Merger brings ‘financial stability’

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    THE Southland SPCA joining with others throughout New Zealand to form one organisation will not impact its day-to-day operation, operations manager Richard Hay says.

    “On the surface the operation will not change for staff or the public.

    “[The animals] will still be getting fed, housed, getting vet treatment. Staff and volunteers will still be rescuing animals in need, [and] the inspectors will still be following up on complaints,” he said.

    At the SPCA New Zealand annual meeting in June, 42 of the 46 SPCAs voted in favour of becoming one organisation. At present, each animal shelter is independently governed and financed by their communities, using SPCA branding.

    The new organisation will begin operating on November 1.

    Mr Hay said the Southland SPCA wanted to be part of a national organisation for financial stability and because it wanted to deliver the best service it could for the benefit of the animals in the province.

    “The old model just wasn’t fit for purpose.

    “The change will give the organisation more stability for the future.”

    One of the triggers for the formation of a national organisation was the fact that six of the 46 SPCAs throughout New Zealand were under administration, he said.

    By becoming one entity, the SPCAs would be able to share resources and information, have access to centralised funding opportunities and have increased bargaining power to secure more competitive deals on such things as electricity, animal food, fuel for vehicles, stationery and insurance premiums, which would reduce overheads, he said.

    At present, there were variations between the services delivered and policies of each SPCA, which were not all in line with what others were doing and many of the organisations could not afford to do training or have licensed animal inspectors, so the new organisation would also create uniformity in the services offered throughout the country, Mr Hay said.

    SPCA staff throughout New Zealand had been guaranteed their existing positions with their existing conditions under the new structure, and all 18 staff at the Southland facility had signed agreements to roll over their contracts, he said.

    The board of the Southland SPCA had been dissolved and the process was now under way to dissolve its charitable status and incorporated society status.

    Mr Hay said under the new structure, the SPCA would still not receive government funding and so would still be reliant on community support.

    “The money will go to where it is needed to look after the animals in New Zealand, but if someone specifies the money [in their will] or the money raised from a fundraising event is for the Southland SPCA, then that is where it will be spent.”

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