TCV Weekly News: 6th August 2020

Kia ora koutou

Good Morning All!

I have had a great week so far and I am looking forward to seeing all you all this coming Monday at our network meeting. 10th August at 12.30pm, GDC Chambers.
We will be having a presentation from Gillian Ward on the opportunity for a Resource Recovery Centre here in Tairawhiti. This is going to be a great conversation starter.

We will also have a short presentation from the Electoral Commission team on what the election will look like in a Covid-19 world and how election resources are available to all.

Also in this newsletter we have our responses from our candidates for the 2020 General Election. There will be an opportunity for discussion of these on Monday also. Candidates who responded to our questions have been invited to come and listen. An opportunity to put a face to the name.

This coming week I will be updating our membership page to 2020-2021 members. So keep an eye out for that!

Have a great rest of the week!

- TCV Coordinator

TCV Candidates Questionnaire - General Election 2020
Candidates were contacted dependant on accessiblilty to their email addresses. 
The questions we asked are as follows:

Please briefly introduce yourself 

Q1 - Why are you running & what do you most want to achieve if elected? 

Q2 - What does a Thriving Community that supports wellbeing look like to you & in what measurable way do you intend to support the wellbeing of Tairāwhiti? 

Q3 – The current Goverment has released significant funds to Business, Sports and Recreation, Food Banks, Mental Health etc so if put into Government how will the Candidate's Party ensure smaller to medium sized NGO service providers etc without Government contracts in health be supported to continue their mahi? 

Q1 - I’m standing because I want to make it easier for people to get ahead. Gisborne needs an MP with the skills and experience to support local jobs so that we can get our economy back on track. We have a diverse and exciting electorate, full of hardworking and passionate kiwis who want to do the best they can for our families and wider community. I want to represent that ambition in parliament, I want to represent you.

Q2 - A thriving community is one where anyone can make it if they’re willing to work hard. I will be advocating hard to ensure jobs for our kids and security for our seniors in the East Coast. 

Q3 – As your candidate I support a by local, for local approach and empowering our local services and organisations to do what they do best without government restrictions. While recent investment has been great news for the community, Labour has taken on a massive amount of debt which must be paid back by future generations through taxes. I am concerned with the one size fits all direction of this government and will fight hard to ensure our local providers will be supported to continue serving our community. 

Many thanks, 

The East Coast runs in my veins and serving our people and our place is what drives me every single day.

I’ve lived in almost every corner of this electorate, from the West in Paengaroa, to the centre in Edgecumbe and Whakatāne, to the East in Te Karaka and Gisborne.

Before I became an MP I managed a large agriculture and horticulture portfolio here in the East Coast that included kiwifruit, dairy farms, forestry sites and apiculture. Creating decent jobs feeding our communities from the land has always been a passion of mine. 

My 10 years experience as an advocate, a lawyer and in the primary sector here in the East Coast has taught me how to get things done in Parliament. 

That ability has been recognised by our leadership, giving me the opportunity to serve our electorate as the Chair of  Labour's Rural caucus, the Deputy Chair for the Primary Production select committee and the Government's Junior Whip.

It has been the biggest privilege to be a staunch advocate for the East Coast in Parliament over the past three years under the leadership of PM Jacinda Ardern. With your support I will continue to be a strong and tireless voice for our place, the Mighty East Coast.

Q1 - The East Coast is my home, and when I decided to run for Parliament in 2017, it was grounded in wanting to make a positive difference to this region, and in turn the nation as a whole. The East Coast has a rich history and is full of potential, but it is over-represented in too many statistics. I knew our place had the ability to thrive but needed the backing of a supportive Government to do so. I am a staunch advocate for the East Coast, delivering the region a long awaited investment. Since entering Parliament in 2017, I have been relentless in my work to deliver results for the people of the East Coast, and I have made significant gains. We’ve seen projects like the Gisborne Airport redevelopment get underway, and same with the Ōpōtiki Harbour investment - but we still have more to do.

I have dedicated my life to advocating for the underdog because I know what it is like to have people around tables making decisions for you, who do so without understanding your community, your values or your worth. I want to continue to push hard for the people in the East Coast and start with the very real issues that are facing us. From failing infrastructure, to mental health, and decent jobs. These are issues that impact the community as a whole. 

We have the chance to turn a corner, to go even further, to have an even bigger impact. I’m running for election because I want to create a just place for all of us to call home; I want to pull down barriers in the hope that everyone here can live a good life.


Q2 - A thriving community is one that looks after its people and its place. People need decent and fulfilling work. Our children need fit-for-purpose school and community buildings and access to quality education. Our elderly need warm, dry homes. 

I will continue to push for the tools and investment we need to thrive. We are committed to boosting investment in health and professional training and development to make sure our people are healthy and able to find decent work. I will continue to advocate for more investment in significant infrastructure projects, including roads and community buildings, creating work, and improving safety and wellbeing. Finally, we need to boost resources to promote and support our regions' exporters. We rely on our primary sector, which in turn relies on a strong export industry.

Growing up there, I saw first hand the realities that lay behind the statistics. I saw how easy it was for people’s lives to become much harder; how significant having a decent job could be to the course of someone’s life. There is so much potential in the East Coast and it’s been too low on the priority list for too long.

Q3 – The community and voluntary sector is an important part of our democracy. It is a place where ordinary citizens can develop the organisations that create our rich and diverse civil society. 

We’re supporting those who support so many others by getting behind our incredible community organisations that take care of New Zealanders, and save lives. This includes significant funding increases to target family violence, elder abuse, homelessness and sexual violence. During the COVID-19 lockdown, this Government worked hard to put together a $27 million package for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services.

Our small and medium NGO service providers are often on the front lines of community support and it is important that they are given the tools to flourish. Labour has a proven track record of working cooperatively with the NGO sector to enable them to provide the best service possible, while also recognising that local solutions and local leadership best fit local issues. 

Kia Ora my name is Meredith Akuhata-Brown, I was born in Gisborne and lived here all of my life, I love this place! I am married to Jason Akuhata-Brown and we have three beautiful children. My background is in Social Work and Youth and Community Development. I hope to further study Community Development focusing on inequality and poverty and the changing societies economically, socially and culturally. I am a 3rd term district councillor and 2nd term health board member. I have many years of experience in governance roles.

Q1. I was initially asked by Green Party members to stand as the candidate for the East Coast, I was always going to do three terms on Council and then consider where to from there so it was great timing when I was asked. I am running because I believe in participatory democracy and I have always quoted "be the change you want to see in the world".

I have found local government personally challenging due to the institutional racism and the frustration of decision making as Central Government still has a stronghold on the process. What I would love to achieve is better democracy, I believe we not only need to learn about our history we need to learn civics and what citizenship is all about. If elected I will work harder for a more EQUAL society and one where people are treated with respect no matter who they are, the ENVIRONMENT is protected and its ecosystems respected, ECONOMICS means that everyone is financially literate and given every opportunity with EDUCATION to make not just a living but have a fulfilled life.

Q2. A Thriving community is more EQUAL, everyone has a warm dry safe home to live in, a neighbourhood that supports and connects them, a community that hopes and inspires wellbeing, employment that is meaningful and a government that leads by example. We have a number of ways we can measure a Thriving Community- there are less homeless people, less broken bottles on roads and less graffiti, less domestic violence, less violence towards our most vulnerable-children and the elderly, less mental health and anxiety. There are a number of initiatives within Tairawhiti so partnerships with those working on the coal face are vital in the role of an MP, being present and ensuring these relationships are honest and transparent and listened too. Being an advocate means understanding the challenges and opportunities that exist and ensuring you can track the changes that are happening or what the barriers are that hinder change.

Q3. Of course we appreciate that this current government has been funding significant infrastructure such as Sports and Recreation facilities, Mental Health etc. These help create thriving connected communities so are important. Tairawhiti has seen a record amount of tax dollar returned to the region with this current government so we are indeed grateful, however we shouldn't have to wait for an election year to see investment. Equity within the health sector is a key ongoing focus and since the recent Simpson Review on the Health System more changes are likely- I hope that there will be more understanding of the roles that smaller and medium sized NGO service providers play within regions and especially here in Tairawhiti. We need to continue to look at how we work more collaboratively and connect the needs of the people to the appropriate services so we see more efficiencies however we understand the key is relationships of trust that is non stigmatizing or judgement.

The Green Party came out of The Values Party- we value NGO's we value and understand those that have to fight to be heard and valued, its been our story within Government. The Green Party has come out strong with key policies that are bold and challenging to the status quo. We will always advocate for the little guy! So we will ensure that the voice of our NGO's is heard and supported to continue to do what they do best- help and empower our most vulnerable.

The Green Party's Poverty Action Plan is about re writing the rules, so our country's success is shared among all of us. 

We are focusing on three key areas this 2020 and want to go further faster with 

Fairer Communities, Clean EconomyHealthy Nature...we are the only Party with a plan to ensure all of us, and our planet, are looked after.

Thank you for the opportunity to share the Green Party Policies 

Nga Mihi nui,

Meredith Akuhata-Brown

Green Party East Coast Candidate

Participatory Democracy Advocate.


3 Good Ideas

Writing a Facebook Post that Works

Stay Visual
Every time I see an organisation's Facebook post without an image or video, I cry a little bit inside. If someone is scrolling down their feed, a picture stands out. It's more likely to grab attention and get attention, and therefore help you get your message across. If you don't have a photo, include an infographic, or a meme, or a video.

People love sharing their opinion, so asking them for it is guaranteed to get engagement.  Engagement means your stuff will be on their feeds more often, which means more engagement. Ta Da! And you might get some really interesting answers - it's a win win!

Keep it Short

If you can't read your whole post in one scroll on a phone, most of your message will get missed.  Practise condensing sentences (it's a skill), using emojis, and keeping on point! People will love you for it.

Simple Ways to Market Your Non-Profit Message

by Kerri Tilby-Price

There are literally hundreds of ways you can market your non-profit message to your community. Many require a considerable budget and at least some degree of time and effort, but many are easy and inexpensive to implement. The key is making the most of the marketing avenues you already have in place. Check out these simple and cost effective ways to market your non-profit message.

Read More

Connect with your community through Facebook Groups


Date: 1 Oct, 2020

Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm NZST

Cost: $50 ex.GST

Did you know that 1.4 billion people use Facebook Groups and there are more than 10 million groups on Facebook? Learn how to connect with your community, drive activity and analyse success, through establishing a Facebook Group and finding and interacting on others. 

Learn More

Wish more people would open your emails? 5 tips to help improve your open rate.


Date: 23 Sep, 2020

Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm NZST

Cost: FREE

We all receive way too much email, so how do you cut through the clutter? Learn 5 tips that will help you communicate your message concisely and learn how to segment your list so you’re sending your email to the right people with the right content.

Learn More
You need to be enrolled to vote and have your say in the upcoming election and referendums. We've made it even easier to enrol online at Check out our video to learn more.

Nan Evans Award 2020

We are now accepting nominations for this special award that is intended to acknowledge voluntary dedication, teamwork, inspirational leadership or those with persistent determination to see our community sector thrive.

The award will  be presented at the TCV Annual General Meeting on 9th November 2020.

*Please note terms and Conditions Apply*
*Only financial members of our network can make nominations*

Nominations Close 26th October 2020

Nominate Now
Ngā mihi nui
Alice Kibble (Coordinator)

Tairawhiti Community Voice is a member of
Community Networks Aotearoa

Check Out TCV's Events Page For More Details And Future Events!

Let's Work Together

Our weekly newsletters are sent out every Thursday at around 9.30am. Please feel free to share them with your networks and email us if you wish to be added to the mailing list.

If you would like us to include a notice for your organisation in our TCV Inc. Newsletter, please email the relevant information to by 12pm each Wednesday to ensure it can be added to that week's Newsletter. Anything received after this deadline can be posted on our website calendar and highlighted in the following week’s Newsletter. 
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