Local leaders tell their stories, latest research + much more
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Kia Ora

Welcome to our August newsletter. We’ve had a spruce-up!  We hope this makes it easier for you to navigate all the wonderful stories and information we have on offer.

We're still celebrating the energy created from the hugely successful Start Local. Seminar we co-hosted with Local Government NZ and IGPS In late June.

With over 160 participants, there were so many insights, ideas and approaches for working smarter and better together, that we decided to dedicate this newsletter to some highlights, including four community stories shared by local leaders.

Hot off the press is the Start Local Seminar Report capturing the very best of the day.  It summarises presentations, significant messages, and discussion threads from both speaker and participant perspectives.
Most Start Local. attendees (96%) said they were keen to see a follow up event in 2017 – so watch this space!! 

David has a blog inspired by Start Local, we also feature reports from other projects we’ve been involved in and we look forward to welcoming Jim Diers in September.

Jim will be working in Kapiti, and with Sport NZ in Auckland, amongst others. There’s some spaces still available so look out for those details in our events section. 

We are pleased to report Inspiring Communities has been a successful recipient of some of the Community Leadership Fund. As always we look forward to supporting you in your place, and this will help us do that. 

Contact us to discuss what would work best for you – in the meantime grab that well deserved morning cuppa and read on.



We love bringing you the latest thinking from the IC team, as well as from others exploring and celebrating the great things happening in our community.
I've been thinking...
about starting local, letting it happen and making it work! 

David Hanna 

The success of our recent Start Local seminar reflects a larger sea-change occurring in communities across the world.  There’s a unique opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand if we choose to genuinely notice, understand, and invest in this shift. We are well positioned to evolve new systems and approaches that support vibrant, sustainable communities.
Read Full Blog
Read Kindra Douglas's Blog - Sustaining Organisations


There are many inspiring community initiatives throughout Aotearoa that are making an impact and which have caught our attention. Part of our role is to shine a spotlight on what works and how to improve what doesn’t – this month we feature four  inspiring stories shared at the Start Local. Seminar.

Stone Soup: a mix of vision and action
by Judy Kumeroa - Te Ora Hou, Whanganui

Our neighbourhood was not functioning well in 2007. We had a low trust in services and a low trust in each other. We then experienced a trauma and the impact raged across the community. In that moment we were activated to think and to act differently. We began to share ideas, and that is how Stone Soup began.
Read Full Story
Saving more than birds 
by Kelvin Hastie - Crofton Downs Predator Free 

I’m a guy who was out the front gate of his house and saw a stoat cross the road in front of him and decided to start Crofton Downs Predator Free Community as a means to alleviate my inner guilt and rage.

We didn’t ask the experts how this could be done because we wanted to rewrite the rules without knowing what the rules were. We wanted to understand what the true barriers were and whey we were still going backwards in New Zealand when it comes to our environment. 

Read Full Story
Think local and let local do 
By South Waikato Mayor, Neil Sinclair  

A truly multi-cultural District, we are home to 23,000 people. We are a young district, yes we had a tough image, an image that unfortunately lives today. We are however a proud caring compassionate community. 

Councils and communities in general have to recognise their situation, accept who they are and then they can work out just what they have to do to create change. Identify your local strengths training was one of ours.

Read Full Story
Strong relationships matter
By Rachael Fonotia – Manager, Aranui Community Trust 

While we have worked on many initiatives with the various agencies one project stands out as an example of how it can work well – and then not so much.  In  2001 we entered a three way MOU with the  Christchurch City Council and Housing New Zealand after the ageing two-storey housing stock was identified as the most unpopular, highest need issue in the community.   
Read Full Story


Inspiring Communities runs a number of events across Aotearoa every year. We bring speakers from here and  across the world  to your place.
Ready Set Go!

A practical, interactive introduction to CLD (community-led development). Making it easy to attend, we've developed a one session a week course, running for three weeks.  

Using real life examples, this series is for people who would like to get a sound understanding of CLD. Each session lasting three hours will cover CLD's core principles and examine key tools for getting started. 

DATE: Thurs 1st, 8th and 15th September
TIME: 9.30am -12.30pm followed by light lunch
LOCATION: INRF, Tui Glen, 2 Claude Brookes Drive, Henderson
COST: $120+GST pp for all three sessions

If you would like more information Email:
Book Now - Registration Close this Week!
Work with Jim Diers 

Inspiring Communities is pleased to once again host Jim. He is offering multiple events from workshops, presentations, masterclasses and consulting. He will share insights and approaches that will inspire and motivate your community-building activities.

 Jim has found ways to get people more involved with their communities and with decisions and actions that affect their lives. You can read more about Jim in Aotearoa and visit Jim's website. 

DATES: 19th - 30th September 2016

“It was such an informative and exciting exercise, touching base with the community and looking at our community issues from their perspective. Was awesome and inspiring!" 
- workshop participant

To find out more about all these opportunities, including dates, how you can host or co-host Jim and costs email Inspiring communities' Denise Bijoux 

Book Time with Jim
Partnering effectively 

An opportunity for organisations and practitioners who want to build and sustain more effective partnerships.   

WHO: Partnership Brokers Association & Thought Partners  
DATE: September 13th - 16th 2016.
LOCATION: Vaughan Park Retreat Centre, Auckland 

The Partnership Brokers Association, a global not-for-profit, is dedicated to enhancing the professionalism and integrity of those who do the work to make partnerships happen and add value.
Details Here

Special Mention

We're passionate about sharing and growing expertise in CLD, so here's a selection of insights. From reports and analysis to fabulous community videos and cool ideas, some are ours, most are others. 
Start Local. Seminar Report released 

The Start Local seminar brought together 160 people from diverse sectors, places and organisations to consider what more can be done to engage, empower and build more resilient local communities.  A diverse range of thoughtful leaders shared their perspectives and explored ways to support locals to drive change in their communities that lead to sustainable, effective outcomes. 
This Seminar Report captures key highlights, messages, discussion from both speaker and participant perspectives. 

Bright Spots for kiwi Kids  
 The Child Rich Communities: Aotearoa New Zealand’s Bright Spots Report was released recently. It explores local community initiatives that are making a positive difference to children and families. It was commissioned by Inspiring Communities Trust, Royal NZ Plunket Society, UNICEF NZ and Every Child Counts.  

A total of 21 initiatives ranging in size and scale, age, geography and entity type were explored to find out what their success factors are. The report has been well received and those involved are now planning a follow-up hui to progress the success.

Communities on film!
Some of the communities involved in the DIA community-led development pilot projects have recently recorded their journey on video. We been privileged to support the work they are doing and watching these videos certainly encapsulates the essence of change, they are well worth a watch! 
Noth East Valley, Dunedin


How We Can 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



David, Denise, Megan, Barbara and Rachel 


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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