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About this project

In early 2015 the organisations - Inspiring Communities, Plunket,  UNICEF and Every Child Counts came together to begin a project to explore local community initiatives that are making a positive difference to children and families. 

Instead of asking the question what are the issues and problems? This project asks - what’s working? The focus is about building on what is good.

To kick start this project a report was commissioned to explore the ‘good stuff’ − the ‘Bright Spots’ around Aotearoa New Zealand. You can find out more about the report below.


In the past few years, there has been increasing concern about child poverty in New Zealand. The agencies behind this project noticed that the responses to struggling children tend to fit within two strands of work - lobbying and advocacy and targeted intervention by Government, NGOs and the private sector.

Both of these strands of work are important.

However, there is another strand of work that is not always so visible, but is equally important - there are many people working in community-led ways throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. And this work is improving the lives of children and their families. 

The aim of this project is to connect and learn from these ‘Bright Spots’. 

The report: Child Rich Communities

To kick start this project a report was commissioned to explore Bright Spots across Aotearoa New Zealand. A total of 21 initiatives ranging in size and scale, age, geography and entity type were engaged to learn more about their success factors. Stakeholders from philanthropic and government sectors were also interviewed.

Full report: Full Report

Summary of report: Summary

Briefing for Government Stakeholders: Briefing for Government Stakeholders

Bright Spot Snapshots:

Raurimu Avenue School

Te Aroha Noa

Tiakina o Tatou Tamariki

Whanganui Central Baptist Kindergarten 


Watch some Bright Spot communities

Check out locals leading change in their communities here. Hear their stories and share their insights into the rewards and challenges of using community-led approaches to support children and families.



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