Social Wellbeing Forum

The Social Wellbeing Forum is an event for anyone working in the social and community sector to identify and discuss issues important to you and your communities. 2022 was the first SWF since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We believe it is a timely opportunity to bring the sector together to take stock of the needs and issues facing our communities and the social services sector in Palmerston North and the Manawatū right now. This timing also aligns with a new local government triennium, and so this is an opportunity to highlight the issues important to our sector to both new and returning elected members.

The discussions at the Forum, along with some other research being carried out by our team, aimed to identify areas for collaboration and action, and to inform and influence policy and programmes across local government, central government agencies and the social sector.

 After surveying the sector recently, we identified nine topics for further discussion:

  • Social housing
  • Housing availability and affordability
  • Transitional and emergency housing
  • Impact of cost of living and financial pressure on families and individuals
  • Food Security
  • Household debt and financial security
  • Access to health and wellbeing services
  • Anxiety and mental health
  • Social isolation and related issues

Those who have attended previous forums will recall that in 2019, a different approach was trialled and intended to be carried forward to future forums. For various reasons, this has not become a reality in the way we envisioned in 2019, and in planning this year's forum we have reflected on the aims identified in the Forum's early years — that the Social Wellbeing Forum should primarily be a place for the social and community sector's voice to make our voice heard.

The report from the 2022 Social Wellbeing Forum will be released in early 2023.