Expert wants ideas for Otara
People-powered change is the theme behind a visit from a United States community development expert to Otara.
Residents will get a chance to listen to and share their own ideas with community guru, author and teacher Jim Diers at public forums at Te Puke O Tara tomorrow and Thursday.
It's the first sign of the Glenn Family Foundation's influence in Otara and how it hopes to work with the community.
Multimillionaire philanthropist Owen Glenn announced last month that he was giving the Otara community $8 million to direct at community initiatives aimed at preventing family violence.
It's part of an $80 million donation that will be spent throughout New Zealand by the foundation.
Anyone ''who's got an idea'' and is passionate about the community will be welcome at this week's meetings, the foundation's sports and wellbeing director Peter McGlashan said.
''Mr Diers is effectively a facilitator, a guy who does a stock take of what the community has to offer and then says 'now that we know these things are all the things on offer, what type of projects would you like to come up with yourselves'. That way it becomes more of a community based solution.''
Diers will present some of his work in transforming communities around the world, a subject he's been passionately involved in for 36 years.
Otara Network Action Committee chairman Bill Takarei is looking forward to hosting Diers and hearing what he has to offer.
"It's a good concept and a great chance we'll take with both hands because I know if we get the right people there it'll fire up, in a positive sense, particularly when they start sharing some of their stories about Otara.
''And then if we can consolidate some of that stuff then with that momentum we'll get a snowball effect," he said.
There will be three meetings - a public forum, a hui for agencies, community groups and NGOs and a public workshop.
Diers is touring New Zealand in partnership with Inspiring Communities.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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