Helping New Zealand build strong communities


Community-Led Development Programme

The Community-Led Development Programme is a new approach by the Department of Internal Affairs to helping communities, hapū and iwi set goals for themselves and achieve them.

This new approach for investing in communities, hapū and iwi was announced on 25 June 2016 by the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector (see Minister's media release, Beehive website)

The programme is an exciting and innovative approach that will support community-led initiatives over the long term. It builds on what was learned from the Community Development Scheme and through the Community-Led Development pilot over the past five years. The programme will be phased in over the next three years, with the first programme partners being selected by mid-March 2017.

The Community-Led Development pilot – the stories 

The Leadership Groups of the communities involved in the pilot held a hui in Auckland in June 2016. At the event, the four communities taking part in the pilot – North East Valley (Dunedin), Mangakino, Mt Roskill (Auckland), and Whirinaki – each presented a 10 minute video that captured some of the highlights of their community-led journeys. The stories are strong and meaningful, and reflect deep connection and care within each community.

These videos are linked here for your information – particularly for communities, hapū or iwi considering participation in the Community-Led Development Programme.

Each video is owned – and copyrighted – by the group concerned:


Whirinaki video

North East Valley

North East Valley video


Mangakino video

Mt Roskill Health & Wellbeing – Retirement Villages

Health & Wellbeing – Retirement Villages video

Mt Roskill Community Safety – May Road Project

Mt Roskill- Community Safety – May Road Project video

View or download this powerpoint presentation:

For information about the pilot for community-led development and the reasons why the Department is taking this approach to working with communities, see the Community-led development information on the Department for Internal Affairs website.

Community-Led Development – the new programme

The new programme encourages communities, hapū and iwi to achieve their goals by working together, building on their strengths, encouraging wide participation, developing local leaders and action plans that help measure achievements.

It is based on a community, hapū or iwi and the Department of Internal Affairs agreeing to work together in partnership. The Department will invest advice, support and funding. We will work with other community-engaged government agencies, tangata whenua, local authorities, funders, businesses and local organisations to help communities of place, interest or attribute progress their locally-led initiatives.  Partnering in this way creates a multi-faceted approach to support communities, hapū and iwi.

The new programme will be phased in over three years, replacing the Community Development Scheme. During this time, funding for existing Community Development Scheme projects will continue for the full period of their grants.

To participate in the new Community-led Development Programme, there is a request for partnership process. You will need to show an understanding of and commitment to work within the principles of community-led development and demonstrate you are a good fit for the new programme.

How else we may help

We also provide community advisory services from 16 regional offices throughout New Zealand. 

Our advisors are able to assist communities, hapū and iwi in various ways. This may include advice about

  • planning for your organisation's development, project or community event
  • how to set up a community organisation
  • developing volunteer support policies and practices
  • effective governance, operational and/or service delivery practices
  • fundraising or applying for funds, or managing funds
  • sources of government and non-government funding
  • bringing other funders and central/local government agencies together to support community initiatives
  • who else can help.