Details about Activate, introducing our new leadership training tool, some CLD stories + heaps more 
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Kia Ora

It's been a busy few months. Planning is now well underway for Activate - a study tour and ideas exchange opportunity, lots of innovative action! We've been on the road around the West Coast working with Communities Leading Change (pictured above in Westport) and Jim Diers has been back spreading his wisdom.

We're collecting all manner of CLD case studies from across the country and we've been celebrating success with Mangakino, as they opened their new heritage trail.  

Disruption has been big in November. The Kaikoura quakes and the aftermath of the US election, in very different ways, highlight the importance of community connectedness, empowered citizens and institutions being prepared to respond nimbly both in times of crisis and change.  
As a passionate West Coast local recently put it, “we need to talk about building community resourcefulness rather than resilience” - we like that!

The power of locally-led action and using what you’ve got to get what you want was also in evidence again last week at the Bright Spots National Hui we co-hosted alongside Plunket, Unicef, S.K.I.P and Every Child Counts. At the hui, local child wellbeing initiatives featured in the report learned from each other and also helped shape some potential next steps for 2017 – again, watch this space. 

Learning from doing and enabling Kiwi communities to inspire each other are key ways Inspiring Communities supports NZ’s growing CLD movement nationally. We'll be opening registrations to Activate in mid -December so keep an eye out for details in our end of year snapshot - in the meantime grab a cuppa and take the time to be inspired. 



Inspiring Communities runs a number of events across Aotearoa every year. We bring speakers from across the world and Aotearoa to your place.
April 5th and 6th 2017


Join Inspiring Communities as we take the traditional conference to the next step. 
Showcasing locally-led change in a wide range of communities, Activate is for everyone with and interest in community-led development. It is an opportunity to be challenged, inspired and refreshed by leaders from a wide range of perspectives and fields.

Day one: Discover – venture out across Auckland neighbourhoods to see CLD first hand.
Day two: Ideas Exchange – share what you know while learning new tools, skills, proven ideas and much more. 

Mark your diary now!
Registrations open mid-December. 
Tell me more
Utilisation-focused Evaluation Workshop  

 Mark Cabaj 
 Friday 17 February 2017,


Internationally renowned presenter Mark Cabaj is back in New Zealand to present this one day workshop focusing on the dynamic nature of community change. Designing Evaluations That Are Used takes participants through the major evaluation challenges and explores how to address them - so the end result are evaluations that produce meaningful results.

Inspiring Communities is pleased to be supporting this workshop. 

Tell me more


There are many inspiring community initiatives throughout Aotearoa that are making an impact and which have caught our attention. We've spent the last few months collecting CLD case studies  - in this issue we shine the spotlight on what's happening in sport and recreation. 

Walk With Us Albany
By Jenny Lim
Our ActivAsian team started a small weekly walking group to provide new migrants in Albany with the  opportunity to explore different walks, reserves and parks in the community.

Our volunteer Tingting uses WeChat to connect and share information about each walk, while also teaching English. It's grown significantly and there has been a greater sense of belonging amongst the group and a stronger connection with their new community.
Read More
Pipiwharauroa: Hikoi for Healthy Nature 
By Erena Hodgkinson
Far North iwi have heard the karanga of the pipiwharauroa and joined together in an initiative that promotes physical, emotional and community health through collaboration. 

100-plus kaumatua and kuia and local school-aged children celebrated both the change of season and the return of the lake to Ngai Takoto last year.
Read More
Selwyn steps up and out
By Michael Wilson 
We often found asking ourselves, why? Why are the vast range of physical activity opportunities in Selwyn not better known?  The ‘we’ was a group of Selwyn residents and sports enthusiasts. The thing that bound us was the positive place we held physical activity and the positive influence it had on us all.  Selwyn Sports Trust was born from this.

The invisible silos within our communities have been broken down through people being active together, be these generational, social, gender and so on. 
Read More

Special Mention 

We're passionate about sharing and growing expertise in CLD. So here's a selection of cool stuff,  from insights to reports to brilliant ideas. 

We are very proud to launch our first on-line training tool. This hands-on resource takes you through ideas, examples and poses questions that will help you navigate leadership. It's been developed in close collaboration with Margy-Jean Malcolm who has vast experience and expertise in CLD leadership theory and practice.
  Head to our leadership training tool  


The Mangakino and Whakamaru Heritage trail has been blessed and opened.
When Mangakino people talked about their visions for the future, one was to celebrate their area's heritage more.

This trail links with the Waikato River Trails which attract thousands of visitors PAST Mangakino annually –  now the Heritage Trail offers them a side tour through the townships and many memorable moments! 

Read all about it 


 I've been thinking...

Our series of blogs are a mix of approaches and skills that accelerate change, as well as commentary on policy and practice that enables effective Community-led Development.  
.... about Walking the Talk 
by Jim Diers
My work has brought me to 17 very different countries. I see a growing movement of community-led development everywhere and, in many respects, New Zealand is paving the way... but there is the opportunity for so much more.

What could be done to take New Zealand to the next level?

(Jim is returning to work with us and Kiwi communities again in March 2017. There is limited time left for him to work with you. Contact Denise Bijoux if you are interested)
Read Jim's Blog

How We Help

Inspiring Communities is a team of specialists in community-led development. We use our experience and expertise to mentor, broker, train and connect communities to become even better places to live, work and invest in.


In order to deepen the practice of community-led development we tailor training resources and packages.

These include:

  • Skills-focussed half day, full day and multiday workshops for resident leaders and practitioners, policy-makers as well local government personnel
  • Bespoke information that draws on our written resources and experience
  • Mentoring and coaching practitioners as they deepen their CLD practice
  • Co-creating in-house capacity-building programmes with large organisations.

We have developed a set of core competencies based on our research and our vast knowledge of cutting edge CLD practice. Here’s some of these competencies, which can be clustered as required, or taught in modules:

  • Working together in communities
  • Facilitating groups and inquiry
  • Generating and sustaining momentum
  • Supporting neighbourhood-led development and engagement
  • Noticing change and understanding contribution and impact from CLD efforts
  • Leadership in communities
We can tailor training, mentoring, support packages to your needs.
Contact us for more information




Inspiring Communities is the reference point for community-led development in New Zealand. Our specialists use their experience and expertise to mentor, broker, train and connect communities that are focused on solutions.  To find out more about Inspiring Communities, our approach to learning, our framework for Community-Led Development, and more, visit:
Copyright © 2016 Inspiring Communities, All rights reserved.

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