Community Governance

Many of us give back to our communities by taking governance roles in community organisations.  These organisations make a difference to New Zealanders in many ways, from providing services to vulnerable families and whānau, to youth, and to the elderly.  They deliver sports, arts, environmental and cultural programmes. They employ around 100,000 people (nearly 5 percent of the workforce) and contribute nearly 3 percent to GDP.

Improving the quality of community governance is a priority for the Centre for Social Impact.  This year, we’ve produced in association with the Superdiversity Institute a report, What is the future for NGO governance?, to look at what the needs and opportunities are.  We’re now collaborating with a group of organisations to lead the development of a national strategy for community governance.   

As we do this work, we hear about why people commit to community governance – and why they think it is important.  As part of that conversation, we asked some of our stakeholders to take up their smartphones, and give us a brief insight into their governance interests.  Enjoy! 

Mel Hewitson

Our first smartphone video is from CSI’s chair, Mel Hewitson. Mel is also deputy Chair of Foundation North, and an Independent Non-Executive Director of Simplicity NZ, Trust Investments Management Limited, Heritage Trustee Company and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia. 


 Mele Wendt MNZM

Mele is chairing the National Strategy for Community Governance.  Mele’s governance career spans over 20 years across 15 different entities. She currently serves on the boards of Te Kura (the Correspondence School) and the Wellington Community Trust.


 Shay Wright

Shay Wright was one of the experienced governors interviewed for the What is the Future for NGO Governance Report. In addition to his governance experience, Shay is involved in providing governance training through Te Whare Hukahuka, an organisation he co-funded with Travis O'Keefe to empower indigenous leaders to grow world class social enterprises.


 Carole Blacklock

Carole is Specialist Advisor Partnering and Social Investment, in Auckland Council’s Community Empowerment Unit.  The unit helps broker, deliver, improve and fund community initiatives. Through her work with the Unit, Carole has insight into many of Auckland region’s community organisations.


 Barry Baker

Barry Baker is a business advisory partner at Grant Thornton.  Barry has worked with a diverse range of not-for-profit organisations advising on many areas including strategy, governance and financial management.


 Natasha Weight

Natasha Weight is General Manager Charities Services, Ngā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai, at Department of Internal Affairs Charities Services. Charities Services is part of the Department of Internal Affairs, and administers the Charities Act 2005. Its vision is to contribute to ‘a well-governed, transparent and thriving charitable sector with strong public support.’


 Francesca Ephraim

Francesca is an analyst at Charities Services.  Francesca helps Charities Services deliver on one of its key roles of a regulator; educating charities about matters of good governance and management.