Our Vision

An Aotearoa where all communities flourish.

“Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket we will sustain the people”.

Our Mission

Increasing the capacity of communities to thrive through community-led change.

To support and strengthen the emerging community-led development movement in Aotearoa, we focus on:

  • Promoting the understanding and practice of CLD and influencing systems change/public policies at all levels
  • Connecting people, projects and places to share and showcase CLD ideas, knowledge, learning and experience
  • Learning more about CLD; learning about how positive change is created, noticed and effectively captured; continually sharing this to build capacity and strengthen wellbeing outcomes in local communities
  • Building a sustainable and vital organisation, with a mixed source funding and earning base

Our whakapapa

After two decades of massive economic and social restructuring in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), some communities were tackling challenging local issues and making a positive difference, while others were falling behind.

For a group of passionate New Zealand leaders, this was intriguing. They were determined to learn more about why and how community-led change happens and to spread this knowledge, so positive progress could be shared and amplified.

Several visits were made to Canada to learn from our Tamarack Institute colleagues about successful poverty reduction efforts that were underway and the mind-sets and approaches that were enabling this. We were also very aware that the ‘calls to action’ coming from communities in NZ were all different – for some it was restoring the environment and for others rebuilding social connection or sustainable local employment. And so, with an intentional focus on communities of place and collective learning, Inspiring Communities was established as a movement to grow and support community-led change. We had strong encouragement and financial backing from Sir Stephen Tindall and The Tindall Foundation.

Now, over a decade on, Inspiring Communities is recognised as the reference point for community-led development (CLD) in New Zealand. We support a network of around 2,700 people, organisations, and CLD initiatives in Aotearoa and beyond.

Our vision is for all communities in Aotearoa to flourish, with our small team of CLD specialists using our experience to connect, mentor, train and support people, organisations and communities to make their places even better to live, work, play and invest in. We also focus on systems change to help make things easier for communities to work in locally-led ways.

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