Community-led planning and development good practices

Good Practices

Sustainable Paremoremo : making neighbourhood connections

1.Introduction

The Sustainable Paremoremo Project which began in February 2008 is a local initiative of Paremoremo residents focusing on bringing people together about environmental sustainability. Supported by Council and other partners, the project is a community based ground up initiative where residents set their vision, develop action plans and implement and review projects.

Over the years, the project has been a catalyst for a wide range of changes within the local area.

2.Objectives

The project has strong focus on resourcefulness and protecting the natural environment. Main objectives include:

Get people together to generate ideas, share knowledge and support them to take action.

Build strong relationships between people in the community and council staff

Insulating our homes, smarter home upgrades

Gardening, and protecting and planting native plants and trees

Focus on pest plants and animals

Stream protection

Reducing rubbish, composting, recycling

3.How does it work

The initial stage of the project, supported by Council, aimed to develop a pilot community-driven council supported process that would benefit the environment and develop useful models of working with communities.

A community engagement process was undertaken in the first six to nine months to form a vision, set goals and action projects. After the foundations have been laid, leaders were identified and supported to lead projects.

The project focuses on action learning and meeting together once a month at the local Community Club to share their interest, knowledge and enthusiasm for the environment. The meetings usually consist of workshops where local people work together to establish collective goals, or speakers who are invited in to provide extra knowledge.

The project has also used effective communication tools such as emails, newsletters, website, social media and good old face-to-face networking.

Key learnings:

Identify and support leaders

Work with various sectors especially the school

Use of participatory decision-making tools

Community-based social marketing

Use innovative communication channels

4.Outputs

The project has been supported by NZ Forest & Bird, Auckland Regional Council, North Shore City Council, University of Auckland, Kaipatiki Project, and the Albany Community Board.

Some of the project outputs include:

Wildlife Link to help create a corridor for birds

Pest free Pare

Community plantings

New bus service established to take older children to schools on the shore

Development of a community garden

Naturally Smarter Homes pilot project

A number of local residents have sought help from Kaipatiki to clear streams of weeds on their properties and replant with native species

Source: the Paremoremo website www.parepublisher.co.nz and the Paremoremo Community booklet 2010.

Flaxroots is a priority initiative of the North Shore Community and Social Services funded under the Community Development Scheme of the Department of Internal Affairs