The first wave of Community Taranaki projects was from 2010-2022 and involved three main projects created and led by Taranaki community activist vivian Hutchinson.
These projects included: The Masterclass for Active Citizenship – Tū Tangata Whenua (which was awarded the ACE Community Programme of the Year in 2020); The Community Action Incubator – Ringa Pūrere for fostering community development projects in Taranaki; and The Community Circles at the New Plymouth District Council – Hui-ā-Hapori, a seasonal gathering of active citizens.
The themes for community development and transformation fostered by these projects have included:
• The critical importance of developing places for deeper conversations and connections amongst active citizens
• The need to grow skills and share experience on how to awaken the common good and build an infrastructure of public intelligence on the governance of our commons
• A critique of the present-day colonisation of community assets and networks by neo-liberal business thinking and management processes
• Addressing the ongoing justice issues and inter-generational trauma that is still the local legacy of war and the confiscation of Māori land
Many of these themes are further explored in vivian Hutchinson’s collection of essays in How Communities Awaken (2021)
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For a variety of reasons, all these community development projects were put into recess at the end of 2022.
Further community development initiatives in Taranaki continue to awaken and unfold, and may even be happening in ways that you cannot yet recognise or imagine.
Don’t watch this space.
Clean up your tools and connect.