Our District

Guiding Principles - Supporting Information

Council has adopted a set of guiding principles to underpin the approach to social investment.

  • Sustainability
  • Equity
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Iwi prosperity
  • Valuing community and volunteer contributions
  • Partnership and collaboration

The expression of interest asks organisations to comment on how their idea reflects the principles.  Below, we have compiled some supporting information which may assist you with your responses.



This principle is about empowering communities to address local issues and deliver community-led initiatives (sustaining benefits beyond Council involvement); encouraging innovation; and helping those working in the community become sustainable in all respects, including environmental.

Questions to consider

  • How does our idea take into account the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts it could have?
  • What is it about our idea that means it could make a difference for future generations?
  • What future do we see for our idea beyond the funding period and what have we built in to ensure that future?  How does our idea consider the need for ongoing resources (like income or community support) to sustain its outcomes? 
  • Is our idea about applying a tried and tested solution to an existing situation or is it more about responding to the current situation with a new idea?
  • How can we know and show the difference our project is making?


NZ Navigator


NZ Navigator is an on-line assessment tool for New Zealand community organisations. It’s free to use and a great way to look at what you are doing well and where you can improve in nine key areas of your organisation’s operation – direction, governance, leadership, people, administration, finances, communication, evaluation, and relationships.

What Works


The what works website helps New Zealand community groups and organisations to tell the story about what they are doing and the difference it makes. If you wish to reflect on your work, demonstrate its effectiveness and keep improving your practice, this site can help you.



This principle is about supporting all members of our diverse communities to participate in activities and use services; and recognising strengths of communities as well as needs.

Questions to consider

  • What is the specific community for our idea and what can we demonstrate about their need or inequalities compared to other parts of the community?
  • Can our idea be adapted to provide for a wider range of members of our community or to reduce inequality?
  • To what extent have different sectors of the community been involved in the development of our idea? How sure are we that our idea is what communities would prioritise for themselves?
  • What strengths are present in the community that we are working with and how can we work with them?
  • How will we know:  who will benefit most? What might the unintended consequences be? If inequalities have been reduced or eliminated?


Inspiring Communities Case Studies


A key role of Inspiring Communities is to share knowledge about what works and why, to help more communities do it. In the case study part of their website, there are some inspiring examples of community led initiatives which have embraced the principle of equity.


Treaty of Waitangi

This principle is about reflecting needs of tangata whenua; seeking engagement with iwi; and, increasing opportunities for iwi and hapū to participate in initiatives.

Note:  We recognise the diversity of organisations that may be applying to this fund. This guidance is particularly for tāngata Tiriti groups/organisations that may be at a range of stages in their engagement with tāngata whenua.

This principle recognisesthe intentions of the Treaty of Waitangi to establish an ongoing relationship of mutual benefit between tāngata whenua (the first peoples of Aotearoa), and tāngata Tiriti (all others who have come here) — a relationship founded on trust, good-faith and power-sharing. For tāngata Tiriti groups/organisations this principle is about ensuring that the focus and delivery of any project meets the needs of tāngata whenua/Māori.  To achieve this requires understanding and skills for working effectively with tāngata whenua. This principle also requires consideration of all the other guiding principles from the perspective of their implications for tāngata whenua.

Questions to consider

  • Have tāngata whenua been involved in the development of our idea? If so, how?
  • What are the intended benefits of our idea for tāngata whenua/Māori? How have these benefits been identified? How will we know if these have been achieved?
  • How are/might tāngata whenua/Māori be involved in our idea? E.g. as partners, advisors, staff, participants, clients etc.
  • As a group/organisation, how do/might we embrace tāngata whenua visions in the work we do and how we do it?


Ngā Rerenga o Te Tiriti: Community organisations engaging with the Treaty of Waitangi


This useful resource provides practical advice, direction, examples for community organisations engaging with the Treaty.  

Working with tangata whenua


Here you will find three different tools to support communities in developing relationships with tāngata whenua along with outlining why engaging is important.


Iwi prosperity

This principle is about recognising the principles of tino rangatiratanga to achieve iwi aspirations through iwi-led initiatives; and, advancing iwi prosperity for current and future generations.

This principle recognises that iwi prosperity is critical to community wellbeing. While iwi determine their own aspirations, tāngata Tiriti organisations have a key role in supporting these aspirations. This requires learning about what these aspirations are, the approaches to achieving them, and identifying the ways in which your group/organisation can contribute. Building relationships with iwi (either directly or via existing channels) is central.

Questions to consider

  • How does our idea align with/support iwi aspirations?
    • How does it contribute to intergenerational wellbeing for iwi?
    • What relationships do we have/might we develop with iwi?
      • What is our approach to building and/or maintaining relationships with iwi?
      • Are there are existing relationships between related Tāngata Tiriti groups/organisations and iwi that we might join/align with?


The vision from tāngata whenua.

This document outlines iwi aspirations in the context of the Kāpiti community.

Tāngata whenua and Māori

Working in communities it is important to identify the tāngata whenua – the people who have mana (power or authority) in relation to a specific place (i.e. the hapū/iwi of the area). In many communities, and particularly in urban areas, Māori who come from other areas (mātāwaka) and pan-iwi Māori organisations are also important parties to also be engaging with as part of community initiatives. 


Valuing community and volunteer contributions

This principle is about recognising the contribution of volunteers and the diversity across community groups; supporting their development and increasing capability; and, building and sharing knowledge of our community and community resources.

Questions to consider

  • What kind of community involvement or support has led to our idea?
  • How might we encourage and support community leaders and community involvement in the development and delivery?
  • How does our idea fit into the existing community and its networks?
  • What tools do we have to keep communication in the community flowing?
  • How will knowledge and insights be shared?


Community-led development

Inspiring Communities (http://inspiringcommunities.org.nz/) and Community Matters (https://www.communitymatters.govt.nz/ask-us/view/1174) provide useful information and tools on community led development.

Volunteering NZ 


Volunteering NZ  have an easy to use online self-assessment tool designed to help organisations reflect on and identify opportunities for improving volunteer management. Their Best Practice Guidelines Toolkit offers information and tools to help improve productivity and support innovation.


Partnership and collaboration

This principle is about seeking to form and support partnerships focussed on outcomes; encouraging organisations to work together creatively to respond to community needs; and, prioritising initiatives that are led and endorsed by iwi and communities working together.

Questions to consider

  • Who else is working in the sector who shares our vision, outcomes or passion for the community?
  • What resources or strengths do we have to share?
  • What needs could we meet through collaboration?
  • What level of collaboration could we pursue?
  • How much resource, time or openness are we prepared to invest in exploring collaboration for better outcomes?


The Working Together More Fund

The Working Together More Fund funds community organisations to collaborate and work together in order to make a greater difference for the people and communities they serve. They have useful case studies of collaborative initiatives they have funded from across New Zealand.

Collaboration for Impact

Collaboration for Impact is an Australia’s leading organisation enabling people to tackle big, tough problems and create large-scale change through collaboration. This keynote presentation provides simple and clear information on key aspects of effective collaboration.

The Partnering Initiative Tool book


This global organisation provides a free online partnering tool book which coversthe key elements that make for effective partnering. It’s used all over the world and many of its tools and frameworks have been adopted by organisations from all sectors and partnerships operating in many different contexts.


The Working Together More Fund has links to a number of free online tools to assist with collaboration. They have developed a set of checklists based on feedback from Working Together More Fund grantees, to help NZ community organisations think about the collaborative process for effective delivery. Their stories part of the website (http://www.workingtogether.org.nz/category/case-studies/) provides excellent examples of collaboration in action in communities all over New Zealand.

A key aspect of partnership and collaboration is responding to community needs and prioritising initiatives that are community led.

What are community- led initiatives?

Embedded in the three social investment priorities and principles is a community-led development way of working.  Community-led development is about working together in specific communities of place to create and achieve locally-owned visions and goals.

“Community-led development is about fostering communities to thrive and be strong and resilient. There is an intentionalfocus on communities of ‘place’. Rather than being seen, and seeing themselves, as clients or recipients of services, local residents are at the heart, key catalysts for their own and their community’s development. Having ‘place’ as the focus allows different sectors (business, local and central government, Iwi , Pacific organisations, funders and voluntary organisations etc), interests and services to work together to solve problems and create opportunities and a shared way forward. Building from strengths and assets, supporting local catalytic leaders, increasing connections and participation across sectors, learning and adapting, noticing, measuring, celebrating tangible results and changes, and focusing on whole systems change rather than one-off events, are key elements of community-led development.”

What we are learning about community-led development in Aotearoa New Zealand (2010) Inspiring Communities

To learn more about community-led development, go to www.inspiringcommunities.org.nz.  Inspiring communities is the reference point for community-led development in New Zealand, building on international and local practice-based evidence to grow and share expertise.