He Manawa Māori – A Māori Heart

In February 2022, Victor Walker (Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti) was contracted by IC to help the organisation with its Treaty honouring journey mahi.
The intention was to have conversations with Māori who have established relationships with IC and CLD to learn about their experience and what value, if any, Inspiring Communities has been, explore how they see Community-led Development aligning, intersecting, or supporting Hapū, Iwi, Māori development and to gather ideas and insights on the most useful roles, steps and mahi for others are in this space. This report is the result of those conversations, including key observations and recommendations for next steps.

19 interviews were conducted with Māori in CLD leadership positions. The conversations allowed Kaikōrero an opportunity to review the progress of their personal, Whānau, Hapū, Iwi and Māori community development over three – four decades to the present.

All speakers spoke candidly about the issues and challenges that had been, and in some cases still are, obstacles for them, to set goals for the coming decades and to consider a vision for future generations. Kaikōrero were also very open and expressive about the neat, innovative, and powerful and influencing mahi that they were involved in. They were quite free and frank about what needed to happen if they were to experience the ‘tino rangatiratanga’ and ‘mana motuhake’ they saw as essential to their success at a multiplicity of levels. 

Inspiring Communities thanks Victor, and all the contributing Kaikōrero for their mahi and insights.

Collective Change Kōrero 2

Taking the time – having the space to stop, reflect and then converge with other changemakers when there is so much else to be done – is the perfect time to join a kōrero to think about what we are currently doing and what could be possible to make space to create change. 

This was one of the many insights that popped to the top of the second Collective Change Kōrero held online recently. 

An assumption is that all of us want things to be better – we are working in many different places and sectors and we have a collective sense of the complexity. We are noticing and are inspired by activity that is creating change, while also noticing the scale and pace of activity going nowhere. We need a collective space that enables us to take time to be part of what will emerge from Collective Change Kōrero because ultimately that is what will add value to our networks, our roopu, our iwi and hapū. It is up to all of us to pick up the conversation to be creative, collaborative, and effective in this. 

While hard to do this justice, as there was so much richness, experience, practice and ideas offered in the 2-hour hui, here’s just some of the whakaaro shared by the 15 changemakers present. 

Noticing what is happening is always a good place to begin, and is the genesis for starting this conversation – and there is a lot of noticing of what is happening. Over 50 thoughts thrown onto the jamboard: so much positivity – neighbourhood-scale action, place-based initiatives, there is effective mahi happening. People have a desire for self-determination, however this requires a well navigated transition and those with power will need to act with a more equitable approach. Investing time into more intergenerational, intercultural, and inter-disciplinary collaborative initiatives. Lots has been learned over the past two years – it can’t be wasted, and while there’s mostly optimism, healing unresolved trauma as well as underlying cultural change is required. More co-governance, changes to leadership, in particular the political and public service approaches.  

There is an opportunity to collaborate on a common language, to call out rhetoric over action to drive and create the changes going forward together. Who doesn’t like a good powerful question that lends itself to thinking about the future? It is worth noting the themes that emerged in this session were very similarly future-focused. The future starts with whānau and hāpu. With indigenous ways of doing things that enable varied pathways, imagine a Te Tiriti house next to Parliament…imagine a future where people, place and planet are the triple bottom line, where Papatūānuku is nurtured and regenerated, that there is stronger, better resourced local governance, a world in which we all slowed down, had more time for relationships – a future with more autonomy over our lives.

Reflecting on te tāwara, the buzz of the conversation, in this hui:

People enjoyed the time thinking collectively about growing a shared language and common vision

Sharing and hearing from everyone who joins in, a desire to tap into this collective wisdom more often, to join up on each other’s existing mahi making it more impactful.

Imaging and planning for all of us to be thriving in ways that bring everyone into ‘enough’. People like the energy for a better world, the optimism and belief in our resilience to weather the coming storms. Building momentum in ways that are equitable, decolonise and regenerate.

How can we kōrero with others who are not like us? People who are doing well in the current system and who hold some of the power to block change? And there was a desire from some to come up with actions we can do together, how can we work as a group?

I like the energy we all have for a better world. I wish there was more time to talanoa/wananga.  I wonder what a shared vision would look like. I will be back.

I like the optimism of the kaupapa, I wish we all had a money tree, I wonder where the pandemic will take us next, I will continue to believe in our resiliency to weather the coming storms.

I like imagining/planning for all of us to be thriving in ways that bring everyone into ‘enough’

There is a solid commitment from those attending to continuing the conversation. This approach is about connecting a ‘collective of collectives’, it’s not about creating another initiative or network and it is not set in must dos or shoulds, instead held in whanaungatanga from where magic will emerge.
The coordinating team of this hui have agreed to meet and develop what surfaced. However, as this Collective Change Kōrero is not held by any group we would like to share the roles, we would love to hear from you if you would like to be involved in coordinating the next hui. It doesn’t take much and offers more opportunities to connect and kōrero. Please feel free to have a chat with any of us.

If you were unable to attend but would like to contribute your thoughts, or read more of the contributions, jump on the jamboard – it’s a living document.

Ngā mihi,
Arama, David, Jade, Rachel and Rochelle
June 2022 Coordinating team

Arama Mataira info@walktogetherdesign.com

Jade Tang-Taylor jade.tang-taylor@innovationunit.org

Rochelle Stewart-Allen rochelle@huie.org.nz

Rachel Roberts rachel.roberts@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

David Hanna david.hanna@inspiringcommunities.org.nz

So who is we? Here’s a list of those participating in the Collective Changemaker Kōrero to date:

National Action Plan for Community Governance

The community sector (NFPs, charities, NGOs and community groups) provides so much for our country.
This Action Plan aims to contribute solutions to the pressures and opportunities that present themselves from a governance point of view across the community sector, and thereby strengthen the sector to continue to deliver vital services, now more than ever.

Funding for Change in Ōtepoti

To be able to do their mahi, the community sector relies on funding. During the first lockdown, Mātāwai Consultancy and Dunedin Community Builders surveyed the Ōtepoti Community sector to find out more about challenges and strengths related to their funding.
This report is hoping to contribute to meaningful conversations about funding for the community sector regionally and nationally.

Reflections on Community Change


A paper co-authored by Megan Courtney, Inspiring Communities and Liz Weaver and Sylvia Cheuy, Tamarack Institute

In 2018, Inspiring Communities and the Tamarack Institute in Canada celebrated 25 collective years of supporting community changemakers.

Over the years the two organisations have kept in touch through the exchange of ideas, people, and projects. While we have forged different paths, our shared journey is similar and crosses often.

To mark these mutual anniversaries, we decided to collaborate on a paper and a webinar to explore the following four themes:
The frameworks each organisation deploys to drive forward change
The importance the authentic engagement of citizens plays
The need for adaptive and flexible leadership in community change
The emergence of community-based innovation

The paper concludes with a shared vision for the future.


Read the paper
Reflections on Community Change


Watch the webinar
Megan Courtney and Liz Weaver reflect on 25 years of collective wisdom in community change from Canada to New Zealand. Based on their experiences, you’ll hear about some of the most important shifts in the community change landscape and what that means for your own initiatives. Most importantly, Megan and Liz provide insight into challenges, themes, and principles that they believe will affect the next decade of community change work. Watch the webinar.


Learn more about the Tamarack Institute here.

Reflections and Learning from Great Start Taita: A Final Kitchen Table Conversation

While often raising more questions than answers, the report highlights some useful flags and reality checks for everyone working in CLD.

The report was curated by Great Start Champions Karen Clifford, Jenny Blagdon, Thalia Wright and Megan Courtney, with the support of Inspiring Communities.

Click here if you want a short overview of the Great Start report.

Click here to see the full report.