Information for Childbirth Educators on the 2014 Parents Centres Strategic Plan 



Embracing the Future – Outcome of Strategic Planning Consultation


You spoke – we listened!


Dear CBEs

As you are aware, over the past months we have undergone a significant consultation process as we prepare our strategic plan which will take us through 2014 and beyond. We recognise that, as an organisation, we need to evolve to continue to be relevant and effective.

A huge amount of constructive feedback from the National Support Team, Regional Coordinators, CBEs and Centres has clearly shown that there is a grassroots driven wish to restructure so as to give greater autonomy to Centres and to recognise and use the unique skills and contributions of volunteers around the country. There is a strong desire to move away from an organisational model where control is centralised, although there is still recognition that Centres want to maximise the benefits that come from being part of a national organisation. We have been asked to let go of an overly regional bias and instead become truly nationally focused.

This feedback has fed directly into the new structure and we are going to redeploy our resources to fit the new model Parents Centres.




We have already begun putting in place processes and strategies to make sure that the structure is in place to support Centre autonomy as we shift away from a model of centralised control. As we move to utilise the full range of unique volunteer skills we will change the way we communicate with our volunteers and we will take advantage of the range of technologies available to us to disseminate information. All volunteers will to have 24/7 access to technology.

As a result of feedback we have created a new position, Manager of Capability and Development.  This role will lead new initiatives which strengthen volunteer involvement and performance, including developing systems and process for delivering a wide range of training and development opportunities.  We’re delighted to announce that Joan Hay has accepted the newly formed position, effective May 1.  Please see attached the new job description for this role.

The Centre Operations Manager role will cease as of 30 April.   New processes, methods and systems are currently being developed.  These will provide our volunteers with optimal support and information that they require.  Further information about these processes and where to go for assistance will be provided you over the coming weeks.

Going forward the delivery of communications from the National Support Centre will come primarily via facebook messages, with links to further information if required.  This preferred method of communication has been highlighted to us through your feedback.

What does it mean for CBEs?

Your input has told us that you want to be better supported to network into Centres and to be more connected to the committees and to the community. You will still be supported nationally by Childbirth Education Manager but the new structure will give you greater access to your communities, as well as 24/7 access to information and technology.

The existing CBE contract structure will remain exactly the same with important emphasis from the Childbirth Education Manager on building a cohesive CBE community.

This strategic plan will enhance your belonging within the National Support Centre structure, providing open opportunities for building solid relationships and connections within your Centre, all working together as a team toward shared goals.

What does it mean for Centres?

Centre feedback couldn’t have been clearer.  We have listened and heard that they want to have greater autonomy to manage their own needs and resources, want us to remove barriers to success, want greater access to training and development, and more technology based opportunities and support with marketing within their own areas.

This has led us to create a number of new and dynamic project based initiatives which will provide new opportunities for volunteers to be involved at a national level.  We will be inviting volunteers to participate in these projects which will utilise their unique skills, enthusiasm and passion to contribute to the overall enhancement of the Parents Centre movement.  We will be sharing more information about potential projects and how volunteers can get involved and make a difference over the coming weeks. Communications and additional links to information will be posted via the facebook pages.

What does it mean for the Regional Coordinator Team?

The old Parents Centres model which relied on Regional Coordinators to manage Centres and volunteers in their region as part of a hierarchical structure, will be replaced by nationally focused, project-based positions which will be far more effective at recognising and using their individual strengths and competencies.

Current team members are committed to Parents Centre and we want them to be part of the new structure going forward as their skills and expertise will continue to contribute to our ongoing success. 

This awesome team have awesome skills and this new structure will see all Centres benefit from members of this team, not just the Centres they currently manage.

The team will take lead roles in identified projects and also work to identify projects that will benefit our volunteers, Centres but ultimately the families in the communities we serve. 

What does it mean for National Support Centre Team?

Goals and objectives are being reworked right now with the National Support Team so that team members are all clear and better able to tailor what they do as a team to meet the goals of the restructured organisation. There is a huge range of expertise and experience in this team and these attributes will be essential to ensuring a smooth transition to the new model Parents Centre, and into the future.

We are enthusiastic about these changes and are motivated to ensure that all team members are working towards enabling and empowering our volunteers and Centres to be the best they can be. 

Embracing change

Parents Centres has always attracted people of strong principles – eloquent, intelligent men and women who were not afraid to face change and use it creatively. We are at a pivotal point in our organisations life – the old model of centralised control has been replaced by a model which will lay the foundation for building and empowering successful Centres.

As New Zealand’s leading parenting organisation we recognise a parenting analogy – our organisation is growing up and pushing for independence. We know that the time has come to step back and allow our Centres to be the best they can be with our support, not our control. We will continue to provide the roots of the organisation as a firm foundation and now let’s give Centres the wings to blossom in their own unique way.

I warmly invite you to be part of the new Parents Centre – a truly 21st Century organisation.

Viv Gurrey,

Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand


‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’

Mahatma Gandhi