Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Grants & Funding

Raggamuffin Festival seeks charity for 2016 event

Reggae and urban music festival, Raggamuffin is seeking a charity to be part of its February 2016 event at the Trusts’ Arena in Auckland. One per cent of ticket sales will be donated to the selected charity with profile and fundraising opportunities also available during the event.

Applications to be the Raggamuffin charity for 2016 are now open.

Applicants must not have received a Government grant or support in the past three years, must be a registered charity and be involved in stopping violence against women or supporting children or young people.

Applications close on Friday 26 June and the successful charity will be selected by a panel including representatives from Iwi and Pacific communities.

Full details can be found at www.raggamuffin.co.nz or email charity@raggamuffin.co.nz

Guest Blog: Robert Miller on the Social Bonds Pilot for NZ Mental-Health Services

Commentary on Latest Move of New Zealand Government Over Mental Health Care

UntitledLike many Kiwi’s, Robert Miller from the NZ Schizophrenia Research Group recently received a message from Annette King, health spokesperson for the Labour Party, asking him to sign a petition against the government proposal to trial funding mental-health services with Social Bonds. Here, Robert shares a few of his thoughts on this controversial new move to fund mental-healthcare. Social Bonds involves using a private investment model where companies put up their own funds and are reimbursed (with interest) only if certain outcomes are met. The process of ‘procurement’ is now well under way. By March 2015, seven potential partnerships were being assessed, with a view to ‘moving to implementation in the second half of 2015.’ The Government document mentions ‘NGOs, retail banks, and specially created partnerships’, but provides no details of which organisations are to be involved. The first four Social Bonds contracts have been announced and they all have work targets as the defined outcomes.

Greetings from Masterton!

Yesterday, I received two messages on the same topic – the government’s latest initiative for funding mental health care in New Zealand by what it calls ‘Social Bonds.’ One came from Annette King asking me to sign a petition, which I did. The other came from my good friend Julie Leibrich (former Mental Health Commissioner) expressing her serious concern about the government move. Here is her message –

‘National is planning to use Social bonds to fund mental health services.  Social bonds allow Government to contract out services and funding to non-government or private organisations, with agreed targets and timeframes. If the targets are met, Government pays back the investors, and also pays a return on their investment. The return depended on the level of results, up to an agreed maximum. Labour says that the risks of the policy are huge, because in order to meet targets providers are likely to focus on “easier-to-help” clients and not difficult and expensive ones. The Department of Internal Affairs warned that New Zealand should not “engage in trials or implementation of a social impact bond”. There is a good article about the dangers. I think that people with mental illness struggle enough as it is to get good care, and the idea of them becoming Guinea pigs in a social experiment is appalling. So I would be grateful if you would consider the petition, and if you want to, then sign it.’
~ Julie Leibrich, former Mental Health Commissioner

Since the pilot was announced, there has been much comment on the Social Bond scheme for mental health funding, in newspapers, generally highly critical. Let me make a few of my own comments, briefly, because there is urgency here.

(i) Mental health is probably one of the hardest areas of health policy to get right, and this government seems to think it is just about money. It IS about money, of course, but just as important (perhaps more important), it is about organisational culture, sensitive responsiveness to needs of clients, and morale in mental health services. It is quite possible for dedicated, highly trained and skilled staff to deliver a first class service when physical aspects of the service (buildings etc,) are distinctly below par. It is the ‘human capital’ as much as the funding available which matters. These aspects of a good service cannot be measured in the usual way in which profit and loss are computed.

Nowhere, it seems, does one sense that actual persons with their own hopes and dreams are involved. Collectively, they are just ‘a problem’ to be reduced

(ii) The nature of funding streams IS an important factor in delivery of mental health care. In something as complex as setting up an effective mental health service, with its community outreach, it would help if funding (especially of NGOs for mental health care) were not administered in such a way that different agencies who should collaborate, are forced to compete for funds.

(iii) Earlier this year I learned of someone writing a report about mental health for Treasury, found her e-mail address, wrote to her, but never received a reply. Maybe this government move is related to that report, although it has clearly been under development already for some years. In this case the government seems to be moving to get this inconvenient burden off its shoulders. The un-named banks and financial institutions are likely to have their bases outside New Zealand, have no responsibility to the New Zealand electorate, only to their shareholders. Apart from maximizing profits, mental health is an area which is not a money-making business, is not, and never has been capable of really generating a profit, except in a highly distorted sense of market discipline. In addition, I ask: What would be the ‘quid pro quo’ demanded by those private investors? If it seems that targets are not being met, and the return on investment therefore not likely to be forthcoming, what pressures will be put on services to meet the targets? What corners will be cut on ethical aspects of service delivery? What style of healthcare delivery would they require? Would delivery of mental health services become hostage to multinational enterprises, with agenda quite out of line with our own philosophy of healthcare?

(iv) There may be some merits in the social bond scheme as a way to bring about public/private partnership. However, if so, it would be better to test this particular model of such partnership in an easier area than mental health care. It seems as if this is being tried out in the mental health area first because ‘no one really cares too much about this anyway’. Government policy makers should reconsider the choice of mental health as the first place to try out this approach.

(v) In terms of ‘meeting targets’, the devil is in the detail. The main target appears to be getting people with mental health problems into paid employment; but this depends on many factors beyond control of any mental health service. In addition, for many service users, obtaining employment is the end of a long journey. It might be better to emphasize earlier stages of that journey, namely helping to rebuild personal resources of people whose normal development has been undermined by mental disorders. This might include entering and succeeding in higher education. Entry into paid employment would be a natural flow-on from this, which is a more fundamental form of assistance.

Immense flexibility is needed to cope with the individuality and idiosyncrasies of each client… Target-driven systems are unlikely to achieve this

(vi) In any case, this appears to be setting up a ‘pseudo-market’, possibly a subterfuge for covert administrative and government control. It also seems to imply that the government admits that devising a good mental health system is beyond its capability; and somehow, by offering financial incentives, the market in mental health care will somehow magic up a level of intelligence in this area, which is superior to the government’s own. This stretches credibility.

(vii) Administrators do like to set targets, as if the matter of concern is one where commands can be given, and outcomes/outputs delivered according to plan (but, in today’s world, using the ‘invisible hand’ of market forces as an intermediary). Those at the front line of any human services, especially mental health services, know better. In their practice, immense flexibility is needed to cope with the individuality and idiosyncrasies of each client, for instance in matching each client to the most suitable practitioner of counselor. Target-driven systems are unlikely to achieve this. Such flexibility is one of the features that make for a good organizational culture and good morale in those services.

(viii) The government’s plan is one more move – perhaps more dangerous than others so far – to move small aspects of our social services to enterprises based offshore. Others we know about include setting up private prisons, or catering services in hospitals, to name a couple. Who are the movers of this international trend? What are their real objectives? Early in 2014, as part of a resignation document I wrote, when I left committees of RANZCP, I shared a paragraph expressing my concerns, which contained hints of answers to those questions:

“…that entrusting mental health issues to untrained community people has encouraged re-uniting two policy areas which had been painfully separated in the second half of last century. The two areas are mental health and justice. In the nineteenth century in Western countries (and in many other countries still today), the two were not separated. Authorities who could put you away in an asylum were either medical people or JPs. Since 1950, there has been steady progress in prizing these two apart, so that the area where, inevitably, the two overlap, becomes a difficult and highly specialized discipline of its own – forensic psychiatry. I fear there are now accelerating moves to bring these two back together again. With international consortiums now running both private prisons in many countries, and some mental health NGOs, I fear that merging of the two policy areas is gaining momentum internationally, led by those whose ethical perceptions are quite different from most of those who will be reading this document.”

(ix) I have just sent in an abstract to the New Zealand branch of RANZCP for their forthcoming meeting in Hamilton in September. Basically this is about the history of psychiatry. Sadly I conclude that, over the last century a specialty, which, in the 1890s, had the promise to become a respected branch of personal health care, at least on the continent of Europe, was largely taken over by those who sought the most efficient way to administer a ‘social problem’. This emphasis is quite explicit in the Government document: Under the section titled “What is the Government looking for the Pilot to do? we read in its first bullet point “test the concept within the New Zealand context to see whether this is an effective and efficient way for government to reduce social problems” [emphasis added]. Nowhere, it seems, does one sense that actual persons with their own hopes and dreams are involved. Collectively, they are just ‘a problem’ to be reduced. Mental health care has insidiously become linked in the public mind to other ‘nasties’ of social policy, including (from 1834), workhouses and asylums, and then prisons, together with legal sanctions on prostitution, suicide, sexual orientation, street drugs, ‘welfare dependents’ and so on, all those areas that ‘nice people’ do not want to know about. The battle between these two has been raging for the last century, and more. I fear that parts of that battle are now being waged by international corporations, unaccountable to any electorate, probably in denial about the personal aspects of healthcare, or the person-centred ethical precepts, which should guide healthcare.

(x) Now is the time to challenge this outrageous government move.

Robert Miller

Learn More

About the author: Robert Miller was educated in Britain, originally a medical student, until he was overwhelmed by a psychotic disorder. Later he retrained as a neuroscientist and came to New Zealand in 1977 to a position in the Department of Anatomy at Otago Medical School. His research objectives have been to explore the theory of brain function and its relation to mental disorders. He founded and continues to lead the NZ Schizophrenia Research Group in 1994. From 2009-2014 he served as community representative on committees of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) where he learned that one of the biggest problems in mental health is to get different players to listen to one another. Robert tries to stay independent of all organisations, so as best to encourage them to work together. He is not a member of the Labour Party.

New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group: Research Awards Scheme

The New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group has for many years been able offer research awards in an annual round.

In recent years this has been made possible by the Taranaki Schizophrenia Research Trust.
In 2014 there was no such round. However NZSRG is continuing with its research awards scheme, with another round early in 2015.
Two documents, one describing the nature of the research awards which NZSRG can offer, the other the application form  for these awards, are accessible on the NZSRG website (www.nzsrg.org.nz). The deadline is 23th March. Application forms should be sent to Deb Leslie at nzsrgenquiries@gmail.com

They hope to receive your applications soon. Please circulate this messages to others you think might be interested.

Fair Funding: unfair funding practices must change

Fair Funding aims to re-establish an equitable funding system and stop the decline of the NGO system of community care. This follows exhaustive attempts to resolve these issues over successive years but with no meaningful response from DHBs. They continue to ignore the situation.

New Zealand must see a return to fair funding practices for NGOs to be at their best and fully responsive to community needs. Every year many DHBs compromise this and as a result are placing great strain on a previously effective working partnership with the NGO sector.

Unless DHBs take immediate corrective action, New Zealand faces a future without sufficient community-based mental health and addiction care. This would see a return to days gone by when people couldn’t access services in a timely way, resulting in them and their families in distress, and crisis and emergency services overrun with people desperate for help.

Link here for more information and to add your support.

New Like Minds, Like Mine Community Partnership Fund

The Health Promotion Agency (HPA) is pleased to announce the new Like Minds, Like Mine Community Partnership Fund is now open for submissions.

The Fund will support innovative projects that reduce stigma and discrimination and increase social inclusion for people with experience of mental illness. Mental illness impacts all sectors of our communities. Nearly 50% of New Zealanders are likely to have a mental illness at some time in their lives.

The Community Partnership Fund will support community projects that work towards changing social structures, cultures and policies so social inclusion can occur more easily. The Fund is not designed to provide direct services to people with experience of mental illness.

Successful projects will align with the Like Minds, Like Mine National Plan 2017-2019 and will occur in workplaces and community-based settings where social exclusion may occur.

The most effective way to create social change is for communities to work together. Projects should demonstrate partnership, using cross-sector expertise, and include people with experience of mental illness in a leadership capacity.

For more information about how the Fund works see the Application Guidelines on HPA’s website.

Application for the Fund is a two-stage process. Please send your stage one Application Form to likemindslikemine@hpa.org.nz. Stage one applications must be received by 12 noon, Friday 29 August 2014.

All written questions we receive will be answered on a Questions and Answers document on HPA’s website. This document will be updated weekly.

HPA will run information sessions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in late July/early August 2014. More details will be posted on HPA’s website around mid July 2014. Please email Lorraine Want if you would like to attend a session.

If you have any questions about the Community Partnership Fund or the application process, please contact Virginia MacEwan by email or phone (04 912 0193) or contact Jude West by email or phone (04 894 7242).


Fair Funding for the Future of Mental Health

In order for mental health to have a future, we need government and DHBs to change their funding practices. The Fair Funding campaign is calling on the Government and DHBs to do just that.

For more information and to show your support for us, please visit: www.fairfunding.org.nz

Please support us by:

  • Sending an email to MPs and the Chairs and CEOs of the 20 DHBs (an automated email system is set up here: http://www.fairfunding.org.nz/support/thanks)
  • Sharing the campaign details on Facebook
  • Telling as many people as you can about the issue and asking them to show their support by visiting the website, sharing the information and emailing MPs and DHBs about the issue.

There will also be a political debate on the topic at 7pm on Monday the 28th of July at One Tree Hill College in Auckland. Further details to come.

Many thanks for your time and support on this crucial issue,


Laura Ashton (MSocP (1st class hons), PGDip, BA)
Business Services Manager
Mind and Body Consultants
Ph: (64 9) 630 5909 ext 801
Mob: (027) 212 9225
Fax: (64 9) 630 5944

Presentations on Individualised Funding Including Respite | Auckland-wide: 15 Oct – 14 Nov 2013

Individualised Funding is a mechanism for using, and paying a support worker directly for, Ministry of Health funded Home & Community Support Services. Individualised Funding (IF) has been increasing in popularity in recent years. 

Soon, Respite will also be able to be managed under Individualised Funding giving families much more choice, control and flexibility in the type and duration of respite they receive for their loved one with a disability. This free seminar will cover the facts and process of Individualised Funding, including important information for families around the use of Respite under this mechanism. This seminar will be useful for any families considering switching to Individualised Funding and/or families currently using Individualised Funding and wishing to include their Respite allocation under this mechanism.

Seminar dates/venue information is below. Presented by Karen Smith of the Ministry of Health. Light refreshments available at the start of each seminar. Bookings essential, please contact Niharika on 636-0351 or niharika@pfrc.org.nz

Individualised Funding (IF) Including Respite

A presentation by Karen Smith, Ministry of Health
Hosted by Parent & Family Resource Centre

Central Auckland

  • Tuesday 15th October 12.30 – 2.30pm Daytime Seminar
  • Independent Living Service
  • 14 Erson Ave, Royal Oak

South Auckland

  • Thursday 17th October 7pm – 9pm
  • Nathan Homestead
  • 70 Hill Road, Manurewa

North Auckland

  • Tuesday 22nd October 7 – 9pm
  • YES Disability Resource Centre
  • 3 William Laurie Place, Albany

West Auckland

  • Tuesday 12th November 7 – 9pm
  • Integrated Neurological Rehabilitation Foundation
  • 2 Claude Brookes Drive, Henderson

East Auckland

  • Thursday 14th November 7 – 9pm
  • Eastgate Community Trust
  • 427 Pakuranga Road, Pakuranga

RSVP is essential: Phone Niharika (09) 636-0351 or email her niharika@pfrc.org.nz

Who Should Attend: 

The Ministry of Health will soon be including access to Respite under Individualised Funding, creating new, flexible ways of taking a break. This seminar will explore the existing Individualised Funding option and the future of IF including Respite.

If you are a disabled person, parent or guardian of a disabled person, you might want more choice about how services will be delivered, when they will be delivered and who will provide your government funded support.

Individualised funding helps you;

  • Employ the support staff you want in your life – people who understand your culture, priorities, preferences and lifestyle choices.
  • Set your own timetable so support staff come and go as you want, so you can build stronger relationships and enjoy a better social life.
  • Source flexible Respite care that best benefits your family (short stay, overnight stay, in-home, in-facility, etc).
  • Identify new sources of support.
  • Take charge of who enters your life and reclaim your priorities.

Applications Open for Leadership Development Programme from Teach First NZ


Teach First NZ is recruiting 20 talented individuals onto an innovative 2-year Leadership Development Programme aimed at tackling educational inequality.

The employment-based programme is fully-salaried, and involves a teaching commitment in a secondary school serving a lower-decile community. You will also receive a fully funded Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching qualification from The University of Auckland.

Teach First NZ are looking for graduates and career professionals with a background in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Te Reo Maori or English at degree level or competence in Te Reo Maori alongside another degree. Applicants must also have New Zealand Residency or Citizenship to apply.

Applications close Monday 26 August.

For more details and to apply, visit www.teachfirstnz.org

Free Clinics at Heartlands Services Pukekohe in May

Need Help or Free Advice?

Agents visiting in the month of MAY 2013 to offer FREE ADVICE at Heartlands Services, 2 King Street Pukekohe, Ph: (09) 238 6233

MAORI LAND COURT  – Thursday, 2nd May ‘13

  • Advisory services Trusts, Successions and Land Issues

AGE CONCERN  – Monday, 13th May ‘13

  • Advice and support on concerns or matters relating to the elderly

Employment Relations  – Friday, 3rd May ‘13

  • Advice for Employers & Employees, Employment agreements, holidays & leave, minimum wages & record keeping

HOUSING NZ CORP  – No longer offering clinics all enquiries to go directly through the Housing NZ Call Centre by calling: 0800 801 601

Department of Internal Affairs – Friday, 3rd May

  • Community Funding

Inland Revenue Dept – Tuesday, 14th and 28th May

Otara Community Law – Tuesday, 7th and 21st May

  • Provides free legal services to people in Counties Manukau (excluding Mangere).
  • Appointments made directly with the Law office Ph: 09 274 4966                                 

WORK FOCUS – On request

  • Ongoing Job Support for disabled (Mental Illness)

WORKBRIDGE – On request

  • Real jobs for people with disabilities

Appointments can be made through the Heartlands Services Reception Team Ph: (09) 238 6233

A Request for Support from Mike King and Key to Life Charitable Trust

Mike King from The Key to Life Charitable Trust  sent out the following open letter on the 20th of March, asking for community support for their work. By supporting Key to Life Charitable Trust you are also supporting their work with Engage Aotearoa to take suicide prevention initiatives to schools and communities around NZ. Please read Mike King’s letter below and follow the link to cast your vote for Key to Life Charitable Trust in the Toyota 25 Ways to Say Thank You competition.

Click here for more information about The Mike King Cool to Korero and Community Korero Suicide Prevention Talks.

Mike King Writes…

Hi Everyone

Sorry to be a pain but one click can save a life.

Any chance you could help my charitable trust win a brand new Toyota for 3 years by voting and sharing the link?


The Key to Life Charitable Trust was started by me (Mike King) and a group of my friends to address the stigma around mental health and our appalling suicide statistics especially among our kids. Two weeks ago my partner Jo, Miriam Larsen-Barr from EngageNZ and I spent 3 days in Kaitaia encouraging kids (1200+) help fight suicide by talking and supporting each other rather than taking their own lives. Through the newspapers I had heard that there was a ‘suicide problem’ up there, (there have been over 30 suicides up there in the last year including the countries youngest a 10 year old boy) but I was totally unprepared for the sheer scope of the problem. After our 3 school talks we ended up identifying 20 seriously at risk kids and I have been on regular contact with them all since then.

We don’t get any funding, instead me and a very small team of dedicated mates run golf tournaments, sausage sizzles, comedy gigs to keep it all going. When that’s not enough I sell shit I no longer need; 3 weeks ago I sold my old-school Valiant and I’m about to sell my Harley so I can go on doing this work. Why? Because our kids are worth it! There are some seriously great kids out there, who through no fault of their own have been beaten down by horrific circumstances and need someone out there encouraging them to fight for themselves.

I have had a blessed life my friends. I have spent nearly 20 years of my life swearing at people for a living and it is time to give back! I am passionate about this work and even if we don’t win the car I will continue to fight on. However, a vote for the KEY TO LIFE CHARITABLE TRUST will make that fight just a little bit easier.

If ya still here and still reading, bless you and love ya heaps :)

Kind Regards,


Mike King

Key to Life Charitable Trust