Southland Leaders' Forum
Ascot Park Hotel
13 September 2012
Almost 100 Southland leaders representing central and local government agencies and the community and business sectors attended the second Our Way Southland Regional Leaders' Forum at the Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill, on Thursday 13 September 2012.
The forum was divided into two halves. Attendees first heard a brief update from Dr Aaron Fox, Community Outcomes Regional Coordinator, on the Our Way Southland projects (parenting, leadership and youth), followed by presentations by:
- Professor Natalie Jackson on the demographic future of Southland and the implications which this has in the future with regards to who will be living, working and recreating in the region.
- Associate Professor Nicola Taylor on the 2011/12 Strengthening Parenting in Southland research, which produced a unique insight into the strengths and needs of Southland's estimated 14,000 families, and presented some challenges for the region on how to ensure that our communities remain connected and resilient now and into the future.
- Invercargill Youth Council members on key youth issues.
The second part of the afternoon saw attendees take part in one of seven breakout group discussions based on the seven Our Way Southland community outcomes and regional projects, to identify a short list of issues for report back to the forum. Each group was tasked to:
- Discuss the outcome topic (lifestyle, economy, safe places, healthy people, leadership, environment or education) with respect to the parenting strategy framework (regional, community and family perspectives, issues and aspirations)
- Discuss the issues raised during the presentations
- Identify key positive and negative issues relating to the outcome topic
- Agree on short-list of THREE or FOUR issues, which could be:
- What is working well (merits ongoing/increased support)
- What is working (business as usual, but would benefit from increased/sustained support/activity)
- What is not working well (requires collaborative action to effect improvement)
- Agree on why short-listed issues are significant for report back to Forum
- Identify possible areas of collaborative action.
A member of each breakout group then reported the groups findings back to the forum as follows:
- Presented the short-list of key issues
- Explained why the group had agreed that this short-list is significant
- Outlined any other significant issues which the group felt worth mentioning
- Outlined any areas of collaborative action which may have been identified
Report back key issues per outcome:
Outcome One: Southland is a great place to live
What is not working well?
- Need to more planning re merging, amalgamating facilities, services e.g. sports, arts, and change the mind-set of silos, empires
- Volunteer sector are in age groups and scarce in some
- People knowing what is happening in their area e. g. parenting support
- Strategies and support for people from other cultures coming in
- Facilities for children to come together with families and have fun
Outcome Two: A diverse economy built from our strengths for growth and prosperity
- Exploring new economic opportunities that appeal to the young people
- Focus on initiatives that enable unemployed youth to become involved in new industries/employer relationship
- Develop centres of excellent e. g. education, agriculture, marine
Outcome Three: Safe places in a caring society that is free from crime
- The hidden problems behind the perception:
- Family violence
- Empowering communities to come up with local solutions nobody is coming there is no more money, Plus Reporting if you see something do something about it
- Parental guidance, support and education parenting training at school/brain development
Outcome Four: We are Healthy People
- Working well ? - Collaboration but keep at it! Parenting/families with good relationships strengthen communities
- What need to work on? Focus on the 0-3 years (first 1,000 days) parents because that 'sets the mould'.
- What's not working well? Families who aren't successful, aren't getting the help they need
- Funding/effective sharing of funding
- Resourcing not available
- Not seen/no service anyway
- Cost GPs
- "Power Poverty"
Outcome Five: Strong effective leadership taking us into the future
- Taking SIT to the next level university
- Creating the opportunities for leaders to stay/return. Invest in the people that are here identify all levels of leaders
- Focusing on our parents child's first role model
Outcome Six: A treasured environment which we care for and which supports us now and into the future
- Greater working together
- Volunteers (lack of difficulty recruiting)
- Water quality
- Deal with issues more holistically not in isolation
Outcome Seven: A well-educated and skilled community continually seeking further opportunities to learn
- Using existing institutions as 'hubs' to engage/educate parents
- Drawing a link between education and parenting that is understood by a cross-section of community and is not limited so starting when school commences. i.e understanding the impact of the first three years. Communicating current knowledge (use of media)
- Strategic alignment of education with jobs
The attendees were then provided with three votes each, and invited to help identify the short-list the key regional issues. The results of the voting are grouped by theme:
1. Economy, Employment and Youth Training and Opportunities
||(22 Votes) (15 Votes) (13 votes) (12 votes) (6 votes)|
2. Education and Parenting especially the first 1,000 days (0-3 years)
||(18 votes) (13 votes) (13 votes)|
3. Leadership - particularly amongst those who stay in Southland
||(16 votes) (11 votes) (10 votes) (1 vote)|
4. Support for Families especially for those under stress
||(14 votes) (4 votes) (4 votes) (3 votes) (2 votes) (1 vote)|
At the conclusion of the forum, an 'open space' opportunity was provided for attendees to gather together and share ideas on how to progress the short-listed issues. Our Way Southland will continue to facilitate the parenting, leadership and youth projects, and with central government agencies and the business and community sector on the key issue of economy, employment and youth.
|Demographic trends and implications for Southland (1.3MB PDF)||View|
|Strengthening Parenting in Southland: The Research Informing the Regional Parenting Strategy (880K PDF)||View|
|Youth Vision (162K PDF)||View|
Professor Natalie Jackson
Natalie Jackson is Professor of Demography and Director of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the University of Waikato. She holds a PhD in Demography from the Australian National University and Bachelor and Master of Social Science degrees in demography and anthropology from the University of Waikato.
After 15 years in Australia, Natalie returned to New Zealand in 2010, charged with creating the new institute (NIDEA) While in Australia she was instrumental in assisting all tiers of government and a broad range of industries and business organisations to gear up for population ageing.
Natalie's research focuses on the challenges and opportunities of population ageing, with a particular interest in the regionality of workforce planning, education and health care provision, and changing supply and demand patterns. She is committed to helping people work with and plan for the changing demography, rather than believing that now imminent 'future' can be changed. As an ageing baby boomer herself she has a vested interest in getting it right, and sees population ageing as one of humanitys greatest achievements replete with many prospects for a brighter future.
Associate Professor Nicola Taylor
Nicola Taylor is the Director of the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of Otago. She has qualifications in both Social Work and Law, and has worked at the Centre since its inception in 1995. Nicola also has a part-appointment in the Universitys Faculty of Law. She has a particular interest in socio-legal research with children, parents and professionals, and has undertaken a range of studies on children's care arrangements following parental separation, relocation, children's legal representation, and family discipline issues. Nicola has been assisting Our Way Southland with the research design underpinning the Regional Parenting Strategy over the past 15 months.