4                                                              04 May 2017

Community Services Committee

11 April 2017




File: (17/656)





Report no: CSC2017/2/107


Review of Community Funding


Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to seek the Committee’s approval for officers to implement a new Community Funding Strategy.


That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    approves the 2017/2022 Community Funding Strategy, attached as Appendix 2 to the report, effective from 1 July 2018;

(ii)   notes that changes to the existing funding arrangements will be made incrementally over 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20; and

(iii)  notes that the existing Community Funding Policy will be amended to ensure it aligns with aspirations and requirements of this proposed Community Funding Strategy.



2.    For over 12 years, Council has operated the current contestable/non contestable community funding model.  The existing criteria which Council applies to funding requests from community groups is broad, as per Council’s Community Funding Policy:

a.       Provides Not for Profits with a source of funds, allowing them to operate in the absence of sales or cash flows; and

b.       The organisations activities benefit the community, ideally in ways which align with Council’s own goals and outcomes.

3.    Officers want to stress that in undertaking the review of community funding  they are not implying that groups with existing funding arrangements with Council have not done a good job or not provided value to ratepayers.  

4.    Officers identified the need to conduct a review to ensure that our investment is achieving the priorities of Council and our city. 

5.    It is generally recognised and acknowledged that for some of our residents Hutt City is not a great place to live, work and play.  Officers believe that in the context of wider Council and Community priorities that greater benefits can be achieved through aligning community funding to these priorities and taking a more strategic and focussed approach.

6.    Councillor Margaret Cousins (Chair Policy and Regulatory Committee) and former Councillor Max Shierlaw (ex Chair of Finance and Audit Committee) worked with Council officers during 2016.  Council then approved a strategic review of its current community funding model.

7.    The total amount being reviewed in the context of this review was $723,300.  Marae funding has been excluded from this review, although could be reviewed in the future.

8.    The table below sets out the 2016/17 funding allocations which have been included in this wider strategic review, which are not dissimilar from previous years.

Contestable Funding


Community Development Fund


Small Grants


Heritage Fund


Non Contestable Funding


Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)


Youth Inspire


Youth Wise Trust


Community Houses


Youth Partnership Fund


 Total community funding




9.    The table below sets out the other funding streams that Council provides (or administers) to community that are not included in this review.



Small Events Fund


HV Community Arts (Creative NZ)


Arts and Culture


Non Contestable




Tamaiti Whangai


Wellington Marae





10.  During 2016 officers undertook consultation regarding Council’s community funding.  Results from the survey conducted by Public Voice (attached as Appendix 1 to the report), indicated that our community supports a more strategic approach, with measurable impact, sustainable practices, accountability, fair distribution of funding according to need and that funding should benefit a diverse range of people in the community.


11.  Officers deliberately did not target any specific community group or sector throughout this consultation process, to ensure no one group/sector was prioritised over any other.


12.  Officers have conducted a strategic review of Council’s current approach and practices and have developed a proposed high level framework for Council’s Community Funding Strategy (attached as Appendix 2 to the report).

13.  Officers are confident this proposed Community Funding Strategy will improve the overall transparency of funding practices and will ensure that Council’s investment is strongly aligned to Council and City priorities.

14.  The new strategy is designed to:


·    Direct funds to those who need it most, so that for all our diverse residents, the Hutt City is a great place, to live, work and play

·    Improve the clarity and simplicity of our funding processes for applicants

·    Encourage innovation, improve relationships and foster longer term partnerships

15.  Councillor Margaret Cousins (Chair Policy and Regulatory Committee), Councillor Glenda Barratt  (Chair Community Services Committee) Councillor Josh Briggs (Deputy Chair Community Services Committee), and officers worked alongside Kate Frykberg to develop a proposed Community Funding Strategy – based on feedback via the Citizens Panel Survey and aspirations for these funds to be aligned to Council’s strategic priorities.  Ms Frykberg is Chair of Philanthropy NZ, an independent committee member of the Ngāi Tahu fund, and was previously Executive Director of Todd Foundation.

16.  The new proposed community funding strategy will align directly to Council’s vision and will see our investment directed to ‘Improving equity across our city’ through:

a.   Increasing access to opportunities and resources:  We want all our residents, particularly the young and old, to be able to easily access what they need to live a good life here in Hutt City.  Our funding will favour initiatives that increase equity of access.

b.   Building participation and a sense of belonging: We all lead safer and more fulfilling lives if we have strong connections to those round us – family, friends, community and colleagues.  Our funding will target initiatives that reduce social isolation, help people from every culture and background to feel accepted and respected, and encourage all residents to take an active role in their community.

c.    Strengthening local leadership: Everyone can make positive change in their own lives and for those around them.  We want to support local leaders to lead local solutions, and our funding will favour initiatives with strong community involvement and leadership.

17.  If the funding being requested by groups fits with our vision and goals above, then we will look for groups who:

a.     Clearly make a difference: Is this initiative likely to make – or already making - a demonstrated difference in the goals above?  We understand that complex problems don’t usually have simple solutions, and we don’t require fancy reporting, just a sensible approach, learning as you go and a clear way of showing how what you did relates to what you wanted to achieve.

b.     Collaborative approaches: None of us can change the world alone.  We prefer initiatives where people and organisations work together well; for example, sharing resources or working for a collectively agreed goal.

c.     Well managed organisations: We look for good governance, credible leadership, sustainable finance, a strong team and open, honest relationships.  We understand that all groups are different, and we don’t try to compare a local community initiative with a large, established organisation.  But we do expect every group we fund to have good people who run things well. 

d.    Innovative approaches: New ideas aligned to our vision are always welcome; we have created a special fund to provide seed funding for just this (see below). We understand that new ideas don’t always work and we encourage giving things a go.

e.     Community Ownership: We like initiatives which are led by local communities and we like the concept of “nothing about us without us”.  Whichever community is served - for example, the elderly, people experiencing disability, youth - we prefer to fund initiatives where members of this community are a key part of decision-making. 

18.  The new proposed Community Funding Strategy will have two funding streams and implementation of this model will be incrementally over three years (attached as Appendix 3 to the report).

a.   Kakano Fund: Kākano means seed, and this fund provides seed funding for new ideas that meet our vision in a give-it-a-go, safe-to-try environment.

b.   Mahia Atu Fund: Mahia Atu loosely translates to “Make it Happen.”  This fund is for community initiatives that are already up and running, meet our vision and are clearly making a difference in our communities.  The Mahia Atu fund will consist of two funding streams:

i.   Mahia Atu Community fund- provides one or two year funding for good community initiatives. If an initiative is a strong fit to our vision and is beginning to show good results, they would apply here.

ii.  Mahia Atu Partnership Funding – provides a small number of organisations with funding and provides longer term funding and a partnership approach (three to five years).  If an initiative is a strong fit to our vision, can demonstrate outstanding results and strong collaboration, they would apply here. 

19.  If Council endorses the new high level framework  for this new approach to community funding, then:

a.       Councillors and officers will invest significant time alongside Kate Frykberg in developing the  finer details that sit below this new strategy;  and

b.       Councillors and officers will remain committed to ensuring adequate communications and training are provided to community groups so they are well informed and prepared for the changes.


20.  The committee approves the new Community Funding Strategy and implementation plan.

21.  The committee does not approve the new Community Funding Strategy and the existing community funding strategy continues.  


22.  Initially the wider community was consulted to understand wider support for a change to the existing funding model. Communities were consulted via the Citizens Panel.  This was made available both online and hard copies available in all Libraries and Community Hubs. 463 responses were received, which is considered an acceptable sample in term so reliability.

23.  Survey Pre testing was completed with the following before the survey was made available to the public:

a.    Max Shierlaw (ex Finance and Audit Chair and Councillor), Councillor Margaret Cousins (Chair of Policy and Regulations Committee), Safe Hutt Valley Coordinator, local Wainuiomata Resident, Council Divisional Managers of Strategy and Planning, City Promotions and Libraries.

b.    Representatives from the following groups: Ignite Sport, Dress for Success, Youth Infusion, and Leisure Active

24.  Results from the survey conducted by Public Voice (attached as Appendix 1), showed strong support for a new looking model:

a.   81% supported a more strategic approach to Council’s annual investment in the community.

b.   79% supported a funding model that encourages new initiatives or programmes.

c.   80% believes it is ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ that Council’s annual investment in the community can be measured, so both Council and the wider community can see the impact of this funding.

d.   72% believe that it is ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ that Community groups operate sustainable practices.

e.   A majority believed that community groups should be held accountable and deliver measureable community outcomes.

25.  Officers also had face to face meetings with Wellington Community Trust, Todd Foundation, JR McKenzie and Nikau Foundation to better understand their funding models.

26.  Since developing the proposed new Funding Strategy, Councillors and officers met with the Chairs of the Community Groups who have a long term or significant funding arrangement with Council. These groups were: Community Houses, Citizens Advice Bureau, and Youth Inspire.  This enabled the new proposed high level framework of the community funding strategy to be shared with them and provided an opportunity to provide feedback and talk about the potential impact this change will have on them.

27.  Feedback received by the Chairs of the Community Groups was varied. Some supported and understood the need for funding to be better aligned to Council’s strategic priorities and saw this change as opportunity.  Others raised concerns specifically to the detail of this strategy which is yet to be defined (eg criteria, eligibility, application process, funding rounds and frequency) and lack of financial security this change may bring.

Legal Considerations

28.  There are no other legal considerations. Marae Funding has not been included within the scope of this review as under the Local Government Act 2002, we would be required to carry out a more comprehensive consultation process which would be well beyond our Council boundaries and would likely include wider Iwi and central government involvement.

Financial Considerations

29.  There are no other financial implications.  The recommended new approach is essentially about reallocating existing budget already included in Council’s Long Term Plan.     

Other Considerations

30.  In making this recommendation, officers have given careful consideration to the purpose of local government in section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002. Officers believe that this recommendation falls within the purpose of the local government act.






Community Funding Survey Results



Proposed Community Funding Strategy



Proposed Community Funding Implementation Plan








Author: Melanie Laban

Community Projects and Relationship Manager







Approved By: Matt Reid

General Manager Community Services