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The Community-led Development Programme is based on a community or hapū and the Department of Internal Affairs signing a partnership agreement and agreeing to work together.


In this partnership the Department will offer intensive advice and support and will work with other government agencies, tangata whenua, local authorities, funders, businesses and local organisations to support the community achieve their locally-led initiatives. As partnership communities put their plans in place, they will also be able to request funding investment to support them to achieve their community or hapū goals.

The first programme partners were selected in March 2017 and a second group of communities are currently exploring if a community-led partnership could be right for them. Requests to join this programme are now closed for 2017.

This Community-led Development programme is for communities of place; communities of interest or attribute within a place; and for hapū within Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Communities of place are people who share a common location where they live, work or spend time. This may be all of the people in a neighbourhood or small town.
  • Communities of interest within a place are people in a defined location who share a common passion. An example may be people in South Dunedin interested in including older people in their community.
  • Communities of attribute within a place are people who share a common personal feature or identity. An example may be the deaf community of a city such as Hamilton.

In our experience, the community-led development approach works best when the location or number of people involved is not too large. We will consider this when selecting communities and hapū to partner with us in the programme.

The focus of this programme is for communities and hapū to work together, following the community-led development principles to achieve their visions and goals. It is not to help community groups or agencies with their ongoing programmes, service delivery, or service development priorities.

We encourage you to contact us to discuss your interest in the Community-led Development Programme and to explore with us whether it may be a good fit for you and your community or hapū.

The journeys of the Community-Led Development pilot participants and the outcomes they achieved provide useful information if you are thinking about making a request for partnership in the new programme.

We have also developed some examples and discussion questions based around the five community-led development principles. These examples and questions can be useful to find out if this programme is right for your community or hapū.

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