The umbrella organisation takes on a more central function:

  • To be the eyes and ears for its purpose and provide a voice
  • To be supportive of its constituents in practical terms
  • To be Government liaison with regards to delivery of its services to the community

This is particularly relevant within the health and related services sector, as they are the dominant areas of social funding and subject to narrow performance targets based on competitive tenders.

ComVoices, an offshoot of Social Development Partners has put three big challenges to Government with the slogan Communities Count.

  • Leave no one behind in achieving social inclusion
  • Strong communities need strong community organisations
  • We deserve a capable and sustainable sector.

We see a sector that is fragmented and to a large extent, uncoordinated. We have observed many families dealing with such a multitude of organisations that it almost makes for a full-time occupation dealing with community-based service providers! When you consider that there are up to 60 charities providing support and services related to cancer and then there is the Cancer Society adequately providing overarching services.

There is much support therefore for mergers to create stronger and more effective entities. Such an example can be seen with Social Development Partners (representing 20 major charities) in the process of merging with ANGOA, the national body of non-governmental associations. There are also Trans-Tasman mergers with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in both countries, coming together with the aim of better effectiveness and efficiency. Similar moves are afoot to bring the NZ Institute of Management closer to joining with its Australia counterpart.

The NZARCT is able to provide advice on closer relations involving experienced facilitators. If you want to explore this further, please don’t hesitate to contact us.