As part of the McGuinness Institute’s TacklingPovertyNZ national tour, the second one-day workshop was held in Manawatu on 15 August 2016 at the Manfeild Suite in Feilding. The workshop was opened by Margaret Kouvelis, Manawatu District Council Mayor.
In the morning, the participants listened to four of the original 36 participants from the December 2015 TacklingPovertyNZ workshop present the booklet they produced as a result of the workshop.
Dr Girol Karacaoglu, Chief Economist at the New Zealand Treasury then spoke about the need for integration between social, economic and environmental matters and shared with the group how the Treasury uses the Living Standards Framework to frame policy. Chair of the Data Futures Partnership Working Group Dame Diane Robertson (former chief executive of Auckland City Mission) followed, speaking to the group about the factors that prevent families moving out of poverty, and her work with the Families 100 Research Project.
Local speakers, Kathryn Cook, Chief Executive Officer at MidCentral District Health Board; Michelle Cameron, principal at James Cook School; Amanda Oldfield, Care Link Coordinator at the Feilding Bible Chapel; Natasha Allen, National Coordinator for Child Protection for the New Zealand Police; and Nigel Allan, Chair of the Te Manawa Family Services gave participants an insight into poverty in the Manawatu region. They raised local issues such as poor health, lack of emergency housing, kindness, relationships and child abuse. All seven speakers then joined discussions with the participants and mapped the societal landscape of the Manawatu region. Over lunch, students from Feilding High School joined a Q & A session with Dr Girol Karacaoglu and Dame Diane Robertson.
In the afternoon, participants separated into groups to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the Manawatu region. During this process five key themes emerged – (i) the role of housing, (ii) the role of youth – Under 5s, (iii) the role of health and Mental health, (iv) the role of Māori, and (v) the role of the elderly. Each group developed seven solutions and then presented them to the other participants to stress test their ideas.
At 6.00 pm, members of the community gathered at Manfeild Suite to hear the speakers’ observations from the day, followed by the 35 workshop solutions.
We hope this initiative builds and shares ideas on how to tackle poverty both within the Manawatu region and in New Zealand more generally. This event would not have been possible without the ongoing support of the New Zealand Treasury and the local collaborators Manawatu District Council. Special thanks also to those parties that have helped with the baby box initiative: Baby Box Co; The Wool Company from Utiku, Taihape; and Replete from Taupo. We will be posting the baby box to Mayor Margaret Kouvelis of Manawatu District Council later this month.
Upcoming one-day workshops
Gisborne, Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Far North: Kaitaia, Thursday, 15 September 2016 and Kaikohe, Friday, 16 September 2016
Please see the TacklingPovertyNZ website for more details and how to register to attend an upcoming workshop.
About the March 2016 Queenstown workshop – Testing the process
In December 2015, the McGuinness Institute undertook a three-day workshop in collaboration with the
New Zealand Treasury. Its purpose was to explore ways to reduce poverty in New Zealand. This workshop has led to a number of outputs, one of which includes undertaking a tour of one-day workshops around New Zealand throughout 2016.
The 36 participants, aged 18-25, from the 2015 TacklingPovertyNZ Workshop sparked the tour of one-day workshops as they convinced us we needed a national conversation with local solutions. The first one-day workshop was held in Queenstown on 29 March 2016, and hosted by the Queenstown Lakes District Council. The purpose was to test our approach to see if a useful outcome could be achieved in one day.
Discussion Paper 2016/01: A Queenstown Lakes District perspective on tackling poverty is now available online. A similar discussion paper will be produced from each one-day workshop, and together these papers will provide an insight into the different regional perspectives on poverty in New Zealand, in order to inform national decision-making, support local initiatives, and build and share ideas on how to tackle poverty in New Zealand.