WIT Press

Locally Led Change And Sustainability In Aotearoa, New Zealand


Free (open access)





Page Range

759 - 771




400 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


D. Bijoux


Locally-led change and sustainability is gaining traction in Aotearoa New Zealand amongst community groups, local NGOs and central government because it leverages community resources in ways that grow resilience in communities and enables communities to be their best. It also ensures the relevance of resulting activities, along with enabling ‘outside’ resources to go further. However, by its very nature, locally-led action manifests in different ways in different places and at different times and this can make it difficult to understand and amplify/replicate.

This paper draws on practice-based evidence from nine communities across Aotearoa New Zealand that have helped refine core principles and practices of Community-led Development (CLD). Each of these communities has been consciously organising and working in community-led ways for a number of years and all agreed to contribute to a three year research project to better understand why this way of working was useful to them; what outcomes they were aiming for; how they were using community-led approaches; and what differences this way of working was actually making. The results reveal how working in such a way has contributed to sustaining what is valued by local people, and to inspiring and activating change that includes local voices at the decision making table as well as in the action taking phases. The paper provides a summary of these results as well as the key principles of locally-led change and sustainability as experienced in these initiatives. The paper concludes with some key actions that have contributed to success in these communities.


locally-led change, Community-led Development, sustainability, community, neighbourhood, New Zealand, resilience, practice-based evidence, Inspiring Communities