Community Development

From its establishment, a key goal of Project Twin Streams has been to build community ownership of the project in ways that are inclusive and meaningful for local neighbourhood communities and communities of interest.

This is being achieved through contracts with four community-based organisations to deliver aspects of Project Twin Streams in their local areas.

The assumptions underpinning this approach, supported by Agenda 21 out of the Rio conference, are that:

People are more likely to make changes in behaviour when they understand the problem and are part of identifying the solutions.
Local communities know the most appropriate and effective methods to engage local people.
Each community has its own diverse characteristics. Programmes need to be adapted to harness the diverse strengths of communities. A one sized solution is not effective.
Creative learning methods that engage with people’s hearts and minds are more effective in creating meaningful and long-term behaviour change than simply distributing written information.
Local organisations can be more effective than Council in engaging their own communities but need to be adequately resourced and supported to do so.
A partnership approach between communities; local, regional and central government, non-government organisations and local people is a very effective way of achieving long-term change.

(From PTS Strategic Plan 2008)

This community development model is proving extremely successful in facilitating diverse and significant community engagement in Project Twin Streams. Communities have taken ownership of their own areas with spin-off projects such as the Pa Harakeke o te Iwi and Millbrook Edible Garden.
As people are becoming connected to their local streams they are beginning to understand the connection between the health of the streams, their own actions and behaviours, and wider sustainability issues.