Child Rich Communities

The Child Rich Communities project focuses on community-led development in support of child and whānau wellbeing.

The project is hosted by Inspiring Communities and backed by a collective of supporting organisations. Together, we share a common goal: to weave together the strengths of people, organisations and projects working in community-led ways to improve wellbeing for tamariki, rangatahi, whānau and community.

One of the ways we exchange information and stories is to jump online to kōrero. This is not your standard webinar, they enable opportunities to connect and for collaborative learning.

Kia whāngaia te rito, ka puāwaitia te harakeke.
When we nourish and foster the rito (the child), the harakeke (the whānau and community) will flourish. 

Pictured right: Tamariki playing at The Hughes Place Community Garden, Taneātua, Eastern Bay of Plenty

Tamariki Toa, Nelson Central School, performing at Te Mana Kuratahi 2019

Our Approach

Research and experience show that children and whānau do better when they live in strong, connected environments.

Alongside appropriate support services, community-led action plays a key role in enabling people, places and communities to thrive. 


Work inclusively and without judgement. See local people as the greatest asset, not a ‘problem to be fixed’. Proactively reach out and involve families, whānau and the wider community in discussions and decision making.


Go beyond ‘social service delivery’, proactively work alongside local people in ways that encourage them to participate, lead, make decisions and take action themselves. Encourage people to recognise their own power and help ignite their dreams and aspirations.


Build on the positives first and be welcoming. Use soft doors (e.g. coffee groups, local events) to strengthen social connectedness and build trust. Look to link people and ideas with others who can help, explore shared visions and next steps. Seek to build community in all you do.


Work together with multiple stakeholders to maximise energy, impact and resources. Make sure local whānau and community leaders are authentically involved and supported to participate.

Relationship focus

Value and nurture strong, respectful, reciprocal and long- term relationships with families, whānau and the wider community.


Be willing to change and adapt how things are done to enable the aspirations of local families, whānau and the wider community.

To think & work holistically

If families and whānau are well, children are well. If our whānau, families and children are well, our communities will be too.

Pictured left: Tamariki Toa, Nelson Central School, performing at Te Mana Kuratahi 2019

Resources and Reports

Our Journey So Far

In 2015, Inspiring Communities, Plunket, UNICEF and Every Child Counts joined up to promote and further explore the concept of Child Rich Communities.

In 2016, the CRC project partners launched the Bright Spots Report which showcased 21 examples of local community initiatives that are making a positive difference to children and families.

S.K.I.P funding enabled a Bright Spots national hui that brought together key community leaders to connect, share and strategise on how to grow a Child Rich Communities approach in Aotearoa.

In 2018, S.K.I.P. funded an initial Child Rich Action plan which involved a range of capacity building activities – community workshops, webinars and peer-led practice groups. This work was well received, with an evaluation of the project’s key activities demonstrating value from the approach. Unfortunately, funding to enable 2019 activities did not progress as hoped.

In 2020, a new guiding group for CRC came together to begin working out the next steps to help advance our goal to raise awareness, deepen understanding and promote the role of community-led development in child and family wellbeing.

In 2022, we are all about reconnecting. Jump onto our training page for online kōrero, network gatherings and upcoming hui both on and off-line.

Core Supporters