A Small Qango: Reminiscences of the Home Budgeting Advisory Committee of the Minister of Social Welfare 1978 - 1988

A Small Qango: Reminiscences of the Home Budgeting Advisory Committee of the Minister of Social Welfare 1978 - 1988 Book Details

By Dave Mullan

  • Category: Australia & Oceania, Books, History, Business & Personal Finance, Personal Finance
  • Type: ebook
  • Release Date: 2015-04-21
  • Author: Dave Mullan
  • Book Ratings: 0/5 (0 User Reviews)

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A Small Qango: Reminiscences of the Home Budgeting Advisory Committee of the Minister of Social Welfare 1978 - 1988 Overview

This story of the HBAC has been put together by Dave Mullan who became involved in family budgeting in the 1970s. With Allan Mayall of Christchurch, he co-convened the first national meeting to consider forming a federation of budgeting services. But it had no funds, no resources and the only organisation was a small management group in Auckland.
In 1978 Dave was appointed to the Home Budgeting Advisory Committee of the Minister of Social Welfare. When the volunteer federation later replaced him after his term as national president, the Minister appointed him as a fifth member. He was one of only two members to serve for the full ten years of the committee’s life.
From the start, this small qango (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation) acquired a reputation for acting rather than merely talking. Its first decision was to authorise its own bank account–-normally the responsibility of the appropriate government department. The members then travelled all over the country and met people doing family budgeting at the flax roots level.

Through over 130 meetings and gatherings the committee developed resources to help volunteer budgeters in their work. It birthed a properly constituted national federation of the majority of budgeting services in the country. And it initiated the very substantial assistance that now flows from the public purse to the federation.

When its sudden death occurred at the hands of “qango killer”
Geoffrey Palmer in 1988 the then Director-General of Social Welfare, John Grant commented on its remarkable and distinctive achievements. He observed that someone really ought to write up its story.

This book is an attempt to do that. It describes the general sequence of events with the same light touch with which the HBAC fulfilled its mandate. It offers insights into the operations of a typical Qango and the sometimes tentative relationships that existed between Government and Voluntary Organisations in the '70s. It provides fascinating reading for budget advisors and volunteer workers who remember the bad old days when Family Budgeting groups struggled without adequate acknowledgement. This is the only complete record of the decade of the committee’s life.

It will also be of interest to anyone involved in present-day family budgeting and similar activities. This record may suggest to them that the current level of government funding support for today’s family budgeting operations was not always present. The financial assistance they enjoy for management, training and volunteers’ expenses was hard won with tact, ingenuity and compromise.

In her foreword, the CEO of NZFederation of Family Budgeting Services says, “It is vitally important for our organisation to remember and acknowledge our founding roots and to appreciate the efforts of all who came before us. Without the tireless and usually voluntary efforts of all those mentioned in this book we would not have the strong basis and support for what we are achieving here today.
“It is fascinating to look back and see that although we have come a long way and the amounts of money and names are different, many of the struggles and issues are exactly the same. By understanding where we have come from and what has gone before, we have a much stronger base of experience and impetus to move forward into the future.
“The only sad thing to acknowledge is the fact that we are still a service that is as desperately needed now as when the story in this book began. Grateful thanks from all at NZFFBS to everyone mentioned in this book and special thanks to Dave for his efforts in helping us all to remember.”
Raewyn Fox
CEO New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services (Inc.)

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