Council seeks public’s ideas on community development

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nikki Aaron is looking for input into the Central Otago District Council’s first draft community development strategy.

As the council’s community development officer, she wanted to hear from people about how community-led initiatives could be supported in the future and what they would like to see included in the strategy, as part of the district-wide consultation process, Dr Aaron said.

‘‘This is the first time that we have done a community draft strategy.
‘‘We are defining what community development is and what the council’s role is.’’

Community development tended to follow five principles as outlined by the Inspiring Communities group, she said.
‘‘These include growing from shared local visions, building from strengths, working with diverse people and sectors, growing collaborative and local leadership, and learning by doing.

‘‘It is about working collaboratively and empowering individuals and communities,’’ she said.

Community-led events and activities included the Blossom Festival, Connect Cromwell, Crop Swap, community gardens, the Lilliput Libraries and the Roxburgh mural project.
The council’s role included providing knowledge and support to facilitate, help and link those groups and events, Dr Aaron said.

She had been talking to groups over the past several weeks and hoped to publish the new formal strategy at the end of the year.
Groups had indicated they would like to look at ways of letting groups around the region know what other groups were up to.
‘‘That is something we need to dig into a bit in the future.’’