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2005 - 2007

October 2007 – Christchurch

The theme of the day was ‘Building a Healthy Future Together’ – how the newly-restructured Ministry of Health will work with NGOs on issues of importance to the NGO sector. Around 100 delegates had opportunities to engage with MoH staff and to network with the sector.

Focus points for workshop discussions were around NGO involvement in policy development, NGO-MOH-DHB contracting relationships, improvement in the way innovations should be shared within the sector and joint service planning.

Suggestions included:

  • Clarification of contact people to engage with in MoH Policy Development
  • Information on policy timeframes and channels of communication so there is opportunity to participate in policy discussions
  • Acknowledgement of responses
  • Need for clear, meaningful and nationally consistent contracts with sufficient time for negotiation
  • Need for contract managers training
  • Clear service-mapping guidelines detailing who to contact, funding accessibility etc for the sector
  • Creation of Innovation Awards systems that are encouraged, acknowledged and transparent
  • Regional conferences to share innovations and to network
  • Joint service planning between Ministry departments eg: MOH, MSD, MOE etc.

May 2007 – Christchurch

The ‘Innovation and Collaboration’ theme of this 11th forum was selected based on feedback from the sector and recognition of the growing need to identify models of excellence in collaborative partnerships to achieve health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

After various presentations, three workshops allowed participants to brainstorm and share their perspectives on the opportunities and barriers to collaboration and innovation in the NGO sector (both within and between NGOs and between NGOs and funders). Feedback from these workshops and other feedback from the NGO sector was developed into a paper: Innovation and Collaboration in the NGO sector

October 2006 – Wellington

The 10th NGO-MoH Forum on Governance was attended by NGOs and their governance teams – totalling around 190 attendees. The Minister of Health, the Hon Pete Hodgson and  the Director-General of Health Stephen McKernan both asserted that NGOs need to be and should be part of the health debate dialogue in New Zealand and that a successful health sector cannot be achieved without successful DHBs, NGOs and PHOs.

A series of speakers spoke on different aspects of governance and NGOs used the opportunity to raise tricky governance questions for the panel to address.

April 2006 – South Auckland

The theme of the 9th NGO-MoH Forum was ‘NGOs and contracting in today’s health and disability environment’. Around 137 attendees heard presentations from both the Health Minister, the Hon. Pete Hodgson and the Director-General, Dr Karen Poutasi, which included acknowledgments of the Working Group’s and Forum’s growing role in informing policy and process.

DHBNZ Chief Executive Julian Inch spoke on the advantages of engagement with NGOs and DHBNZ’s wish to build NGO capabilities. Hilary Stace from the Health Services Research Centre, at Victoria University of Wellington explained what to look for in the contracting relationship (obligations and responsibilities). A presentation from Peter Glensor on alternatives to contracting was based on the premise that contracting invited a focus on clauses rather than communities’ needs. He identified a need to “work towards new funding relationships where the focus is (on):

  • outcome-based funding
  • relationship-based funding
  • no lawyers!
  • a greater stress on personal accountability, on the part of the people who are involved.”

Dr Don Matheson (DDG Public Health) and the Working Group Chair, Gill Greer spoke on the political neutrality (lobbying/advocacy) issue. The Chair invited NGOs to consider how they might use the Contracting Principles prepared by the Working Group in their own contracting processes, to assure funders of their ethical behaviour. The agenda also featured presentations by Win Bennett (DHBs) and Jim Primrose (Ministry) on the Primary Health Care Strategy’s Implementation Workplan and Steve Brazier on Pandemic Planning.

Sept 2005 – Wellington

This was the best attended forum yet, with more than 140 attendees participating. The focus of the forum was Workforce Issues, with presentations by George Salmond from the Health Workforce Advisory Committee; Judy Glackin from the Ministry of Health; Julian Inch, Chief Executive of District Health Boards NZ and Marilyn Rimmer of Workforce Development in DHBNZ.

Feedback from participants suggested that, while the support of the Ministry for the Forum process was appreciated, there was increasing scepticism about the level of commitment to making the changes that NGOs requested.

April 2005 – Christchurch

The 7th Forum was the first held in the South Island, with around 125 registrations. The theme was ‘Strengthening the sector from within’ – an effort to offer NGOs an opportunity to explore the potential to share expertise and resources.

The Minister of Health, the Hon. Annette King sent her apologies, so her address was read by the Deputy Director-General of Public Health, Don Matheson. Don Matheson also gave an update on the Ministry's draft instruction to staff on contracting with NGOs. Don acknowledged a number of concerns in submissions received, and advised that the Ministry was examining the option of a standard clause to go into contracts to ensure political neutrality is not breached.

Presentations included Brenda Ratcliff, Director of the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector and three case studies from PACT Group, the Carers Alliance and Poumanawa Oranga on Māori health promotion from within.