As part of the follow-up to the 2016 TacklingPovertyNZ workshop tour, we will be posting one blog a day over the next few weeks to accompany the workshop speaker videos published on our YouTube channel.

Watch Annette Toupili, from Te Ora Hou, share the organisation’s community-led initiatives at the Gisborne TacklingPovertyNZ one-day workshop on 31 August 2016 in the video below.

Annette discussed her work at Te Ora Hou and outlined how an Ideas Day held in London St Park led to many community driven events. At the Ideas Day they asked the neighbourhood what they wanted for their community and residents came up with many event ideas, some of which Te Ora Hou were able to make happen. Below are the events and initiatives Annette shared:

  • Kaiti coffee group – ‘situated between the school and kindergarten’, this is space for parents and the wider neighbourhood to get to know each other. It also acts as a hub for ideas that have led to other neighbourhood initiatives.
  • Street legends – people looking out for the community, only a couple of homes per street. This also was a place to share ideas for very active members of the community.
  • Community fruit forests – the council provided a piece of land to use as a community fruit forest so children can snack on fruit on their way home from school.
  • Children’s day – one neighbourhood resident hosted a children’s day. This highlights how these initiatives are community driven; because Te Ora Hou were unable to be there, a community member stepped up to make it happen.
  • Give-it-away Day – Community spring clean where everyone has something to give away.
  • SuperGrans – Hosting workshops to up-skill people in the neighbourhood e.g. how to cook on a budget.

Annette closed by urging participants not to give up, saying ‘yes, [the statistics are] speaking truths, but we have do the heart’.

About the TacklingPovertyNZ 2016 tour
The 2016 tour was a response to a 2015 three-day workshop that brought together 36 participants aged 18 to 25 representing a diverse range of backgrounds from throughout New Zealand. Participants found that ‘assuming that one solution will work everyone indicates a failure to address cultural disparities and injustices, and an ignorance of the diversity of our population’. The purpose of the 2016 tour was to build and share ideas on how to tackle poverty, come up with local solutions and connect like-minded people within communities.

The Gisborne workshop was one of six, along with workshops in Queenstown, Manawatu, Rotorua, Kaitaia and Kaikohe. A discussion paper for each area visited has been published on our website. These papers are specific to each community and together form a series showcasing insights from individuals who attended a one-day workshop in their local community.

To learn more about the tour, read Working Paper 2017/01 – TacklingPovertyNZ 2016 Tour: Methodology, results and observations here. This paper brings all the outputs from the six workshops together and aims to illustrate the diverse range of challenges and opportunities existing in communities.

In 2017 we would like to build on these findings. There was a lot to learn and digest, and we are still working through what this means in terms of public policy.

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