Based on previous sessions, in which we compiled a list of what is going on for us as individuals, as organisations, our aspirations and what this collective Kōrero could be, the convening team bought a proposed framework based on this input, to the hui. We began with Whakawhanaunga and then spent valuable and productive time experimenting with and working though the framework pictured below.

There is no doubt that holding these spaces allowed a rich and diverse sharing and learning from peoples’ mahi, vision, experience, noticing; ideas for action as well as a couple of asks. Below are small snapshots from the discussion; notice common themes occurring across organisation and people’s mahi and insight.

Holding a space for Kōrero, for people’s mahi and vision

We heard about:

The intersection of design, innovation and social technology. Degrowth – how we live in a more sustainable way.

The ongoing work in inclusiveness – IACT continues its mission where everyone has a place to belong. How the need to feel you belong is intrinsic in wellbeing. The work being done to bring networks together and building cross-sector networks to build power and agency. There was a retreat held for leaders working in the NGO sector to deeply dive into what is required to make this happen.

Mahi in which discussion is taking place about the little things that we do that can grow into bigger things. Aotearoa can choose to be a leader – questions then about how we can become more inclusive, continuing to strive for a country that is fair for everyone. Addressing issues such as poverty stemming from a colonial past.  Being brave, not afraid to call this stuff out. Aotearoa is on a knife edge; a game changer or the same old same old? We all need to be brave, take courageous steps, we are small, we can be agile. There is a lot of innovation happening, often despite government systems rather than because of them.

Mental health and wellbeing. The understanding that it is not a defined space – wellbeing is everything. Making sure everyone has what they need to thrive. If they are struggling that they can access the support they need to live the life that works for them.

Moving in innovators, getting the funding and support to make solutions work. The opportunity to use the knowledge within – to take that knowledge into the system – to support those trying to do this innovation within the system.

Inequality of access is top of mind. There are many substantive ideas, we need new leaders, new voices, new ways of working. There are many incredible leaders that don’t get to step into the spaces they should be in. People need to think about getting out of the way so others can claim their space. There is te ao māori, cultural nuances and sustainable models that are not getting enough mandate to make the change that is needed. Solutions will come with people working together and in the power of holding people’s voices, of speaking out, speaking up and calling out the challenges. Until we open up to tough conversations power won’t step aside – change won’t happen.

Cultural responsiveness is having some success in changing and understanding complexity – whether here or in aboriginal communities. Everything is around total wellbeing. Many relationships sit in a negative approach. There needs to be a challenge to the power structure but in a respectful way. Intercultural facilitation is about equality. Noticing Aotearoa is stuck in a cross-cultural space. If we ignore intercultural system when we go through the change space, we can often throw out the good stuff with the bad. New Zealand can lead in intercultural capacity and capability – leaders need to be going deeper than the top layer. If we move the power structure we can start with equity, start with partnership.

Economic wellbeing is busy looking for collaborations. Then it can ask communities – what is the economy they would like to see.  How do we encourage better decision making, address systemic problems.

Integrating personal relationships with professional, strong insight into colonising intergenerational trauma. Creating spaces for joining healing wellbeing and flourishing communities.

Holding a space for reflecting

What people have been noticing – from what’s going on in policy, latest reports, nationally and international trends, narrative and discussions. We heard about:

Reflecting change from 10 years ago, reading many reports such as a fair change for all and reform into local government. Hearing more about co-governance, CTU policy packages, all highlights a change – a te ao māori lens – lots of good work happening – we should celebrate it.

Worth us thinking about the issues that will be at the forefront of the election in 2023, important we have these conversations and don’t seed the ground to some pretty myopic perspectives.

People want to see things happening in different ways, but not sure they know what that looks like. Seeing some very interesting things happening in the health sector. There are challenges with the various stages different aspects are at, be good to see how the good is demonstrated – time needed for this to evolve. Mental health spaces too – how do you bring in the voices that know what they need and want? There are some bright sparks, it will be a test over the next few months to see how it is allowed to unfold.

There are many incredible publications and think pieces it would be awesome to bring them together – because that gives visibility to what is happening. Change is often invisible so people are not seeing the change. People in this Kōrero are exposed to change which inspires us but a lot of people are not. Very hopeful, there is amazing people doing amazing mahi – we see that by getting into community and talking to people, leaders, volunteers doing the mahi whether there is money or not, government is involved or not, they are doing it. Many more people need to have this exposure.

Common themes; everybody continues to have head down stuck in the business, not coming to the horizon to take a breath before plans are put in place – if you aspire for change, take a different approach. For example, a pathway Walk Together is developing to take people through a mindset shift – come into equity as a process, as a pathway rather than it being an outcome. Mindset shifts can only happen if you do it in context.  Walk Together has developed 12 pathways. And there is a campaign; 100,000 cups of tea. It’s about getting groups to collaborate through the cups of tea, partly facilitated, partly co-constructed – get in touch with Arama if you want to have a cup of tea! All sorts of ideas and purpose that could come out of getting out of business as usual. There is an imagined bureaucracy which leads to a ‘not sure if we can do that’ mindset – actually you can!

Online spaces – countering violent extremism and terrorism, involved in the Christchurch Call and the International Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. What we are seeing is the pathways to radicalisation, it’s the increasingly hostile discourse – online platforms where awful stuff is being said and is happening. Where the basis to judge good and bad information – determine what is truth and not – is undermined. There are malicious players – it is well funded, well organised across the world and we are not immune. Part of advocacy is how do we do better with online spaces – bureaucracy and systems haven’t legislated, very frustrating. So if government isn’t going to act then that just leaves community and that is why we want to be doing stuff rather than just talking – great to talk what are we going to do. It is critical that we allow people to have spaces and be visible. There needs to be a lot better and a lot faster coordination around this.

At a local level initiatives like healthy families’ webinars – what does system change look like? ‘Community up’ is a new term. And internationally people are looking at indigenous ways of achieving the like of carbon net zero, looking to New Zealand to see what is happening on the ground.

There is an interesting risk narrative around mental health – exploring ways to balance the need for safety with innovation. Exploring ways help people understand all the voices that need to be considered – a lot of national and international work around this, but we need to go further.  It is important that we build confidence for people to innovate safely rather than put them off or uphold power dynamics by creating accreditation processes where amazing community leaders have to go somewhere else so as to prove their worth to be able to do their mahi.

Holding a space for sharing

Time was short!

Inspiring Communities are going to do a report working title ‘Centrally enabled, Locally led’. They are interested in hearing from people who may like to contribute. Find out more

WEALL is organising an event with people in Auckland wanting to discuss building a new   economy. If you are interested in this, get in touch with Gareth. Email:

“I’m resonating madly with what everyone is saying.”

– quote from the session

The links to mahi, publications, organisations discussed throughout the Kōrero – Anjum’s mahi – Emily’s Mahi – Rochelle’s mahi  – Arama’s mahi – Gareth’s mahi – Deb’s mahi  – David (& Rachel’s) mahi – Rachel’s other mahi  


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