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Nau mai, hoki mai.

Welcome to our April update.

It is with much excitement we are looking forward to the HIV Women’s Seminar being held on 18 June 2021. With over 130 registrations so far, it looks like others are excited about it too. We have an amazing array of interesting and diverse speakers. If you haven’t already booked, click here where you can see a copy of the programme and register to attend. This is a free Seminar which includes lunch and refreshments as well as a warm and friendly environment for community learning and networking.

If we are not able to hold the seminar due to a change in COVID alert levels, we will do a virtual version of the seminar later in the year. Fingers crossed that will not need to happen.

I attended the HIV National Forum on be half of Positive Women Inc. on 26 March. This Forum is held twice a year and is a gathering of people working in the HIV sector, funded by the Ministry of Health and hosted by NZAF.

It was great to meet with Ministry of Health key representatives and other industry workers to discuss future HIV strategies and programmes for Aotearoa New Zealand. A key concern for Positive Women Inc. is the Governments proposed changes to the Health sector as a result of the Ministry of Health’s Systems review which was lead by Heather Simpson. You can read more about the review by clicking here.

The key concern for us, and other small NGO’s, is that there does not appear to be any place for us in regards to applying for government contracts if the recommendations in the review are implemented. Positive Women Inc. have already been advised it is very possible we would no longer receive government funding under the new structure. Subsequently we will be doing some lobbying to ensure the valuable work we do is both recognised and funded by the Ministry. The Ministry has however assured us our current government contract will remain in place for the next 4 years. Yay.

We had hoped to get Heather Simpson, or someone from the review committee, to present at the HIV Women’s Seminar but no-one responded to our numerous email invitations.

So, some challenging times ahead but also a time for new opportunities. One thing is for sure, WE WILL SURVIVE.

Take care everyone and keep safe as we enter into these winter months.

Aroha nui Jane

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