Policy and research updates


July 2021 updates:



  • The Ministry of Social Development are seeking views on strengthening social cohesion in Aotearoa New Zealand and building a safer, more inclusive society. Proposals are available for comment until 6th August here.


  • Charities Services have released a range of new and updated resources, including a Charity Handbook to support governance within charities.  A recent blog  also assists in understanding how the Health & Safety At Work Act 2015 applies to charities and when it covers volunteer workers, as well as where to go for more information.


  • A Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development is currently being consulted on and developed by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development(MHUD) alongside a specific Māori housing strategy. These strategies are intended to set medium to long term priorities for delivery.  Also in housing, a registration support service has been established for Pacific organisations looking to provide housing and MHUD are seeking registrations of interest from organisations who have the aim of becoming a Social Housing Landlord and providing community housing services to their community.


  • DIA have updated that information on key themes from both rounds of consultation will be released in late August 2021 alongside further resources around the background to the work to modernise the Act. PNZ have reviewed and received member feedback on the three issues being consulted on by DIA relating to the Charities Act.  Our letter with some broad points and more specific feedback on the role of officers in charities can be found here. See other updates in June 2021 section below.


  • A joint project between the Data Iwi Leaders Group and Stats NZ have developed iwi affiliation estimated counts and characteristics based on the 2018 Census. You can see the data here on Te Whata: https://tewhata.io/.  Te Whata is a data platform tailored by iwi for iwi and will be developed further.  Also to note is that Figure.NZ, supported by Stats NZ, is currently building a free website which brings together data for and about Pacific people in New Zealand.


  • The Ministry of Justice is currently consulting on proposals to strengthen the provisions that protect groups from speech that incites hatred, and by improving protections against discrimination.  Proposals include changes to the Human Rights Act 1993 and Crimes Act 1961 and clarifying that trans, gender diverse and intersex people are protected from discrimination.  Consultation is open until 6th August



June 2021 updates:

  • The Climate Change Commission has tabled advice to Government on its first three emissions budgets and direction for its emissions reduction plan 2022-2025.  The advice is evidence based and has been refined via public consultation.  Government will decide whether to accept the advice and how it will shape the emissions budgets which are due by the end of the year.


  • What are the implications of the new Trusts Act for your organisation? A range of resources have been recently released to respond to this question. Here is guidance from the Māori Land Court with particular relevance for Māori land trusts. Charities Services have released:


  • Have your say on Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development. Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is leading the development of the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development, which will communicate the long-term vision for our housing and urban development system, and how Government will work with others to make it happen. Responses are called for by 30th July. Have your say here.


May 2021 updates:

  • A survey of 1400 tangata whenua, community and voluntary organisations in May-June 2020 found that many faced slashed funding at the same time as demand for their services increased. A deep dive of the survey data has found that the hardest hit have been organisations serving Māori, Pasifika, and other ethnic communities, and organisations with low to medium incomes and operating budgets. Check out Hui E! Community Aotearoa‘s report on key trends from the survey here. A new survey of community organisations which checks in about how they are coping now, is due to be conducted later this year.


  • The Government’s Wellbeing Budget 2021 report includes analysis of New Zealander’s wellbeing upfront using Treasury’s Living Standards Framework and He Ara Waiora that draws on principles from mātauranga Māori. The latest child poverty report is also included from p.24.


  • PNZ have been involved in discussions with some other organisations about how to promote philanthropic investment or donations via the migrant investor visa immigration categories. Since that article there are some responses in Stuff and NZ Herald. This discussion is timely because the Government have recently announced changes to the immigration settings via a productivity inquiry and have made border exemptions for wealthy migrants from other business immigration programmes.
  • Good practice guidelines for investing in Ngā Toi. Creativity, culture and the arts – can help funders contribute to the social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of New Zealanders. These good practice guidelines have been developed by Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi with the support of Creative New Zealand to help the decision-making of both specialist arts and culture sector funders, and the broader range of funders looking to make a difference in our communities.

    The Ministry of Education has signed a Kawenata agreement with a number of iwi to establish a perpetual Tiriti based partnership. This relationship agreement has been signed by the Ministry, Tūwharetoa, Raukawa and Waikato-Tainui (Ngā Iwi) to establish a perpetual Tiriti | Treaty-based partnership based on equity and rangatiratanga.The Kawenata includes employing a ‘one-Ministry’ approach with Ngā Iwi, providing a seat at the table to influence key policies and programmes that impact ākonga Māori and their whanau, and the ability ifor Ngā Iwi to implement initiatives to support Māori educational success as Māori.


    April 2021 updates: 

  • The Department of Internal Affairs (NZ) has announced that it is resuming targeted engagement with the charitable sector to inform advice on legislative amendments to the Charities Act (https://lnkd.in/g4ZxBPD). Initial topics drawing attention include reporting requirements for small charities; charities’ business and accumulation activities; and the duties of the officers of charities. Click here for the latest Q & A’s.



January 2021 updates: 

  • Charities Services have provided a brief summary of the new Trusts Act 2019 (which came into effect from 30 January 2021). It includes the rules that can and cannot be changed, including that all Trustees must know their trust rules and keep a copy of key documents.  Following recent court decisions, Charities Services have also updated their website guidance on advocacy to reflect the new approach, which outlines when advocacy is and isn’t charitable, as well as how to assess if your organisation’s advocacy is charitable.


  • The Climate Change Commission has laid out a roadmap and draft advice for meeting Aotearoa New Zealand’s emission reduction targets in a way that aims to create new economic opportunities and reduce most household bills. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden noted that the two things that stood out in the Commission’s draft paper is that ‘action will be required across all sectors of the economy, and second that meeting our targets is affordable and possible with existing technology’.


  • A recent publication, A Brief History of Disability in Aotearoa New Zealand is a valuable resource that explores the painful history of eugenics, institutionalisation and policies that have disempowered disabled people in New Zealand over time.  Also reflecting on our current environment, the Making Disability Rights Real in a Pandemic report examines New Zealand’s adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during the Covid-19 emergency from late March to mid-June last year and makes important recommendations for future pandemic planning.


  • Following feedback on Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa: COVID-19 Psychosocial and Mental Wellbeing Plan that was published in May 2020, the revised version has a stronger alignment with Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025, as well as updated information on actual and anticpated impacts of COVID-19 on mental wellbeing and provides a framework for actions to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders over the next 12 to 18 months. The summary of feedback also provides examples of diverse initiatives and collaborations led by iwi/hapū, community organisations and volunteers duing the Covid-19 lockdown to respond to grass-roots needs.



December 2020 updates: 

  • The state of New Zealand’s housing continues to dominate headlines this month.  Two data products released recently provide further insight.  Housing in Aotearoa: 2020 brings together a range of housing information and focuses on how well the New Zealand housing stock provides suitable, affordable, warm, safe, and secure shelter for its citizens.  The Government housing programme dashboard published by Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development tracks how many families have bought their first home, how many households are in public housing, and how many new homes are being built.


  • The dataset behind the Time to shine,  time to take stock,  time to shape our future report which shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tangata whenua, community & voluntary sector in Aotearoa is now available to explore here. Particular enquiries can be made depending on your area of interest, for example filtering results by region, size of organisation, or service type.


  • The Centre for Social Impact and Steven Moe have published an update on impact investment in Aotearoa and current activity.   This short report provides a useful update on the definition of impact investing and its place in Aotearoa and overseas markets.  It also highlights insights from some investments made so far and signposts to resources.



November 2020 updates: 


  • The Minister of Education has published a Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) and the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) which have 8 specific priorities between them.  Many of these priorities are aligned with  philanthropic and grant making organisations’ collaboration with Government around how to improve education outcomes and equity gains for Māori and Pacific students, and students with learning support needs.


  • The  Department of Internal Affairs  (DIA) has  released a recent report in two parts – one on an approach to assess the effects of gambling on wellbeing in New Zealand and the second applying this approach to Class 4 gambling.    This second part indicates that the system currently transfers wealth from more deprived communities to less deprived communities and the benefit in the form of community grants is large and could be increased significantly through reviewing the regulatory environment and the operation of the  Corporate Society sector.



October 2020 updates:

  • A new report by the Human Rights Commission offers a framework for a human rights approach to alleviating poverty in working households across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Human Rights Responses to Poverty in Working Households”.  It also examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers practical responses and recommendations for how to take a human rights based approach to this issue.


  • We have released a research paper that provides more information about the Class 4 gambling system and community distributions.  Our membership has high interest in this topic and we wish to facilitate further discussion on the issues arising as part of our “better philanthropy and grantmaking” mission.



September 2020 updates:

  • As electioneering ramps up, Philanthropy NZ has created its own Election 2020 webpage which hosts recorded conversations with some political party representatives. It shares their views on issues of interest to the philanthropic sector, as well as contains links to other major party policies.


  • Charities Services has launched Te Puna Atawhaitanga as a new section on their website to provide guidance on charity matters relevant to new and existing charities with a kaupapa Māori focus.


  • Two reports of note published this month are Salvation Army’s The State of Our Communities 2020 and Inspiring Communities’ Funding for Change in Ōtepoti. This research examines community need and funding considerations in specific communities but contains findings that are more widely relevant and which deepen our understanding of what is happening in New Zealand communities.


  • The Government has released its latest action plan to support digital inclusion and assigns government agencies for key initiatives. Concerns have been raised since the publication of the plan around the need for continued affordable connectivity and the distribution of devices when current arrangements instituted during the Covid-19 lockdown end shortly.



August 2020 updates:

  • The Centre for Social Impact launched their ‘National Action Plan for Community Governance’ on 19th August 2020 which focusses on six outcome areas. Improving governance was one of the key areas identified in the recent Time to Shine survey, as a way to support the community sector navigate its future.


  • Government led discussions on how to best support an effective and sustainable social sector have led to the publication of: Social Sector Commissioning: Progress, Principles & Next Steps. This document outlines the response to conversations with the social sector so far and the next steps that will be taken.


  • The Time to shine,  time to take stock,  time to shape our future report that examines the impact of COVID-19 on the tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector is now out. The findings are based on 1,424 responses includes discussion on the challenges and opportunities that have arisen for the sector, what could be done to take action and how organisations and the sector could be strengthened for the future.


  • Community groups can now apply for the first round of a $36 million fund established to encourage locally-led solutions in the Covid-19 recovery period.  The Community Capability & Resilience Fund can go towards activities such as operational and administrative costs, technology to provide remote services, building economic capability and developing fundraising campaigns. Funding will be targeted towards community-led initiatives that support Māori and Pacific communities, as well as culturally and language diverse (CALD) populations. More information on the fund and how to apply is here.



July 2020 updates:

  • The results of a survey of more than 3000 people have been published in the State of Volunteering Report 2020. This pre-Covid 19 research highlights the importance of supporting the current volunteer workforce, while reconceptualising what the future of volunteering will look like. Key areas of focus include increasing the diversity of volunteers whilst also tackling an aging workforce and lack of volunteers.


  • The latest Waikato Vital Signs report was released this month.  This includes the analysis of data  by the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) relating to 34 indicators across eight impact areas.  It follows a Vital Update Report for the city of Tauranga also delivered this year with additional priority group reports. The Vital Signs research programme is co-ordinated by community foundations around the world and collects community driven data and knowledge at regular intervals to measure the vitality of a community.  The programme drives further conversations and supports action towards improving the quality of life for local populations.



  • This month a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education, philanthropic & grantmaker organisations and Philanthropy New Zealand was signed. This is to support collaboration between all parties for the purpose of improving education outcomes and equity gains for Māori and Pacific students, and students with learning support needs. The first national meeting for 2020 was also held to identify connection points and workstreams of mutual interest. Digital equity was also discussed given the prominence of this issue during the Covid-19 lockdown.


  • There have been a range of government funding packages announced over July which include $80.2 million towards ensuring Pacific learners and their families are better equipped to achieve their educational aspirations; $15 million to support wildlife institutions; $124 million Government investment in recycling infrastructure; a $200 million clean-powered public service fund; $761 million to invest in in under-pressure water services to ensure safe drinking water; an estimated $259 million of funding to ensure kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand screen industry; $3 billion national infrastructure fund to kick-start the post-Covid rebuild (which likely includes an also announced $30 million infrastructure plan for renewable energy); $80 million for sport recovery at all levels; and a $44,000 Discretionary Fund to help fund children with disabilities into sport.


Philanthropic sector Covid-19 updates 2020

Read our past updates that share philanthropic and grantmaking activity and insight as the sector seeks to supports communities in the wake of Covid-19.

Read past updates:

June – monthly sector update

 22 May – Sector weekly update

15 May – Sector weekly update

May 8 – Sector weekly update

May 1 – Sector weekly update

April 24 – Sector weekly update

April 17 sector weekly update

April 9 sector weekly update

April 3 sector weekly update

March 27 sector weekly update