Inspiring Communities Newsletter June 2015

The Power of the Small

Kia ora!

Think Big – now there is term that conjures up a myriad of contrasts from the Muldoon era to Sex and the City.

In amongst those contrasts community-led development lies, thinking big more often than not is seeded in something small that starts to create change. Locally- led change is not a journey of giant leaps and quick fixes, it is a process of small steps and intentional actions made by many, that cumulatively make a real difference and create big transformational change.

In this issue Inspiring Communities focuses on the Power of the Small. In a showcase of stories that observe and celebrate communities taking small steps towards big change, we highlight the value of contribution – no matter the size – it matters.

We feature two kinds of villages – one in the Waikato, the other is the sort you retire to; two kinds of giving – one time, the other money; and we share how you can get help to organise a good ol’ fashioned Treasure Hunt.

The Inspiring Communities team is looking forward to seeing you all at the Our Place Conference The momentum is certainly building, take the opportunity to read about the speakers and make sure you register to ensure you are at the forefront of building inclusive, accessible communities in New Zealand.

We welcome our new Communications Leader Rachel Roberts to the Inspiring Communities Team. Rachel brings a wealth of experience having been a journalist for a number of years before working with not for profit organisations to further their communications goals. She is most interested in providing communication leadership that illustrates, supports and builds on the growing value of community-ed development.  Check out Rachel’s profile on our website. 

And thanks Peter for all your support and hard work running our communications – it has been much appreciated !

 Have you joined the 700 others who are now connected to our CLD Learning links new each week on Inspiring Communities facebook?

Barbara, David, Denise, Megan and Rachel from the Inspiring Communities Team

Inspiring Giving

One Percent Collective is lucky enough to be surrounded by hundreds of people who really do care about the world. The Collective is made up of almost 200 supporters who donate 1% of their income to support NZ based charities, enabling these charities to focus more time on impact and innovation and less time on fundraising.In the two and a half years the Collective has been around,they’ve raised over $125,000 in total for their six partner charities and have had fun while doing it.

Supporting those with Good Ideas

Mt Roskill resident Darryl Reid approached Roskill Together with an idea in late 2014 … and asked for some help.  He’d noticed an unused hall within the retirement complex where he lived, Roskill Together found a way to lend Darryl and the residents a hand to revitalise the hall.Over the last six months, local residents have been working hard to convert the hall into a fun fuelled hub of activity for the 100+ local residents living in the Housing NZ village complex.  There’s now weekly activities from chair aerobics, hand massage, line dancing, board games, though to bowls and bingo.

Small Things – Big Impacts 

Jill Lawry is a member of the Hutt South Timebank. She’s also a tetraplegic. This is a story of how the small things that a local network provides, make a major contribution to her life. It’s also the story of how she in turn, contributes ‘small things’ which add up to the building of community.

Small Village, Big Vision

Te Kowhai is a small village north west of Hamilton. There’s a green grocer, a dairy and a take-away which is only open three nights a week for two hours. But behind this seemingly small façade is a big history, a strong community heart and a quiet determination to make Te Kowhai an even better place.A small group of locals meet monthly to progress key local projects, all managed voluntarily, and funded by donations and various public and private grants. They’ve made some huge improvements to the area over recent years.

Our Amazing Place – A Community Treasure Hunt at your Place?

Our Amazing Place Community Treasure Hunts involve local residents of all ages following a trail through their community. They stop at a number of stations where a fun challenge, activity or task is completed and traded for a stamp for their ‘passport’. It’s all about having fun, connecting with others and discovering local treasure – special people, landscapes, resources, projects, facilities, groups, and services.

Mon 29 June – Weds 1 July 2015
@ Te Papa Tongarewa
55 Cable Street, Wellington 

Register Now!
Our Place is a jointly hosted by Inclusive NZ, Inspiring Communities and Be.Institute.  It will explore what can happen when we step outside of our ‘sectors’ and think about building accessible, inclusive communities together. It’s an opportunity for all community organisations, government agencies, the business sector and community members to explore:
  • What it takes to work together successfully to create communities where everyone is welcome and able to realise their potential
  • How we connect with and learn from each other
  • How we can influence change
  • What leadership in an accessible and inclusive NZ looks like
  • How our experiences of inclusion affect our identity

Here’s a taste of the calibre of speakers:
Paul Dalziel Professor of Economics at Lincoln University. His book, Well-being Economics outlines a way of measuring economic growth that focuses on how well it enables New Zealanders to lead the kinds of lives they have reason to value, rather than measuring economic growth for its own sake. Issues such as unemployment and poverty can therefore be addressed directly.

Samira Yussuf was born in Mogadishu and spent her early years in refugee camps in Kenya before coming to New Zealand at nine years old. Now married with a daughter, Samira has made a home here, she will share her insights.

Tien Ung is one of the Our Place facilitators. She has vast experience in working with resilient people in marginalised communities and will be a huge asset to the Conference. Tien addresses among other things immigrant and refugee mental health and child and family trauma.

We are also pleased to also welcome Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Bill English, the Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Nicky Wagner, and the Minister of the Community and Voluntary Sector, Hon Jo Goodhewwho will all be speaking at Our Place.

More details on these and the other speakers can be found at

Everyone has a part to play in ensuring New Zealand is an inclusive and accessible society where we all reach our full potential. The time to step up and collaborate to make this happen has come. Our Place will create ripples across the sectors – bringing together speakers with the expertise and the evidence to kick-start a cohesive plan that will enable everyone in New Zealand to fully contribute to society.

Be part of creating change, this is where it will start. Register here now!

Training Opportunities

Practicing Differently (August 2015)  Alan Kaplan and Sue Davidoff from the Proteus Institute  are returning to Aotearoa in mid August and offering a range of workshop opportunities focused on facilitating conversations and enabling activism and change.   For more information see here

Multisector Collaboration Training (October 2015) – Inspiring Communities and Thought Partners are pleased to bring internationally accredited Partnership Brokers training to New Zealand.  The inaugural four day intensive programme will provide those working in partnerships with in-depth tools, techniques and strategies on how to partner effectively.  For programme information see here or contact Trish Hall from Thought Partners –  

About Inspiring Communities

The work of Inspiring Communities is currently being supported by The Todd Foundation, Tindall Foundation,  Lotteries, ASBCT, Bay Trust, Rotorua Energy Trust, Call Plus, Ideas Shop, Wesley Community Action and many other generous people and organisations who contribute time, skills, meeting spaces and resources to help us grow the recognition, understanding and practice of community-led development in Aotearoa, NZ.

To find out more about Inspiring Communities, our approach to learning, our framework for Community-Led Development, and more, visit:

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