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eNews from Lead Centre for Not for Profit Leadership: November/December 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: Training, leadership, non-profit, newsletter, pacific, Community Groups, legislation

Good Practice Governance and other Not for Profit Myths

Over the last 25 years the team at LEAD have worked with hundreds and hundreds of not for profit leaders and board members in towns and cities across all the NZ regions. During that time, we have learnt some things about good governance, and not all of it is what you’d expect.

Most of the many books on governance don’t describe what actually happens in real live non-profits, but are more ‘heroic’ prescriptions, full of far-too-many impossible ‘shoulds’. Aspirations can be useful if they are just beyond our reach and encourage us to do better, but unrealistic expectations and myths just discourage and often mislead. ‘Culture-free’ models usually just reflect the dominant culture - or worse still, the culture of the country they were imported from. Here are a few of the myths we come across with some responses taken from real life:

Myth #1: There is a model of Good Governance that all boards should follow

The reality is, despite numerous (competing) claims to have found the one true governance way, no one size fits all. How could we expect it to when every community in NZ is different, every organisation is different, and every board is different? One model cannot accommodate the range of cultures, missions, and demographic profiles of every organisation (Lyons, 2001; Steane, 2001; Cornforth, 2001 & 2003; Bradshaw, Hayday & Armstrong, 2007; Erakovic & McMorland, 2009; Chelliah, Boersma & Klettner, 2016; Hugh & Nowland-Foreman, 2018). And very few even acknowledge the changing governance needs over an organisation’s life-cycle.

The most common ‘model’ actually practiced round the world and in NZ, the Community Management model, is pretty much ignored in the governance literature, because it contradicts common assumptions about what good governance should look like. But it’s foolhardy to think that governance models born out of Westminster, and fine-tuned in the corporate boardrooms of the United States will work perfectly fine in Aotearoa.

Read about 5 more myths about how your board 'should' operate by Garth Nowland-Foreman.

LEAD Update: Pasefika participation in Governance

We are delighted to announce that LEAD has launched a project to research barriers and enablers to Pasefika leaders prticipating in governance, and to facilitate training to support engagment, in particular by Pasefika youth. We are also thrilled to share that the project is being led by Judy and Steve Mata’ia and Eroni Clarke.

First up are two initiatives below – please do pass on to anyone you think would be interested.

Governance Training for Boards of Pasefika Organisations in Auckland

Over the course of six 2 hour evening seminars, this training programme will cover a range of topics relevant to board members of Pasefika organisations. This is a training programme for both new boards members and those who have been on boards for a while. Join us at our first two sessions:


  • Wednesday 6th November 2019: What is good governance and what would our uniquely Pasefika approach be?
  • Wednesday 20th November 2019: Stewardship and accountability

Time: 6 to 8pm.
Location: MPHS Community Hub (27 Corban Avenue, Henderson).

The workshops are facilitated by experienced Pasefika trainers who have extensive experience as board members, and are fully funded and free for participants.

Contact Steve Matai’a for more information (steve[at] or 021 544 034).

Download a flyer on Governance Training for Boards of Pasefika Organisations [PDF].

Pasefika Youth Survey on Governance Participation

Pasefika Youth are invited to participate in an online survey exploring their views on governance, and have the opportunity to win a $50 Westfield voucher. The results of the survey will help shape future workshops targeted to include and build Pasefika young leaders ready for governance.

Contact project coordinators for more information: Eroni Clarke (027 839 0127) or Stephen Matai'a (021 544 034).

Take the Pasefika Youth Survey on Governance Participation.

What's the deal with self-leadership?

Before we can lead a team, organisation or community, first we need to lead ourselves. To lead in a community context that is complex, ambiguous and fluid, you as a leader need to be confident about who you are. This includes knowing what you believe in, what your values are, and what you want to achieve. It also includes holding yourself accountable to these, and aligning your life accordingly. At LEAD we call this your leadership philosophy.

This is not some nefarious new age philosophy. Leaders who have high levels of emotional intelligence, especially self-awareness are seen as more authentic, trustworthy, and influential. It makes sense that at the centre of leadership is the person who, above anything, is not only facilitating, but also living the difference we seek in our organisations and communities.

Author Pete Hamill argues that self-awareness is an important starting point for leadership development, in his 2011 research on embodied leadership.

Continue reading this article from Sandy Thompson.

The Tortoise and the Hare?

When new law is too fast...

Rumour (from a reliable source) has it that the new Minister for the Community & Voluntary Sector, Minister Poto Williams, may not be in such a hurry to push the review of the Charities Act through on its original rushed timetable. This would be good news for the sector, as it will mean there will time to release an ‘exposure’ draft of the proposed new legislation and get sector feedback on the specific proposals before being pushed through parliament before the next election. Rushed law is rarely good law, and we are still paying the price for rushing through last minute changes to the original Charities Act.

When new law is too slow...

The long-awaited revisions to the Incorporated Societies Act (under which most not-profit organisations get their legal status) has finally been approved by Cabinet.
View a copy of the Cabinet Minutes on the Incorporated Societies Act Review (MBIE).

Way back in the dark mists of 2013 the Law Commission undertook a review of the 1908 Incorporated Societies Act. In 2014 the previous Government agreed to an 'exposure draft' being released for public comment, but it's been left languishing by both the previous Government for a whole term of office, and the current Coalition Government, since it was elected. Despite bi-partisan support (or at least lack of opposition) it seems no-one cared enough to put it on the Legislative Programme (the track to getting passed by Parliament). It’s understandable that a new Government will have its own top priorities for legislation, but while this is not a ‘sexy’ piece of legislation everyone agrees up-dating the more than century-old act is long overdue.

So, its good news that Minister Kris Faafoi finally got the Reform of the Incorporated Societies Act up on the Cabinet agenda, and at least got it a category 4 priority on the 2019 Legislative Programme (i.e. to be referred to a Select Committee in 2019). Cabinet also approved some eight relatively minor changes, along with significant amendments to clarify the Act does disadvantage nor cut across ordinary practices of trade unions (which are registered under this Act as well-being regulated by the Trades Union Act), and a few other matters. The minor changes appear generally sensible and useful for the sector.

The changes to the transitional arrangements, however, hold some risks. Instead of existing organisations automatically being re-registered under the new Act, they will now have to actively seek re-registration. Theoretically this should be straight forward, but some groups may slip through the cracks and it puts more weight on the proposed Government education campaign to not only reach all those effected organisations but also to provide support if necessary, especially for the smallest of non-profits. In this context its worth remembering that 90% of non-profits have no paid staff at all, so will be totally relying on volunteers to manage this process. (Even those who employ staff only have an average of 1.1 staff, so the transition will impose a not insignificant compliance cost on the most in the sector.)

Sector-specific training in November and December 2019

Managing and Leading Community Organisations: Christchurch

Join these three days of sector-specific training and optional coaching and mentoring in Christchurch (11th to 13th November 2019).

This programme sold out in Wellington and Auckland so don't miss out in Christchurch!

Leading in a community organisation can be complex! This Development Programme grows your skills, knowledge and confidence to manage the people, money, projects, and stakeholders, whilst still driving results. So, no more second-guessing yourself!

Choose your level of learning: $750 plus GST for the three-day workshop only or $1750 plus GST for the 3 day workshop as well as 6 months of coaching and mentoring.

“An immediate outcome for me has been that my interaction with staff is more purposeful and focused on them and their needs...making more of an effort to understand where they are coming from, which has produced positive results.” - Participant from the Wellington learning cohort 2018.

Get more information on the Managing and Leading Community Organisations workshop, including how to register.

Strengthening Through Stories at Community Waikato 2019 Conference: 13th to 14th November 2019 in Hamilton

  • Workshop with Garth Nowland-Foreman: How to replace your Strategic Plans with Strategic Stories; and
  • Workshop with Ruth Osborne: A handful of ways to facilitate Authentic Storytelling.

register for the Community Waikato 2019 Conference.

Leading Self: A Personal Leadership Development Workshop

Date: Friday 13th December 2019.
Location: Auckland.
Cost: $225 plus GST per person. Lunch included.

The good news: published research proves that happiness, reflective practice and ethical leadership are interrelated.

The even better news: Sandy Thompson and Hilary Star Foged are running a one day workshop for leaders to reflect on their own leadership and develop a practical personal framework to support leadership growth and development.  Kick off 2020 feeling more confident, assured and resilient in your leadership!

Get more information on this Leading Self workshop, including how to register.

Training in 2020

Auckland opportunities

Wellington opportunities

Christchurch opportunities

Hui E! Community Aotearoa is looking for a new leader

Hui E! Community Aotearoa seeks to promote, strengthen and connect the community sector. The Pou Kaiārahi is a key leadership role; they will lead and facilitate greater engagement with the Sector and optimise the supporter’s network to identify and activate opportunities for development and enable and empower communities.  They will influence key stakeholders (including government) and create opportunities to build Sector capacity and capabilities.  The search is on for a dynamic, self-motivated leader who is passionate about strengthening the collective voice of the Sector and assist communities to work collectively to progress their own aspirations and well-being.

If you believe you have the leadership and management capabilities to lead Hui E! into the future, then your application is welcome. This is a part-time (25 hours per week) fixed term position (3 years).

Contact Pania Coote at Hui E! for further information (chair[at]

LEAD Centre for Not for Profit Leadership: Skills, knowledge and confidence to lead and create change.

Come join our Learning Community of not for profit leaders on Facebook.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
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  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch