The Gisborne East Coast Council of Social Services was established in 1990.
Members as at July 2010 include: SPELD; Parkinson’s Society; Alzheimer’s Society; NZCCS; Presbyterian Support East Coast; SuperGrans Tairawhiti; RNZ Foundation for the Blind; Life Education Trust; Gisborne Volunteer Centre; Citizen’s Advice Bureau; Epilepsy Association NZ Inc. Gisborne; Gisborne District Council; Dept of Internal Affairs; Canteen East Cape; Salvation Army; Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti; Te Aka Ora; Barnardos; Bupa Care Services; Life Unlimited; Arohaina Resource Centre; Te Kupenga Net Trust; Te Whare Tu Wahine; WINZ; Cancer Society; Idea Services; Nona Aston; Molly Pardoe; Moana Mackey; Anne Tolley; Gisborne Stroke Support; Tairawhiti REAP; Ka Pai Kaiti; Schizophrenia Fellowship
The purpose for which GISCOSS exists according to our Constitution are:
To uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi
To provide a forum and ongoing organisation through which statutory organisations, voluntary and professional groups may unite to address social service issues of importance to the Tairawhiti region
To hold regular meetings to which all members can address topical issues and concerns
To facilitate and support services and other resources for community education and to raise awareness of social issues
To maintain linkages and representation on the National Council of Social Services bodies with particular emphases on the needs of citizens in rural regions such as Tairawhiti
To provide a united organisation through which all individuals, groups and organisations in the Tairawhiti region involved in social issues can work together locally, regionally and nationally to improve social conditions.
The Mission of GISCOSS begins with a commitment to preserve and enrich the quality of life in Tairawhiti through leadership in advancing, encouraging, and celebrating service within and between our local communities to advance social development in the region.
In doing so, GISCOSS will serve the community by being a resource, a champion and a steward while guided by a commitment to values of integrity, innovation and inclusion.
In April 2010 the Executive and membership of GISCOSS participated in a workshop facilitated by the Community Sector Taskforce. The Executive subsequently appointed a working group who presented a proposal to the membership to transform the organisation into a much broader entity.
The new entity would include a diverse membership from local civil society including environmental, sports, faith-based, education, housing, youth and aged sectors with increased participation by Tangata Whenua, Pasifika and ethnic minority groups. Following the demise of the Social Development Forum of the Tairawhiti Development Partnership and in the face of a truncated Local Government Act, the new entity would provide a strong, coherent voice for the community sector in Tairawhiti on issues of concern to regional development and Community Outcomes.