The five communities pioneering the community-led development initiative have been making good progress Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Tariana Turia said today. The five communities are: Whirinaki (South Hokianga); Mt Roskill (Auckland); Mangakino (Central North Island); Porirua East/Cannons Creek and North East Valley (Dunedin).
The community-led development initiative was announced in May with a transfer of $1.5 million a year from the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS).
The approach was determined after a review of Crown-funded schemes showed that greater change and more enduring outcomes for communities, hapu and iwi could be achieved through further investment in community-led development.
“Originally there were to be four communities, but I have agreed with the Minister of Finance that an additional $400,000 from Vote Community and Voluntary Sector for the 2011 financial year can be re-prioritised to this project, allowing a fifth community to be added,” the Minister said.
“In essence this is about enabling communities to set their own priorities” said Mrs Turia. “I have been greatly impressed by the capacity of communities to develop their own leadership, to strengthen institutional capacity at the local level and to embrace the philosophy of community empowerment”.
The five communities have a range of cultural, social and demographic profiles and will be used as start ups for the approach to see how effective it is, the Minister said.
“This is an innovative approach. The research suggests it has a lot to offer and so I am thrilled to be able to test and adapt it to New Zealand conditions.”
She said if there is positive progress in the communities, the approach may be extended to other areas – but it would take some time before results could be known.
“Each community will move at their own pace. This approach is highly iterative and long term. Communities will go through a process where they are constantly reflecting on their actions and adapting as they go. We are not necessarily going to see quick wins from this, but I believe there is potential to see some solid, long term progress and results.”
For further information on community-led development please go to www.dia.govt.nz/communityled