The annual Taituarā networking and professional development opportunity for community development professionals, policy professionals, and others working in the community wellbeing space.  

  • 08 May 2023-09 May 2023
  • 09:00 - 17:00
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  • Rydges Hotel, 75 Featherston St, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, New Zealand
  • 835.00 (plus GST) Members
  • 960.00 (plus GST) Non Members
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About this event

The 2023 Community Wellbeing Forum brings together an exciting range of expert speakers who will share their wisdom, insights, and experiences on best navigating the partnerships required to deliver wellbeing outcomes for communities.

There is an unashamed focus on councils sharing their stories of practical actions to improve wellbeing in their communities, and councils developing cost-effective ways of measuring their progress towards community wellbeing.

And to finish, an expert panel considering what a wellbeing council is and does and the practical steps councils can take to build one. This is one for councils pondering their role in the post-reform world.

Who should attend?

This forum is open to staff of any council, or council-controlled organisation (CCO), in particular community development staff, policy and strategy professionals, or anyone with an interest in or working in the community wellbeing space.


Day one: Monday 8 May 2023

8.45 am Registration and tea and coffee on arrival

9.15 am Mihi whakatau

9.30 am Welcome
Raymond Horan, Chief Advisor, Taituarā

9.35 am Equity and equality
Ganesh Nana, Chair, New Zealand Productivity Commission

What’s the difference between equity and equality? The Productivity Commission is concluding its inquiry A Fair Chance for All and has perspectives to provide both on the distinction between equity and equality, and what policy choices local authorities have to promote each of these.

10.20 am The Kāpiti Coast workforce plan
Mark Ward, Economic Development Manager, Kāpiti Coast District Council

In February 2022, council adopted the Kāpiti Coast workforce plan, a community-led project out of the Kāpiti Coast Economic Development Strategy.

The plan was the result of looking for better ways to match workforce needs and available skills, support older people who want to continue working, expand job opportunities for all, and improve access to training and education for rangatahi.

The plan sets up effective pathways to education and employment, improve labour market opportunities, and create a productive, inclusive, and diverse economy.

11.00 am Morning tea

11.20 am Measuring up: the contribution of community services and facilities to wellbeing
Nicola Sutton, Community Policy Advisor, Selwyn District Council

Selwyn District Council developed community wellbeing measures, based on the five ways to wellbeing work of the Mental Health Foundation. They did this to better understand the contribution of community services and facilities to wellbeing. This session considers wellbeing measures used, what the data from the last two surveys concludes, and what lessons were learned through the process.

12 noon The Rotorua Housing Crisis
Jean-Paul Gaston, Deputy Chief Executive, District Development, Rotorua Lakes Council

This presentation will traverse the development of the district’s housing crisis over the last five years and Rotorua Lakes Council’s efforts to coordinate an effective and integrated partnership response. Positive progress is now evident but a number of false starts and unsuccessful approaches resulted in reputational damage for both Government and Council, as well as adversely impacting the wellbeing of parts of the community.

12.40 pm Group discussions

A chance to further explore one of the morning case studies with the presenters.

Choose from:

  • The Kāpiti Coast workforce plan
  • Measuring up: the contribution of community services and facilities to wellbeing
  • The Rotorua housing taskforce

1.20 pm Lunch

2.00 pm Workshop – Local Government as a Learning Partner, Southern Initiative
Dr Penny Hagen, (Pākehā), Director Tangata Tiriti, Auckland Co-design Lab, The Southern Initiative
Angie Tangaere, Intrapreneur - (Ngāti Porou), Kaitohu Tangata Whenua, Auckland Co-design Lab, The Southern Initiative

Celia Hirini, (Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāi Tuhoe), Kaikawekōrero Papakura Mārae

Taking a systems approach to wellbeing starts with what matters to whānāu in place and helps us shape our systems, values and actions around that. Doing this in a way that prioritises mātauranga and is Te Tiriti-led, requires new capabilities, shifts in mindsets and in what our current systems of government often value. We can only learn our way into these different ways of being and working with communities and government, and local government has a critical role as a learning partner for wellbeing. In this workshop we will share some of the frameworks and tools that we are finding helpful on this journey.

3.30 pm Afternoon tea

3.50 pm Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy
Hannah Kerr, Director, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

  • An update on the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy
  • What is the role of local government in delivering child and youth wellbeing alongside central government, iwi, and communities?
  • How does this align with the expected outcomes from the Future for Local Government Review?

4.40 pm Play everywhere: the local play workforce project
Mark Curr, Regional Play Consultant, Sport New Zealand

Across Aotearoa New Zealand, Territorial Authorities (TA’s) are evolving their approach to how tamariki are considered in their planning. The Local Play Workforce project is a partnership between Sport New Zealand and local government which takes a fresh approach to considering the needs of tamariki.

Sport New Zealand recognises the significant ability local government has to influence and create conditions which support wellbeing in communities. They have partnered with Territorial Authorities s to lead a national shift away from play being solely about the provision of in situ play assets, to being a driver of child-friendly outcomes across their remit – because play can take place everywhere.

Right now, a growing workforce of local play advocates are working to understand how they can meet the needs of tamariki and ensure each council has a strategic understanding of the value of play, which will be embedded into their formal documents and ways of working. This presentation shares their process and early findings.  

5.10 pm Sum up day one
Raymond Horan, Chief Advisor, Taituarā

5.15 pm Networking drinks and canapes

7 pm Close

Day two: Tuesday 9 May 2023

9.00 am Welcome back
Raymond Horan, Chief Advisor, Taituarā

9.05 am Hutt housing policy
Kara Puketapu-Dentice, Director - Economy and Development, Hutt City Council

9.45 am Whakahou taketake (Vital Update)
Jodie Robertson, representing Tauranga City Council

Vital Update looks at the geographic communities in Tauranga: who makes them up, and what their needs, wants, and aspirations are for their neighbourhoods and the wider city. It includes the development of 20 digital dashboards to enable data sovereignty for the community – something which is not ordinarily undertaken by councils. The dashboards are freely available and provide an experience where communities can access in-depth and customised data that can be used to reinforce community decisions, directions, and interventions.

10.25 am Morning tea

10.45 am Rebuilding a marine-based economy
Barbara MacLennan, Workforce Development Coordinator, Ōpōtiki District Council, and Louisa Erickson, Manager, Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea

The vision and determination of Te iwi ō Whakatōhea to rebuild a marine-based economy and grow local wealth and jobs is at the heart of this case study. Ōpōtiki District Council got right behind the effort, facilitated community involvement, and acted as an ally in many endeavours to enable this new industry. Over recent years, council has become more deeply involved in facilitating employment development to enable local economic development. This case study will share some principles and key learnings from the journey to date.

11.30 am Group discussions

A chance to further explore one of the morning case studies with the presenters.

Choose from:

  • Hutt Housing policy
  • Whakahou Taketake (Vital Update)
  • Rebuilding a marine-based economy

12.15 pm Lunch

1.00 pm Panel: what does a wellbeing council look like?
Dr Mike Reid, Principal Policy Advisor, Local Government New Zealand
Geoff Williams, Chief Executive, Rotorua Lakes Council
Raymond Horan, Chief Advisor, Taituarā (moderator)

2.20 pm Monitoring community partnership funding
Stephanie Velvin, Community Development Manager, Palmerston North City Council

Stephanie will present Palmerston North’s approach to monitoring community partnership funding, utilising Results Based Accountability and the SmartyGrants platform.

3.00 pm Sum up
Raymond Horan, Chief Advisor, Taituarā

3.10 pm Close

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact


Raymond Horan
Chief Advisor, Taituarā Read Profile
Dr Ganesh Nana
Chair of the Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hui o Aotearoa, Read Profile
Jean-Paul Gaston
Group Manager Strategy, Rotorua Lakes Council Read Profile
Penny Hagen
Director Tangata Tiriti, Auckland Co-design Lab, The Southern Initiative Read Profile
Celia Hirini (Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāi Tuhoe)
Kaikawekōrero Papakura Mārae Read Profile
Angie Tangaere (Ngāti Porou)
Kaitohu Tangata Whenua Read Profile
Jodie Robertson
Impact & Insights Specialist , Tauranga City Council Read Profile
Mike Reid
Principal Advisor, Local Government New Zealand Read Profile
Geoff Williams
Chief Executive Read Profile
Hannah Kerr
Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group, DPMC Read Profile
Mark Curr
Read Profile
Barbara MacLennan
Community Development Contractor Read Profile
Louisa Erickson
Operations Manager - Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea. Read Profile
Nicola Sutton
Read Profile
Stephanie Velvin
Community Development Manager Read Profile