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Accelerating Aotearoa Celebrates 5th Annual General Meeting

Date: September 02, 2011

AGM Date: 26th August 2011

Accelerating Aotearoa is now seven years old. Statistically it is now destined for survival in the jungle of the “Not for Profit” Charitable Society world.
Nearly thirty members of Accelerating Aotearoa met at the University of Auckland’s Owen G Glenn Building last week to celebrate their 5th Annual General meeting and receive updates on the current projects of the society.

The following extract contains some of the highlights of the Chief Executive’s Report to members at the meeting.

“Our Connections
Increasingly Accelerating Aotearoa is aligning with organisations of similar focus and aspirations. To support these connections, we have enabled bilateral governance arrangements with the Matatau Maori Business Network and NOAC (Network of Aotearoa’s Clubhouses). We are participating in a number of business and community fora including AUT’s CIS advisory Board, Raise Pasifika, Capable Auckland and the NZ Tonga Business Council.

Our Projects
Project deployment has been rationalised in to two primary delivery streams;
Accelerating Aotearoa’s Talent(AAT)
Focused on Maori and Pacific youth, AAT works with communities, educators and the private and public sectors to support talented young people into inspiring careers. The overarching principal for delivery is having engaged families as core participants.
AAT builds on the success of a pilot in 2010 with 100 students from 14 Auckland Schools, more than 40 family members, community representatives and role models, 17 exhibitors and 25 speakers taking part.
There are three delivery phases:
i) LINKING-UP: Connecting with schools, families and talent.
ii) TURNING-UP: Communities connecting with tertiaries, businesses and role models.
iii) FOLLOWING-UP: Helping families and communities understand the education system and supporting youth into skilled work; Mentoring Programmes, Scholarship Workshops, Services and Information workshops.

In 2011-12 AAT is delivering two programmes; Accelerating Maori Careers and Accelerating Pacific Careers, in partnerships with the Matatau Maori Business Centre, the Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Careers NZ.
What is innovative about AAT is our commitment to community wide engagement supporting our young people to succeed in education, thus enabling the pathway to skilled and exciting careers for many, previously without that access.Unlike historical one day events AAT offers:

  • Engagement with Talent over time.
  • Connection with families and the community.
  • Establishment of long term relationships.
  • Support for pathways to skilled and exciting careers. Connecting Talent, families, communities, educators, business and government.

APEC WES Peito - Enabling social & economic transformation through agro-exporting.
Under the auspices of the APEC Women’s Entrepreneurial Summit, the “Peito” (Cookhouse) project supports Women of the Pacific to grow new and digital skills and capabilities, as the foundation for the social and economic transformation of the region. The project is being developed at the invitation of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
Within the project, traditional agricultural practice is re-established alongside new locally owned and operated agribusinesses, as the basis for improved local food supply, processing to add value, exporting and distribution. Food processing facilities will be owned and operated by local women and will meet export market specifications. Bio security requirements will be accredited on shore and distribution channels optimised to maximise margins for producers.
A broad range of organisations, committed to supporting Pacific economic development through agro-exporting, are engaged as potential stakeholders including Business Mentors New Zealand, Oxfam and government advisors along with agricultural, construction, distribution, banking and finance interests.

Plans are for a pilot in 2011 in the Kingdom of Tonga with a Phase 2 deployment planned for Samoa.

Audit Process
Over the period we have been working closely our Auditor to strengthen organisational procedures and processes. This work ensures increased transparency for our governors and surety for future funding partners.
The Auditors recommendations have been incorporated, where appropriate, into Accelerating Aotearoa’s Standard Operating Procedures.

The organisation currently has a number of significant funding applications in train with a range of agencies and organisations including the ASB Community Trust, the Lotteries Commission, Department of Internal Affairs through the COGs Grant Scheme and Auckland Council through their Community Group Assistance Fund.

Our People
Accelerating Aotearoa’s achievements are largely the result of the strong and energetic group of volunteers that support our work on a daily basis. This group are the foundation of the organisation and its work.
Without you wonderful people our projects would lack life and connection and our days would be darker. Thank you each one of you for your commitment and contribution.
Beyond this team the organisation is now supporting a final semester Business and IT student from AUT. Over the next nine weeks Noah Ghebremichael will complete his required “Co-op” project in a shared AUT/ Accelerating Aotearoa project and work one day per week at Accelerating Aotearoa’s offices. Our work with Noah will inform a broader Student placement programme Accelerating Aotearoa is developing with the University and provide significant resource for the organisation. Welcome Noah.
Core Group members for the 2011 - 2012 year include representatives from Unitec, University of Auckland, Massey University, Open Polytechnic, AUT University, New Zealand School of Education, the Matatau Maori Business Centre, the Network of Aotearoa’s Clubhouses, industry representatives, and Auckland Council.
Mr. Andrew Bonica was elected Chairman in October 2007 and has agreed to remain in the Chair for the current period.
We acknowledge the retirement from the Core Group of member Mr Chris Matthews of the Open Polytechnic. Thank you for your contributions to this truly remarkable project Chris.
Welcome to the Core new members Hinurewa te Hau, Filemoni Timoteo and Doug Standring. We are looking forward to working with you as we continue this exciting journey.The new Core Group, under Andrew’s ongoing chairmanship gives us confidence for the period ahead, as does the highly talented and committed team of professionals that contribute tirelessly toward our common objectives. Thank you all for your vision, drive and support.
Finally, I thank you for your attendance today, and all members who have made the time to participate in Accelerating Aotearoa and its work over the past year. We welcome your ongoing participation and look forward to seeing you all at our gatherings in the coming year.”

Judy Speight, 26th August 2011