Community Economic Development: Understanding the New Zealand Context

New Zealand Community Economic Development Trust

Author +
Di Jennings

Year: 2014

This report is the outcome of a comprehensive research process that includes interviews with 97 social enterprise and community economic development (CED) practitioners and five focus groups. The interviewed practitioners operate in cities, small towns and rural areas from around New Zealand and are involved in a diverse range of trading activities. The report integrates these findings with a comprehensive review of New Zealand and international literature about CED and social enterprise.

The report also includes a library of seven case studies that respond to the research hypothesis (proposition) that was developed through the data analysis process. The case studies exemplify best practice in CED and social enterprise in New Zealand at this time. The author has a background in community development, social enterprise and the creative sector, and the research report draws on her knowledge and experience gained from working in these areas within New Zealand and in Scotland.

The propositions that emerged from the interview phase of the research project indicated that there are five key attributes successful CED initiatives demonstrate. They are:

  1. Creating strong and effective governance.
  2. Building close linkages to other complementary CED initiatives.
  3. Delivering core services in partnership with service users and purchasing organisations, rather than at arm’s length.
  4. Establishing a future-oriented internal culture.
  5. Establishing a consistent system of triple bottom line impact assessment.

The above propositions were tested and mainly confirmed through the seven case studies. Establishing a consistent system of quadruple bottom line impact assessment was found to be the most challenging attribute to manifest.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Research Overview and Methodology
Part One: Building Foundations
Part Two: Examining Operating Practices
Part Three: Exploring Finance and Investment
Part Four: Building Capability
Part Five: Exploring Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Enterprise
Part Six: Identifying Employment Issues
Part Seven: Demonstrating Impact
Part Eight: Bridging the Gaps: Towards an Eco System of Support and Infrastructure
Part Nine: Seven Case Studies:
1. Awhi Credit Union (Rotorua)
2. Community Business Enterprise Centre (Kaitaia)
3. McLaren Park Henderson South Community Initiative (Auckland)
4. Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust (OWCT)
5. Project Lyttelton
6. Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT)
7. Trees for Canterbury (Christchurch)
Appendix 1: Common themes that emerged from the literature review
Appendix 2: Information sheet for focus group participants
Appendix 3: Questions for focus groups
Appendix 4: Focus Group responses
Appendix 5: The interview questionnaire
Appendix 6: Invitation to participate through an interview
Appendix 7: Consent Form