery, alongside Government and commercial interests.  It has been set up to assist recognition of NGOs in the Recovery.

OVTRK is independent and not aligned with any political party. Any non-profit NGO (large or small) who agrees with the OVTRK kaupapa can put themselves on the OVTRK register The purpose of the register is to ensure that the numerous NGOs in Greater Christchurch can find out about each other and can gather to decide on next steps for OVTRK - see

We are very keen to act in a collaborative and solutions-focused way.  Accordingly, we would like to invite each of your organisations to send a representative to a forum we are organising on Tuesday 9 October 8.45am till 11am.

At this Forum we would like to clarify and identify the statutory roles of each of your organisations and how NGO's can support these roles.  We would also like to understand how your organisation could support our NGO Recovery Strategy, for example by working with OVTRK as an interface and integrator broker and consultant for NGOs.

Recognising and understanding each other's roles is a powerful first step in such an approach.

Please advise us as to whom we should give venue details and with whom we should clarify any other details.

Kia kaha,
Dora Langsbury and Katherine Peet
Co-Chairs OVTRK Organising Group

OVTRK is independent and not aligned with any political group or party.  OVTRK speaks from the Non Government sector - allowing the voices of organisations that have not been formed by Government or Commerce to be heard. A recent study, carried out in this country by Johns Hopkins University, concluded that there were 97,000 such organisations in the country - only 10% of them had any paid staff. We all know how much was done after "our" quake by groups in our sector.

Next Forum: 9-October, 8:45am - 11am
As indicated above, the next next OVTRK Forum is on 9 October 8.45 - 11am at the Mental Health Education Resource Centre, 403a Worcester St.

This is an Open Forum with those NGOs that are on the OVTRK Register.

We hope to see you there! If there are other organisations or individuals who you think would be interested in learning more about the forum, please let us know.
The full notes of the last Forum have also been circulated to the contacts on the OVTRK Register. 

We hope to see you in October.  In the meantime, if you have media skills you'd like to contribute towards helping OVTRK develop a media strategy plan, please send us an email.

Kia kaha,
The OVTRK steering group

Monday, 27 August 2012

Friendly reminder

Hope to see you this Friday!

     Time: Friday 31 August 2012 starting promptly at 8.45am, finishing around 11am
     Place: Mental Heath Education and Resource Centre, 403A Worcester St, Linwood (cnr Stanmore Rd)

   See you soon!

Monday, 6 August 2012

OPEN FORUM with Denise Kidd

Kia ora koutou,

OVTRK has organised another OPEN FORUM for NGOs.

Time: Friday 31 August 2012 starting promptly at 8.45am, finishing around 11am

Place: Mental Heath Education and Resource Centre, 403A Worcester St, Linwood (cnr Stanmore Rd)

What for?: There are two reasons.

  1. To hear from Denise Kidd CERA Community Resilience Team Leader who has been invited to come and talk with us about two particular opportunities she would like to explore further with OVTRK. These are OVTRK's contribution to a website that CERA is currently developing, as well as to engage in discussion and planning in relation to hubs for utilisation by organisations in our Sector. 

  2. To decide about next steps for OVTRK.
PLEASE put the date in your diary and take time to circulate this information widely to your networks so they know about this OPEN FORUM.

OPPORTUNITY TO REGISTER with OVTRK is still available.  Also, any feedback is most welcome. Please send to ngovoices [at] gmail [dot] com
A poster setting out the OVTRK kaupapa is available in low resolution form at 
this link.
Please note a higher resolution one is available. The text of the poster is set out below:

One Voice Te Reo KotahiSpeaking from the NGO Sector
We are the waka on which the NGO sector with its many faces (nga matatini) carries community expectations and truths with integrity
He waka eke noa – a canoe on which we can all embark

Foundation: Tangata Whenua with Tangata TiritiMe Pehea
We embrace Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty Relationships Framework as reflected by our two caucuses of Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti.
Hei whakakahangia te kaupapa – Strengthen our purpose

Third Sector with Government and CommerceWho
We are independent and speak from the Non Government Organisation sector – the ‘Third Sector’ – allowing the voices of organisations that have not been formed by Government or Commerce to be heard.
Nga matatini, he reo kotahi – Many faces, one voice
Participation with Trust and Protection
Our goal is to build relationships of trust and partnership with Government and Commerce and within the NGO sector, to facilitate communication.
Ehara taku toa, he toa takitahi engari, he toa takitini – It is not for my success alone, but the success for us all.

Networks of Experience and Expertise
We do this by utilising our wealth of experience, our collective expertise and our established and ever-expanding networks from our work within the sector in Greater Christchurch over many years. To do this we have set up a register for NGOs who are interested – please register here:
Me tu me noho koe, ma te iwi e ue – whether we stand or sit, let the people decide.

May the deeds and endeavours of One Voice Te Reo Kotahi only serve to enhance, strengthen and enrich the futures of those who follow.

Monday, 25 June 2012

We trust you are all doing well! And that you are taking some time to enjoy whatever you enjoy.
Other than to read this email there is no particular action requested - though we will be delighted to receive any feedback, of course. We will assume no comment means acquiescence!
In this email, we are sharing notes of the OVTRK Forum on 25 May (32 kb .docx file), plus the presentation (4 mb .ppt file) to it by Diane Turner, Manager of Strategy and Policy at CERA. You should have received an email with the "libretto" of our kaupapa statement and the attachment of the beautiful poster (which takes some time to download). If any of you have missed receiving those please be in touch via our email, ngovoices [at] gmail [dot] com.
After the Forum all those on the initial Steering Group were consulted. Several specifically stated that they are very supportive but, mostly because they have not been able to keep up to date, they cannot continue with responsibility related to OVTRK. The active Steering Group now comprises Co Chairs Dora Langsbury and Katherine Peet with Rex Gibson, Richard Tankersley, Shirley Wright, Jenny Smith and Sara Epperson with Sharon, our wise woman and note taker. Evan and Whare would like to continue as corresponding members of the Steering Group and return, once they are "weller" (to use a 7 year-old's expression).
In the light of the conclusion of the "next steps" section at the last Forum that the OVTRK Steering Group would liaise with COSS about where to next, we reviewed the NGO / non-profit sector-wide initiatives to ascertain whether we need to do this in collaboration with others who are similar to OVTRK.
Te Whakaruruhau ki Otautahi Christchurch Community House Trust (CHT) was in the past Community House Tenants Trust. During the period CHT has been homeless, after the demolition of 141 Hereford St, they have decided their membership will not just for their tenants but to extend membership to any NGO / non-profit. The advantages they can offer are considerable - use of fancy equipment (e.g. a scanner), access to bulk ordering, being recognised by CERA as priority, having support from CCC and the Community Trust, etc.... we have included a link to the CHT deed (675 kb .docx file). Their kaupapa (see section 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 of their Deed) is consistent with OVTRK kaupapa. Their openness to membership from any NGO / non-profit that supports the kaupapa (see section 5.1 and 5.3 of their Deed) is similar to the OVTRK's openness of its Register. They are a body corporate (unlike OVTRK, so have a way of working). For your information the new Community House will be at 113 Tuam St and the date they move in will be probably in July/August. 
Given the similarities between OVTRK and CHT we believe organisations on OVTRK register would be able to become members of CHT. They would be able to take advantage of the resources of CHT which can be accessed remotely through virtual networking. As members of CHT they would be able to approach the CHT with ideas. Non-profits / NGOs in Greater Christchurch who become members would thus be able to have a CBD "home" when useful. This "home" could have links to the locality-based hubs...
In the light of the similarity of OVTRK with part of the CHT kaupapa we have therefore proposed that our OVTRK Steering Group meet with the CHT to consider jointly approaching COSS about next steps.
Kia kaha,
Dora and Katherine

Friday, 4 May 2012

Kia ora koutou

This email was sent to those organisations which have registered with OVTRK.

Here (below this note) is the outcome of the work the OVTRK Steering Group has done to date to define its role and vision. The text is consistent with what appears in the email, but the poster has been made much prettier, thanks to Evan Smith's skills.

In other news, here is an invitation: OVTRK has organised another OPEN FORUM for NGOs.

TIME?  Friday 25 May from 2-4pm

PLACE? Mental Heath Education and Resource Centre, 403A Worcester St, Linwood (nr Stanmore Rd)

WHAT FOR? There are two reasons:

  • to hear from Diane Turner CERA Strategy and Policy Manager who has been invited to come and talk to us about the role of NGOs in the recovery of Christchurch


  • to make decisions about the future of OVTRK. More active Steering Group members would be needed so do consider what you want the future to be. 

PLEASE put the date in your diary and take time to circulate this information - with a covering note - widely to your networks so they know about OPEN FORUM and the OPPORTUNITY TO REGISTER:

Your feedback is most welcome. It will be collated and brought to the Forum.

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