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Partnering with the community - Kotahitanga - December 2020

18 December 2020.

KiwiHarvest & New Zealand Food Network: mobilising to deliver quality kai

COVID-19 has seen a massive increase in demand for food from foodbanks, food rescue and other community food organisations. MSD has responded with the Food Secure Communities programme to support organisations with this increased demand. But MSD couldn’t have done this without a huge mobilisation effort from the food rescue organisation KiwiHarvest and their new off-shoot, the New Zealand Food Network.

Over the Alert Level 4 lockdown, KiwiHarvest approached MSD, proposing to set up the New Zealand Food Network to collect quality surplus and donated bulk food from producers, growers and wholesalers and to distribute it to community organisations around New Zealand. MSD has subsequently entered into an agreement with the New Zealand Food Network to deliver 8,000 tonnes of food over the next two years – enough to feed more than 272,000 families for a week.

The New Zealand Food Network was quickly put to work to mitigate a significant animal welfare risk for pigs due to the alert level restrictions. As a result, the Ministry for Primary Industries purchased pork at cost from farmers, which the New Zealand Food Network distributed to iwi and other community food organisations around the country. Around 570,000 people received and appreciated the high quality, nutritious kai in a time of need.

In August with the change to Alert Level 3 in Auckland, the New Zealand Food Network again helped MSD and the Ministry of Health, this time distributing 1.5 million face masks to communities and organisations throughout New Zealand.

Kayleigh and Mel

Meanwhile, with help from MSD’s Food Secure Communities contestable funding, KiwiHarvest has embarked on Project Whakarahi (or ‘expansion’), with both their Dunedin and Queenstown branches now moving to large new warehouses, outfitted with forklifts, racking and other equipment. These warehouses will expand KiwiHarvest’s reach, and mean they can deliver more high quality food to where it is needed most.

“The long-held vision of KiwiHarvest founder Deborah Manning for a national network handling bulk, large scale surplus and donated food product was brought to life thanks in no small part to the great team at the Ministry of Social Development. In a few short months, our fantastic team has built a network that will service our vulnerable communities who struggle with Food Security. By engaging some terrific Food Donors and working with (up to) 75 Food Hubs around Aotearoa NZ, we hope to help alleviate the burden that so many New Zealanders have in putting food on the table for their families.

In addition, the fantastic support received from MSD has allowed a number of our KiwiHarvest branches to expand their capability of handling more incoming food supply and engaging with more front line organisations (nearly 250 nation-wide) supporting Kiwis in this ever-changing landscape.”

The Kiwiharvest van

Kai Sisterz catering collaborates to meet community need

Kai Sisterz, a small catering enterprise supported by The Generator and operated by sisters Annie Hemopo and Girlie Albert, stepped up during COVID-19 lockdown levels 1 and 2, cooking and delivering thousands of meals to vulnerable people in the Auckland and Franklin regions. Many local business offered them assistance and support. La Valla Estate at Tuakau rented their kitchen to the sisters at a reduced rate, several vegetable growers donated free fresh produce, and fellow ‘Generite’, the courier driver Peter Lilo delivered the food to many of the kuia, kaumatua, tamariki and mokopuna who couldn’t easily leave their homes under COVID.

More recently the sisters teamed up with an eclectic group that included Counties Manukau rugby players, La Valla chefs and Waikato District Mayor Alan Sanson to make meals for people in need in the Waikato region.

Kai Sisterz

Kai Sisterz catering and cake-making was set up a year ago with seed funding support from The Generator, an MSD-funded initiative that puts whānau and communities at the centre of developing their own solutions to financial challenges, and helps people realise their micro business goals.

The Kai Sisterz micro business has gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months.The sisters helped cater the 2020 ASB Tennis Classic earlier, they sold their food at the Tainui Games, and recently got their own mobile kitchen.

Girlie and Annie, whose motto is Mahia te mahi, hei painga mo te iwi (Do the work for the wellbeing of the people) are quick to point out that Generator seed funding is just a small part of what The Generator has given them in terms of support.

“It’s not just about getting the funding we needed to establish this business. The Generator has given us the confidence and drive to get our business out there. We’ve also been able to show our tamariki that their dreams and goals can be achieved - and even little us from Pukekohe can be up there with the big-time chefs from La Valla producing awesome kai,” says Girlie.

Kai Sisterz

Social Services Accreditation reminder on the Children’s Act 2014

Child playing on deck

The Children's Act 2014 was part of a series of comprehensive measures brought in to protect and improve the wellbeing of children.

This legislation introduced specific safety check requirements for community organisations funded either directly or indirectly by government to deliver services to children and young people.

Staff engaged to deliver services to children and young people are considered to be ‘children’s workers’, and must be safety-checked as part of initial recruitment, and periodically checked again throughout their employment (at least every three years). This includes getting a Police vetting check, but is about more than just checking criminal convictions—it should involve a process of information-gathering and an assessment that includes: confirming identity, interviews, checking referees, and considering risk. It is also important to note that references for children’s workers cannot come from members of the person’s extended family.

Core children’s workers, are individuals employed by state services or local authorities. They work alone with, or hold primary responsibility for children. It is unlawful to employ a core children’s worker with specified offences unless they hold a core worker exemption.

Organisations contracted to deliver services to children and young people must also have child protection policies detailing how they will identify and respond to cases of suspected abuse or neglect.

The Social Services Accreditation assessment process looks at a provider’s policies and procedures for alignment with the Children's Act 2014.

More than $19 million invested to support rural communities

Standing beside a farm gate

It can be harder for people living in rural communities to get the right support when they need it. MSD is investing $19.7 million over the next four years to strengthen the community support available in the rural communities we serve.

A significant amount of the Budget 2020 funding ($10.1 million) has been allocated to relieve cost pressures experienced by current service providers. In addition, MSD is investing an additional $9.6 million over the next three years to strengthen our support.

The 2019 review of information, advice and referral services

The challenges people can face in rural isolation were highlighted by our 2019 review of two MSD-funded programmes. Both provide information, advice and referral services to people in rural, provincial and urban regions:

  • Heartland Services (most of these service centres are in rural areas), and
  • Information and Advisory Services

Two reports outline the current state of rural community services (the 2019 review findings) and the desired future state (our proposed direction for strengthening access to information, advice and referral services in rural communities).

Future direction for rural communities

The future state report signals our intention to identify the best geographic locations and to fill geographic and other gaps in the current rural network.

We want a stronger hub network serving all the peoples who make up our rural communities in 21st century Aotearoa. This includes iwi/Māori, Pacific peoples, refugee and migrant communities, rainbow people, disabled people and people with health (including mental health) challenges.

Next steps

We’ll be engaging widely in the coming months with current providers, community partners, government agencies and others. We’ll communicate our next steps to current providers and other stakeholders shortly, including about our engagement plans leading to December 2020.

If you have any questions, please email our rural community hubs project team: Rural_Community_Hubs@msd.govt.nz

Sexual violence providers helping pilot new way to share information

Outside in tall grass

MSD has begun a prototype to test solutions for how we improve the quality of data available to MSD. We want to make reporting processes less burdensome for providers, in line with the six principles outlined in the recently-published Social Sector Commissioning report (see summary on page 13).

MSD is working with three providers of services for people with harmful sexual behaviours. These providers were approached because they represent a small part of the sector, use the same client management system, and have a standard set of clinical assessments and techniques and a single standardised data set.

The goal is to work with these providers to identify which information would be most useful to share with MSD, while not providing identifiable information about clients. Information will be received via the trial over Eightwire’s data exchange and will only be used to test the value and quality of information received and the process, not for contract reporting or monitoring.

The trial was live for five months, from 6 August to 10 December 2020, and the information will be deleted from our MSD systems on 28 February 2021.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: CI_Sexual_Violence_Services@msd.govt.nz

New reporting aims to provide better information on elder abuse

Older person using a laptop

The guiding principles behind the Elder Abuse Response Services (EARS) reporting prototype are to increase the visibility of EARS work and service development and to provide information that is trustworthy, meaningful, and supports evidence-based decision making.

During 2019 MSD consulted with providers, family violence experts and consumers to develop an evidence-based outcome reporting prototype, which was tested by selected EARS providers. The prototype that was agreed has six sections: information about the referral, client information, risk and protective factors, information about the abuse and perpetrator, services delivered and client outcomes.

In March and June 2020, we engaged with EARS providers (around the country and on Zoom) in a series of 10 one-day workshops. We introduced the new reporting prototype and gave providers an opportunity to take part in a live test of the prototype for six to 12 months.

Progress to date — great workshop attendance and engagement

People at the workshops were enthusiastic about the potential of the new reporting prototype, saying it was a much more transparent and accurate way to capture the work they do. Eighty-five per cent of the 60 workshop participants consented to take part in trialling the new reporting approach with clients.

We collected information from 156 different EARS clients and have produced the first feedback loop, sharing clients’ visible outcomes with participating providers on 14 August. By October this year, we had 326 responses from 15 different EARS providers from all around the country.

This latest information will be used to create a second feedback loop in the coming months and to inform an evaluation of the prototype when the trial ends. We’ll update you further, when the evaluation report is available, we expect this to be by mid- to late June 2021.

If you have any questions, please email: Alice.Black030@msd.govt.nz

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