Tracey Martin – MP New Zealand First Party

ComVoices representatives introduced themselves and explained the representation of ComVoices and gave Ms Martin a copy of Communities Count 2.

Following discussion of the key point “Leave no-one behind” Helen mentioned her own experiences with rural communities with no public transport, health services and internet.

Discussion on ‘Strong Communities need Strong Community Organisations’ we were asked if we included local government in the requirement that the sector be involved in all planning processes as partners.  Tracey felt the removal of the four well-beings from the Local Government Act  as a bad thing, and that lack of consultation with the Community sector was a wasteful way of operating.

From this flowed further discussion on the inability for the sector to speak out as advocates, and there was agreement that it is time for the Crown to publicaly affirm the place and right of NGOS to advocate.  ComVoices representatives stated how we all want to work in partnership.

Further to this was conversation about policy makers who still believe voluntary work was mostly done by women at home, and how that view has not kept up with the reality of modern times.

When the issue of procurement was brought up, Tracey was well aware of how this system was affecting NGO’s and sited examples that she knew of personally.  She followed up with her experiences of changes in philanthropic giving, strategic funding of small community groups, and the need for the a repeat of the research on nonprofit organisations that occurred when the Satellite report came out from the 2011 census.

The meeting concluded with an emphasis that ComVoices believe what we are asking doesn’t cost money, but changes the way that we do things.