AMP Capital People’s Choice Award Finalists

 Vote for a community changemaker

This inaugural award has been created to recognise a New Zealand individual and a project they have led that has achieved positive change with the support of philanthropic funding.

  • This is a People’s Choice award, it is open to you to vote and support the person and project you would like to see win.
  • The electronic voting form is at the bottom of the page, and voting closes Monday 1 May, 5pm.
  • The winner will be announced on Thursday 11 May.

We’re delighted to present the following five very worthy people and projects:

Cultivate Christchurch
Co-founders Bailey Peryman and Fiona Stewart

Cultivate Christchurch is building a network of urban farms that are powered by the next generation. Their goal is to include local schools, youth and other social programmes into the construction and production of their urban farms. Cultivate is creating a future of vitality and abundance through healthy soil, healthy food, and ultimately healthy people and communities.

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Established in the centre of Christchurch on a site left empty after the February 2011 earthquake, Cultivate works as a community-focussed social enterprise that works with at risk youth and the homeless in a safe and healthy environment that gives them the chance for a fresh start through gardening.

Cultivate functions as a social enterprise as much of the fresh produce is sold to restaurants in Christchurch CBD. There is also a portion that is donated to individuals, neighbours, volunteers and the Christchurch City Mission. Also once a week, they cook a fresh meal and anyone is welcome.

Cultivate Waste collects leftover food from restaurants in the city by electric bikes and trailers and turns it into compost that is used to grow more food. The project helped reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and provided a green waste collection in the CBD where there was none.

Highlights and outcomes include helping young people to develop the skills, gain meaningful work experience and be empowered to live lives that they value. Some of the young people are positively engaged on the ‘Cultivate Internship’ Programme, others have transitioned into employment or tertiary training. Cultivate works in partnership with other youth organisations, like YCD (Youth and Cultural Development who the Vodafone NZ Foundation also funds) that works with youth who are at risk of or who are getting involved in an offending cycle. At least 10 young people from YCD have come every week for a ‘Cultivate Experience’ since November 2015.

Bailey and Fiona met when they both received the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation World of Difference Award to support their work with young people. In 2014, the Foundation offered a new form of support – the Alumni Development Grant, a fund specifically designed to give our World of Difference Alumni the opportunity to work together on a new, innovative youth development project. They put together a proposal and received seed funding, which they used to develop the idea for Cultivate.

Funding: Following the submission of their proposal, the Vodafone NZ Foundation granted ongoing support–$300,000 over three years.

Supporting documents and media: Urban farm founders honoured for work with at risk youth Cultivate Christchurch

Nominated by Vodafone New Zealand Foundation


Mokoia Community Association—Eastside Community Collective
Manager Leigh Richards-Ward

This project aims to make Rotorua East vibrant and sustainable with the opportunity for all to develop their quality of life to its full potential.

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This project launched following Mokoia Community Association talking to Rotorua East residents and identifying their needs to help improve empowerment and capacity building. The project involved going out into the community, contacting as many different people as possible, including residents, community groups, hapu, schools, early childhood centres, young people and seniors and bringing them together for regular meetings to talk about their community’s  issues and concerns so that it could begin to address some of these. As a result of this consultation, the Eastside Community Collective was formed which has built a strategic plan for 2017 entitled Tatou Pounamu, out of which activities, events, celebrations, submissions etc have fallen, uniting the community. Mokoia Community Association is one part of the Eastside Community Collective along with other community organisations.

Key areas identified:

  • youth engagement
  • increased education opportunities
  • challenging systems/influencing policy
  • a health service which responds to community needs
  • environmental action
  • community voices leading action
  • capacity building

Some of the strategies and activities include preparing submissions on areas of concern such as liquor outlets, gambling, fast food outlets etc, driver licensing, study skills workshops, holiday programmes, mentoring, pathways to employment, computer studies, nutrition, smoking cessation, waste minimisation, Eastside Child Friendly, volunteer engagement, succession planning and leadership training. The Eastside Community Collective has worked for a number of years to get to this stage and now has a good, stable basis on which to start implementing some of its strategies.

Highlights and outcomes include strong relationships developed across a breadth of stakeholders, who worked collaboratively on the self-identified needs of the residents. Because of this, they were able to take a holistic approach, working across traditional silos of funding and social sector groupings to achieve outcomes previously unattainable. People who previously felt shamed when admitting they lived in Eastside developed a local pride and ownership of their community.

Leigh Richards-Ward has lived in Eastside with her family for 14 years. She has a degree and PhD in social work. Leigh has a passion for community-led development, building sustainable relationships and working alongside residents to build capacity and capability.

Funding: Along with other community trusts, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust provides ongoing flexible funding to help run events and activities identified as important to the community. Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust an average of $18,000 over the last five years for community-led development and active aging programme.

Supporting documents and media: 

Website: Inside East

Rotorua Daily Post: Eastside Youth Space at Puketawhero Park hits second stage

View the strategic plan and infographic

Nominated by Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust


Springboard_IBelieve web
Springboard Community Works
Founder and CEO Gary Diprose

Since 2002, Springboard Community Works has been empowering marginalised young people and their families with life changing principles, skills and mentors to facilitate personal transformation and connection with community.

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Snells Beach-based Springboard Community Works was founded to support at risk youth and families in 2002, and has worked to change the lives of hundreds of young people. Springboard run various programmes to engage and connect, upskill and mentor marginalised young people and families. Some of the programmes include alternative education, youth offender intervention, work transition initiatives, and family support services.

Springboard’s community development aims to establish working relationships with other like-minded organisations in other communities. The purpose of this collaboration is the sharing of know-how, resources and partnership in what can be an isolated and difficult environment. The goal is that as each organisation taps into the collective resources available to it, the outcomes for young people increase exponentially.

Springboard now partners with three other communities.

Highlights and outcomes include Springboard delivering excellent results and positive change for young people and their whanau: reducing youth crime, unemployment and increasing community well being.

Gary Diprose received a Kiwibank ‘Local Hero’ award in November 2016. In February 2016, Springboard Community Works was a semi-finalist of the Community of the Year Award. Springboard has also received accolades from Police and local schools.

Prior to founding Springboard 14 years ago, Gary spent 10 years in business management, self-employed in the farming sector. As CEO Gary oversees all of the Springboard staff, programmes and organisational development – including expansion into new communities.

Vodafone New Zealand Foundation first supported Springboard in 2013 through the World of Difference award and in 2015 gave a grant to help them reach more young people. Part of this work is through collaboration and the grant is allowing Gary to work with like-minded organisations to replicate Springboard’s successful model across other communities.

Supporting documents and media:

Website: Springboard Springboard to success for troubled youth

Nominated by Vodafone New Zealand Foundation


Tiakina ō Tātou Tamariki— Keeping Our Kids Safe
Project Manager Manu Caddie

A project that empowers communities to empower themselves by getting communities to work together. To improve neighbourhood knowledge and increase sense of community.

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The Tiakina ō Tātou Tamariki project was started in 2010 with a ten-year vision from locals, and three years of funding from J R McKenzie Trust and the Todd Foundation. The project was established with the ultimate goal of ‘Tiakina ō Tātou Tamariki’, or ‘Keeping our kids safe’. A related goal is that “every parent and every child in our neighbourhood will be confident that someone will notice and someone will care when they have cause for joy, sorrow or worry”.

In 2009-2010, at the start of the project a survey of one in five households in the Titirangi neighbourhood was undertaken. Survey questions focused on things like how long the residents had lived in the area, whether they liked it and planned to be there in five years. Questions were also asked about how much and what type of interactions resident had with their neighbours and how well they knew and trusted each other. It also asked how much confidence they had in local organisations such as particular government agencies, schools, churches, iwi organisations, social services and health providers.

The 2010 results were recorded and in 2013 a similar survey was administered again in the same area with the same sample size. The results show very positive improvements in all of the social capital measures used.

Key highlights and outcomes include:
• residents who said they enjoy living in the neighbourhood has increased from 67% to
1. residents who knew the names of more than 10 children in their street increased
from 12% to 38%
• residents who had shared their phone numbers with other residents increased from
41% to 50%
• residents who reported having done something social with their neighbours
increased from 51% to 69%.

Recent statistics from Police for the same neighbourhood shows a 30% reduction in violence and crime in Titirangi streets compared to 4% for the wider region, also a significant reduction in requests for transfers out of the neighbourhood by HNZC tenants.

Manu Caddie offers research, project management, training, consultancy and development assistance to civil society organisations, the public sector and private enterprise to accelerate sustainable locally-led development in communities around New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

JR Mckenzie Trust say that Manu’s concept is visionary and innovative in using an evidence-based approach by gathering community data and cross-analysing it with results from surveys completed by people in the community.

Manu has worked on numerous community-focussed projects and partnered with a number of organisation to create positive change including numerous Government departments, local councils, foundations and global funders.

Among other activities, Manu has also had leading roles in Te Ora Hou Aotearoa, a network of Māori youth and community development organisations; and the Hikurangi Huataukina Trust, which is creating economic development opportunities for residents of the far reaches of the North Island’s East Coast. He also helped develop, an online resource that helps community groups to understand and show the value of their work.

Funding: This programme has been funded in part by JR Mckenzie Trust and the Todd Foundation who have supported operations, administration, overheads and salaries for the projects facilitators, ‘Animators’. It has also received funding from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Supporting documents and media:

Radio New Zealand: Interview with Manu Caddie

Report: Child-Rich Communities: Aotearoa’s ‘Bright Spots’: Tīakīna ō Tātou Tamariki – Keeping Our Kids Safe

Nominated by JR McKenzie Trust and the Todd Foundation



Queenstown Trail Network

Project Manager Kaye Parker

The Queenstown Trail Network will feature over 500km of continuous trails through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world – incorporating Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges, along the Clutha River to Wanaka and in the Roxburgh Gorge. Existing Queenstown trails and the Central Otago Rail Trail will become part of this new network.

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Highlights and outcomes include Tourism New Zealand having a unique product to market to the world – a real alternative to the big European and US trails. A variety of trail offers, plus the region’s many off-trail attractions and its well-developed visitor infrastructure, will grow visitor numbers, year round. There will be multiple opportunities for new business developments, and for existing businesses. The benefits will spread to many with positive health, education and community outcomes and will make the region an even more desirable place to live and work.

Former Prime Minister John Key said there was “no question” the four rides were already internationally some of the greatest in the world.

“This is just going to make them absolutely the Mecca for anyone who wants to go cycling.” Cycle trails across the country attracted “high-value” visitors, and convinced them to stay longer, he said.

Kaye Parker is former Chief Executive of the Queenstown Trails Trust where she was instrumental in procuring the funding (over $6m total with Central Lakes Trust and Southland Community Trust each contributing $1m) to establish the Queenstown Trail Network which is now a part of New Zealand’s Great Rides. The Queenstown Trail opened in 2012 with more than 110 kilometres of trails. After effectively leading Queenstown Trails Trust, Kaye stepped aside to focus on another audacious vision: linking up the Central Otago bike trails and creating a 500 km network.

Trust Chairman Tony McQuilkin said it was largely because of Mrs Parker the trail was opened on time and on budget. “Kaye has made a significant impact and it is thanks to her professionalism, drive and energy that the $5.4 million Queenstown Trail was opened.”

Funding: The Central Lakes Trust will provide $11.5 million towards the project – more than five times its highest grant. The Otago Community Trust also committed $2 million and the New Zealand government will provide $13 million. Costs include the completion of the trail network, counters , signage and marketing.

Supporting documents and media: 

NZ Herald: Pedalling new territory

Otago Daily Times: Kaye Parker

Nominated by Central Lakes Trust 


Please note: Philanthropy New Zealand has been provided this information by third-party nominators. If you wish to check and / or have any questions about a nomination, we are happy to share the references that were supplied with the nomination

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Simply enter your name and email, and select the finalist you would like to win.

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Voting closes Monday 1 May, 5pm. 2017.

This award is sponsored by AMP Capital