Exciting seismic shifts are happening in New Zealand’s cultural-political landscape. The embracing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Ao Māori and Māori leadership is a movement that is gaining momentum. This movement has the potential to radically re-orientate New Zealand to be a better place for all citizens and a more responsible global citizen.

To help realise the potential we need to weave the strengths and skills of the many people that make up our nation. We know this journey can be uncomfortable and this resource outlines how community-led development (CLD) as one strand, can support this movement to achieve effective and lasting change across the many systems and institutions that make Aotearoa what it is. 

Community-led development values communities and understands the critical role they play in adjusting to and leading change. By fostering connections between diverse groups that make up communities we help shape the aspirations for their local communities, grow local leadership and support new power relationships that are inclusive and restorative. This capacity is vital to acknowledge and use as New Zealand tackles our colonial legacy and charts a Te Tiriti honouring course.

Inspiring Communities (IC) is a network of practitioners formed to hold and evolve the CLD body of knowledge within Aotearoa. IC decided to focus on ‘place’, understanding that transformative change becomes more possible when contributions of all those who have an interest or connection to a place are activated.

LEARN MORE: This article addresses the strengths of community-led development (CLD) and honouring Te Tiriti. It discusses the science shaping CLD, the many world views of Te Tiriti and re-imagines crown and community leadership.

The Strength of Whananaki

Whananaki is on the east coast of Northland – locals call it paradise on earth – those same locals are setting aside many years of the ‘us and them’ mindset to bring the best of both worlds together for the betterment of their place. The community is noticing that shift, particularly in the last five years and say their place is much richer for it.

Pam Armstrong is one of the many locals involved – she says Whananaki’s adoption of Community-led development approaches sitting alongside mātauranga Māori and an indigenous lens has firmly shaped their vision for a culturally connected caring community.

READ MORE: “Community-led Development (CLD) is able to bring diversity together, and that connection happens at many levels. As time has gone on it has meant a greater appreciation for bringing all perspectives together around the table.”

Source: Whananaki community workshop.

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