Child Rich Communities

Front page of Child Rich Communities report
The overarching goal of the Child Rich Communities project is to grow a movement of people who think and work in community-led ways to improve child, family and whānau well-being.

Read more in the About section below.

What’s happening in 2018?

Webinars coming up soon

Want to hear more about how people around the country are mobilising their community to improve child well-being?

Come along to the Child Rich Communities webinar series! Through three webinars we explore key practice principles that mobilise the community and improve child and family well-being.

DATE: 4th and 13th and 28th September, 2018
TIME: 11am – 12pm
LOCATION: Your computer!
Register here.

The webinars will combine theory and experience, with community-based practitioners from diverse communities across Aotearoa sharing their experience. There will be space for your questions and discussion on what’s making a difference for children and families.

David Hanna from Inspiring Communities will facilitate each webinar and present on the Child Rich Communities framework. Each webinar explores in more detail a couple of the principles that make up the Child Rich Communities approach (see the principles in full below). At the end of the webinar series, all the principles will have been covered.

The first webinar explores the principles of engagement, empowerment and connection. Julia Milne (Common Unity) and Steve McLuckie (Shore to Thrive) will present.

The second webinar explores the principles of thinking and working holistically and being responsive. Ginny Larsen (Mairehau Neighbourhood Trust) and Jane Denley and Adam Rivett (Waimate Parenting Hub) will present.

The third webinar will explore the principles of being relationship focused and the importance of collaboration. Lisa McKenzie (Hokonui Highway Project) and Erena Mikaere Most (Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Plan) will present.

If you have any questions or problems registering, email us.

Communities of Practice

The Communities of Practice aim to support those already working in community-led ways. Through peer learning, in groups of 6 – 8 people, we aim to strengthen everyone’s confidence, skills, knowledge and build ongoing local support networks. Currently, we have three communities of practice operating: one in Wellington, one in Christchurch and two online. If you’d like to know more, contact us.


These workshops will explore what a Child Rich Community (CRC) is, what the CRC practice principles are all about and how local people and organisations can work together to support the development of CRC thinking and practice locally.

The workshops on offer are:
~ Whangarei  – 29th August
~ Whanganui – 19th September
~ Ohakune – 26th September

To see if there are any remaining places, please contact us.


About Child Rich Communities

Kids in park, Waitangirua, 2015The Child Rich Communities project is about growing a movement of people who think and work in community-led ways to improve child, family and whānau well-being.

It’s well known that here in Aotearoa there are big issues when it comes to the wellbeing of our children. We think one part of the jigsaw is changing not just policies, but how we approach issues. It seems clear that the way we’re addressing issues isn’t always working: many of the big issues have been with us for a while, through successive governments, different policies and multiple reforms. So where do we go?

Well, as the quote goes, you can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. So how about we focus on doing things differently?

Rather than top-down approaches, we believe big change comes from supporting communities to lead. This means supporting communities to decide what solutions will work best for them, sharing power, decision-making and resources to enable locally-led responses and action. This is what Child Rich Communities are all about.

There is no single model or definition for what a Child Rich Community is. Rather it’s a way of working that is driven by a set of principles that enable people in local places to make positive changes for themselves, their children, their family and the wider community.

A movement takes people, so this is where you come in! We’re currently focused on raising the profile of Child Rich Communities and supporting and connecting like-minded people, organisations and initiatives across Aotearoa so that we can all learn from each other.

Learn more by reading the Child Rich Communities Principles. You can download them too.

Click to read The Child Rich Communities Principles.

Interested in taking part? Get in touch!


Watch some of the Bright Spot communities

Check out locals leading change in their communities. Hear their stories and share their insights into the rewards and challenges of using community-led approaches to support children and families.

About community led development

Meet the Bright Spots

South Alive Story

Randwick Park Story

You an also check out our Bright Spots webinar from 2017. In this webinar, we examined three lessons that emerged from the Bright Spots report. Lizzie McMillan from Wesley Action Waitangirua and Jenny Jurgens from Whanganui Central Baptist Kindergarten provided great case studies to demonstrate these learnings in practice.


Here’s some more information on the background of the project, how we went about it and where we are at now.