Our Mission

To build a platform for successful CLD in Aotearoa at both community and system level.

Foundational to everything we do is:
Collaboration & Connection: Embracing tino rangatiratanga and the rights of tangata whenua in the design and delivery of everything we do. Actively encouraging collaboration and making connections.

To achieve our vision for Aotearoa, Inspiring Communities will focus on four hekenga (pathways):

  • Building Capability: Providing training and sharing CLD information and resources to enhance CLD skills and knowledge for all.
  • Evolving Knowledge: Generating new insights and resources to continually advance understanding and approach to community-led development.
  • Influencing Change: Championing CLD at a national/system level to establish an environment which enables community-led approaches.
  • Ensuring Sustainability: Upholding strong governance connecting strategy and operations; maintaining efficient systems and a capable and committed team; achieving financial stability; and upholding IC reputation and credibility.

Our Vision

Our vision is an Aotearoa where all communities are at the centre of creating and implementing change to improve their own hauora (wellbeing).

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

Community-led development (CLD) in Aotearoa is an approach to improving hauora (wellbeing) of the local community by embedding Te Tiriti, working with diverse local leadership, and implementing solutions that build on the strengths of that place.

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 4,700 people, organisations, and CLD initiatives in Aotearoa and beyond.

Our vision is for an Aotearoa where all communities are at the centre of creating and implementing change to improve their own hauora. With our small team of CLD specialists using our experience to build a platform for successful CLD, supporting 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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