SFNZ National AGM & Reports



Report on the SFNZ AGM (October 2016).
Supporting Families in Mental Illness NZ, held its AGM in Wellington in October. Chapman Tripp, one of New Zealand’s largest full service law firms, provided the venue and also sponsored lunch for the delegates.
At our AGM in November 2015, it was agreed that a steering group be set up to explore a number of options that would support a change in the current structure of SFNZ and its’ member organisations. Over the course of the year the steering group met and an independent lawyer, Sue Barker from Charities Law, was engaged to provide a legal opinion. Sue presented her findings to the steering committee and prepared a Memorandum of Advice. This advice, accompanied by a summary and recommendation from the steering committee was circulated to all SF Members. SF Members were given the opportunity to provide feedback, and this feedback was further summarised and circulated.
Prior to the AGM, all SF Members were invited to a meeting to discuss the advice. Sue Barker also attended the meeting, and was available to answer any questions arising from either the advice or from the feedback. Kate Yesberg chaired a lively meeting.
The AGM was opened at 1pm by Sandra Terewi, Vice Chair of SFNZ. Sandra acknowledged the presence of Ken Mason patron of SFNZ. Ken Mason spoke about having trust in each other, to work towards an organisation that will be able to meet a diverse range of demands on its service into the future. Sandra also acknowledged John’s contribution during his tenure as Chair, and invited John to say a few words.
John spoke of his belief in the value of both fellowship and the provision of support and advice. John believe the organisation to be taking a brave step forward in undertaking a review of its current structure and has faith in all those involved.
Fiona Perry, National Coordinator for SFNZ, spoke about her role and a variety of opportunities to advocate on behalf of families in a number of different forums, including the current refresh of Rising to the Challenge; participating in a reference group looking at the current legislation in relation to the use of restraint; and submissions to the reviews of the Health Strategy, The Health of the Older Persons Strategy and the Disability Strategy.
Using information provided by SF, Fiona has also provided a report to Treasury on Homelessness and a revised version of this report was submitted to the Labour, Green and Māori Party inquiry into Homelessness.
Dick Brown, Chair of SF Nelson, was duly appointed to the role of Chair. Richard Skeates, Chris Lilly, Kate Yesberg and Gary Sturgess were also appointed to National Council.
The remit proposed by Atareira was discussed. Atareira were asked to amend the remit to read ‘That SFNZ and its member organisations agree to work towards the establishment of a single national organisation, with formal regional representation, including a costing and feasibility study’. The amended remit was passed, by a narrow margin. A new steering committee will be convened to undertake a costing and feasibility study and consider how a single national organisation would look.
Sandra Terewi then shared her views and experience of forming a single national organisation. Dick Brown closed the meeting by sharing his vision for the next twelve months, his passion for the work of SF, the benefit of fellowship and the need for small organisations to have a strong national voice, ending with the proposal that spirit of sticking together can’t be understated.
Steering Committee & Project Team
At our last AGM we agreed to explore what SFNZ might look like in the future. It’s great to now be in a position to move toward a more united national organisation that reflects the needs of families. We have a Steering Committee, in place to provide planning and oversight. The Steering Committee consists of myself (as Chair), Ernie Tait, Gary Sturgess, Shirley Vickery, Max Lloyd, Sandra Terewi and Fiona Perry.
A Project team has also been appointed and will be Co-Chaired by Jim Crowe and Lance Burdett, with Bruce McGarvey/Christine Zander – Campbell (Manawatu), Kate Yesberg, Chris Lilly (Wellington), Greg Dobson, and Fiona Perry.  The Project Team will research options and make recommendations to the Steering Committee. They will be gathering information from all member societies in the near future which will be coordinated by Fiona Perry.
Over the next few months the Steering Committee and Project Team will be looking at all possible options.
The Hui gave us an opportunity to hear of the changes already underway, for example a move from incorporated societies to a trust in the deep south, the development of the top of the south (TOPS), and the potential expansion of the Auckland model with devolved services led by clinical team leaders. All of these will be examined as well as other options.
We now have the critical mass with a shared sense of purpose to organise ourselves to respond to new opportunities and reduce duplication of effort.
Our aim is to arrive at a proposition on a number of options for the AGM.
If you would like to know more then email Fiona at
Fiona Perry (National Coordinator).