Inspiring Communities Newsletter # 51. February 2016.

Building Connections 

'What you are doing is getting people thinking that they can make a difference.'

IC November 2015 survey respondent 

Kia ora!

Helen Keller said it so well:"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much“ 
Community-led development is all about relationships so building connections is the theme of our first newsletter for 2016. Timely with New Zealand’s sixth Neighbours Day celebrations just around the corner and Inspiring Communities has been creating new connections ourselves.

We welcomed three new board members, Chris Mene from Christchurch wears many hats (as do all the Board Members!) he is a facilitator, director, coach, trainer and advisor and works with schools, churches, businesses, government agencies, NGO’s and philanthropic organisations. Mark Potter is the Principal of Berhampore School in Wellington, where he has successfully integrated a community-led approach across the learning and community environment and Donna Provoost is an economist with over fifteen years of experience as a researcher, policy analyst and manager. She is currently the Advocacy Manager for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and lives in Wainuiomata. Chris Morgan has taken over as Chair, his experience most recently has been in the healthcare, insurance, and transport industries in various commercial and strategic roles. We will have profile of the IC Board in our next newsletter.  

More of our developing connections are scattered throughout this edition, we've outlined our various events and training opportunities, there’s a great mix for you to choose from.
We’re also introducing a new feature: a blog called I’ve Been thinking….. Our team will take turns to share their experience - there is certainly a lot of knowledge amongst our specialists that we think should be shared more widely with you. Nelson based Megan Courtney is first off the block with some thoughts on the importance of people and taking time to build connections.
As promised there is a report on our November Network survey, we highlight some other initiatives we have been involved in and as always we share some inspiring stories from communities across the country – this time Newtown, Caversham and Papakura's AwhiWorld, where technology is helping to connect people.
Let us know what you’ve been seeing so we can promote and share good examples of community-led action with others, email: First though treat yourself - grab that well deserved mid-week morning cuppa and read on.

Barbara, David, Denise, Megan and Rachel - the Inspiring Communities team

 Have you joined the 900+  who are connected to the news, stories and our latest CLD Learning links on Inspiring Communities facebook? 

I've Been Thinking.....

.... About Building Connections - a blog from Inspiring Communities' Megan Courtney 

Megan and her family on holiday  

During the summer break we headed back up to Auckland and took the opportunity to drive around some of our much loved stomping ground out West.

In the 5 years we’ve been gone, new roads, malls and houses have all appeared, with new communities both forming, and reforming, in response to ever changing city life. I also noticed that a once thriving community garden was no more and I wondered why. Read more

Survey results demonstrate the influence IC and CLD

'Inspiring Communities had been very influential in changing the thinking about community led development and being a conduit to innovative ideas.'

 Survey Respondent 
Inspiring Communities November Network survey shows that IC and CLD are highly valued by respondents. We are encouraged to see our newsletter, hosting international speakers, the resources we produce and the research we share as well as influencing others, our public policy work and Boost Camp all rated highly.
About 2/3 say that Inspiring Communities has contributed to the growing profile and awareness of CLD in NZ and almost 60% say CLD learning tools, stories and tips from Inspiring Communities have helped them in their roles.

Over 70% of respondents highly regard our summaries and the 'how to's' of CLD techniques and workshops based on Learning by Doing Chapters. Read more.

NB: Unfortunately there was a technical problem in collating contact details. We have been unable to get in touch with people who signalled an interest in working with us – if you did - we would appreciate you contacting us at and we will follow up.

ADCOSS updates publication 

ADCOSS has recently published the fourth edition of this popular community development book. 

It has all the original material plus four new papers written by experienced social practitioners, including a chapter from the Inspiring Communities' team - titled Community Development and Community-led Development - What’s the Difference?? 

The publication is relevant to people across all sectors including community workers, students, policy analysts, academics, politicians and others interested in how our communities can become centres for social development.

 The book is available at a cost of $15 plus $4 for postage.  Email: and copy to

Inspiring Stories

 Building Connections with Emerging Technologies

By Maggie Buxton, AwhiWorld founder

Awhi Creatures - Papakura

Imagine strolling around your local neighbourhood and physically viewing all the layers of history that make up the area where you live. Or meandering the alleyways and byways of a town while listening to stories contributed by the community for the community – stories emerge and recede into space as you pass by. 

These days you can turn on your tablet or phone, walk around a town and experience multiple parallel realities – place itself is now a media channel. 

My social enterprise AwhiWorld, is a response to changes to the way we connect and engage with spaces and places in our world. Read more

Connecting Caversham

 By Noora Frantz and Amanda Reid, from Presbyterian Support Otago

Painting College St. Maze

The Caversham Community Group is all about harnessing our local treasures and assets; including resources, people and places to facilitate local engagement in community development.

We’ve worked together on various projects whilst also tackling a range of issues identified by the community. There's been lots of beautification work, including the group fundraising  to create a stunning mural over a wall that was previously unkempt and regularly full of graffiti. 

The mural not only inspires and beautifies our community but it’s also a great conversation starter among residents and visitors to our area.  It accentuated Caversham’s positives to the wider Dunedin community. Read more

‘No Place Like Home’ Treasure Hunt 

By Sue Jenkins

 Katia, Hariata, Martin and James at the Wishing Tree activity station in Mercy Park

On Saturday 13th February Newtown was home to a very special kind of Treasure Hunt, revealing, to residents and visitors alike, some hidden treasures lying at the heart of the community.

Along the route there were many ‘have-a-go activities’ such as: energetic hula-hooping at the Wellington Circus Trust, learning a new dance move at the NZ School of Dance, and the slightly more sedate, but very creative, art-workshop pasta-style at Cicio Cacio Osteria.  

The Treasure Hunt introduced participants to some of Newtown’s older historical sites such as the older Fever Hospital now home to the SPCA. They were introduced to the world behind the rising stars of Toi Whakaari and New Zealand School of Dance and they tickled their taste buds with a new cold nitro brew at the People’s Coffee Roastery.

Whether it was a visit to the Carrara Park Community Gardens or a sneak peek at Te Kaahui Kohanga Reo, there was certainly something for everyone. Read more 

To find out more about how to organise a community treasure hunt – go to 

Events and Training Opportunities

Inspiring Communities has a number of events and training options coming up. Feedback in our November Network survey clearly indicated you value the chance to learn and share with peers and others using the community-led development approach.

We  offer training sessions tailored to your place and your needs, as well as opportunities to hear from local and international specialists. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. Here's a taste of what we offer:

Introduction to Community-led Development (CLD)

A two hour taster session that overviews CLD – what it is, why it matters and key principles that underpin successful locally-led action and change.   If you’d like more than a couple of hours – we offer a one day training option also.  For more info contact

Neighbourhood Boost Camp

We’re now in planning mode for three regional residential weekends for grassroots local leaders to connect learn, share and be inspired.
Central North Island (late May) – for more information contact Barbara
Top of the South Island (October/November) – for more info contact Megan
Bottom of the South Island (October/November) – for more info contact Denise

Community Building Master Classes with IC and Jim Diers  

In May we’re welcoming back Jim Diers and teaming up with him to deliver some very practical two day Asset Building Masterclasses in two - three places.   Jim may also have time available to work with you and your community.  For more information contact Denise

A Provocative Breakfast   

Food for Thought: How can we get food justice in Auckland?

For those of you in Auckland, Inspiring Communities is partnering with Kai Auckland to bring provocative conversation about food justice in Auckland. Tickets are $33.30 - this includes breakfast which this time is provided by the Kai Auckland network. 
WHEN: Thursday, 10 March 2016 from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM
WHERE: Lynfield Room, Fickling Centre 

Click here for all the details and to get your tickets. Seats are limited so be in quick! 

Get ready for Neighbours Day Aotearoa 19-20 March 2016  

Inspiring Communities is once again helping lead the national campaign encouraging everyone to get out and meet their neighbours.  
We love Neighbours Day because it’s a chance to hang out, enjoy some kai together, meet a few new people on our street and sometimes make a neighbour’s day. There's lots you can do in your own neighbourhood or to support others.  Read more 

About Inspiring Communities

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:

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