Te Hiko website provides a valuable resource for community innovators

November 30, 2022

We’ve just launched a new websitewhich provides valuable resources for anyone interested in sparking community change.

We developed the Te Hiko website as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the development of local economic systems that truly value what makes people’s lives better.

The website hosts a community innovation library where anyone can access examples of community innovation projects in action, as well as tools and resources that support community change.

Our Community Innovation Lead Kena Duignan says the library will help develop new ways of thinking, build networks and uncover the resources needed to support a shift to new economic approaches.

“The community innovation library is more than just a constellation of great ideas – we want people to be able to see the bigger picture as well,” she says. “Our passion is not about the success or number of individual projects, but more about how communities learn and grow their capability to keep meeting their challenges.

“This website is our koha to the wider collective of people working to create positive change in their communities. We hope they will use it and kōrero with us about it.”

Our Cannons Creek Team Manager Makerita Makapelu says the website is a way to share some of the things that Wesley has learnt while working in community-led development for the last 30 years. “We have been working alongside community for decades now, working out together how we shift from being on the receiving end of policy decisions, to instead being active agents in changing our own lives.”

We set up Te Hiko – Centre for Community Innovation in 2020. It focuses on communities that are excluded from the mainstream, working together to innovate local economic systems that grow wellbeing and the things that really matter to people.

Kena says Te Hiko sees community innovation as a spark that makes a break from the way things have normally been done – both small or large – and creates a positive impact in surprising and interconnected ways. “We believe that community innovation emerges from a specific community and it is shaped by that community’s knowledge and values.”

Projects in action include the Wellington Region Fruit & Vege Co-op, which gets cheap healthy kai directly to whānau, cutting out the expensive supermarkets, and the Porirua Wealth Pool, a community-based savings pool where members save money together and give – and receive – no-interest loans to avoid high-interest debt. Te Hiko also provides backbone support to communities who have got on and taken action themselves, like New Zealand P-Pull which supports whānau affected by meth across Aotearoa.

Kena says the new website and community innovation library doesn’t just try to showcase things that are working. “We want to share the good, the bad and the ugly – when things have worked and when they have flopped too.”

* For more information contact Kena Duignan, 0211903818, kduignan@wesleyca.org.nz