A families focus for Superu

16 October 2017

By Malcolm Menzies, Chief Executive

This is my first eNews column, and as the new chief executive of Superu I want to begin by thanking departing CE Clare Ward, and all the staff who’ve worked so hard for us since our inception, for their insights, energy and expertise. I’m excited to be continuing our work advocating for families and supporting better use of evidence and evaluation in the NGO sector. 

Our recently published Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE) for 2017-18, sets out our priorities and focus until June 2018, when we expect the legislation repealing the Families Commission Act 2003 to be passed.

Given our eventual disestablishment, we have been busy transferring legislated work to other agencies and reorganising our remaining resources to focus on what’s important to the social sector. The Families & Whānau work programme will transfer to MSD, along with management and oversight of the Growing Up in New Zealand contract. The Hub, our online repository of government social science research, will re-locate to the Social Investment Agency during 2018, and Ministry of Justice will take over management of the contract for the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse.

Superu’s focus now moves to supporting Len Cook, the Families Commissioner, as he continues his advocacy for families. Family resilience, wellbeing, characteristics, diversity and disadvantage are some of the issues Len will reflect upon as he challenges assumptions and offers advice about what should happen to address the current and future needs of families and whānau.

We’ll be continuing our work with the community and non-government sectors around evaluation planning and using evidence. Our hit handbook, Making sense of evaluation, has been short-listed in two categories of the Plain English Awards, on top of plaudits from here and overseas. But there is more in the pipeline and the team will continue developing and refining material and rolling out training to the sector.

And finally, we are planning our final Evidence to Action conference – the event that focuses on how to get evidence used in policy and practice for families and whānau. The conference will again be held at Rydges Hotel in downtown Wellington, so keep Tuesday April 10 2018 free. More details to follow.

It’s an interesting and challenging time for the social sector, and Superu will be working hard to keep families at the forefront of the discussion. 

Last update: 24 Oct 2017