Manawatu SPCA a step ahead of national reshuffle

Manawatu SPCA general manager Danny Auger.
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Manawatu SPCA general manager Danny Auger.

Manawatu's SPCA mergers provided a blueprint for the organisation's national body, as it launches a country-wide reshuffle to provide a more unified approach to animal welfare.

At the Royal New Zealand SPCA annual general meeting, delegates voted to join the organisation's 45 independent centres into a unified national entity, a move under consideration for two years.

Manawatu SPCA general manager Danny Auger said the benefits of unification were clear, so this region's SPCAs just got on with it. This proved a catalyst for the national decision.

"The rest of the centres saw how well it was going [in Manawatu] and it was pretty much a unanimous vote."

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Manawatu/Whanganui's SPCA centres have been gradually merging since the Palmerston North centre combined with the Whanganui centre in November 2015.

Since then the Palmerston North, Whanganui, Feilding and Levin centres have all combined to form the regional Manawatu SPCA, so the area would see little change in the reshuffle, Auger said

National body acting chief executive Andrea Midgen said ultimately, the SPCA centres knew the previous structure was not sustainable, or the best way to provide consistent services and care for animal welfare.

"As one SPCA we can achieve more for our country's most vulnerable animals than we could as a fragmented organisation.

"Now we can do more to prevent cruelty to animals in New Zealand. We will be able to create a stronger SPCA inspectorate and we will have one strategy and one voice."

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The unified SPCA will have better access to centralised funding and bring down centre costs by spreading expenses across the national organisation, she said.

Auger said the new organisational structure would see centre managers report to an area manager, who is overseen by a regional manager. They will answer to the national chief executive and a national board.

The main difference for Manawatu will be the move away from local governance boards, but there will still be room for the region's community to get involved.

"There will probably be a 'Friends of the SPCA' style organisation, that still has the interests of the local SPCA at heart, to organise fundraising drives and local events."

 - Stuff

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