Engaging communities in the design of homes and neighbourhoods in Aotearoa New Zealand

Rebecca Kiddle

Abstract – Tuhinga Whakarāpopoto

This Counterfutures journal article says a successful engagement process empowers communities by acknowledging their mātauranga (place-based knowledge), and by taking the time to build strong relationships that can form the base of all future engagement. Specifically, there is a range of things agencies and those doing the engaging could do. These include: engaging with communities early; allowing them to be part of setting what kind of engagement should be done and at what stage; and ensuring governance boards and steering groups include community voices early. They should not be afraid to bring critical voices into the centre of the process, so long as other parts of the community, particularly ‘hard to reach communities’, are also represented and good facilitation enables all to be heard. The researcher argues that more time should be invested upfront in developing relationships to ensure those who are not so vocal get a chance to engage. The process should be reciprocal, as the community have a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the redevelopment equation. The researcher writes that methods should be considered that encourage two-way conversations and provide communities with the tools with which to critique the process and add their mātauranga to it.

Keywords – Kupu Hāngai

engagement, community engagement, Māori communities, wellbeing, communities, urban wellbeing, community wellbeing, urban development

Fields of Research – Āpure Rangahau

Māori; Urban Development; Urban Planning; Community Engagement


Date – Te Wā Whakarewa



Type – Te Auaha

Journal article

Citation – Kupu Hautoa

Kiddle, R. (2020). Engaging communities in the design of homes and neighbourhoods in Aotearoa New Zealand. CounterFutures, 9, 77-94.