Talk to your local leaders
Discuss your concerns with a local school principal, local/community board member, church pastor, kaumatua and kuia, community constable, etc. They might assist you in connecting with others who share your concerns.
Attend community meetings
Look out in your local paper or online forums for any local groups that are discussing community safety or local issues. This includes residents associations, neighbourhood watch groups, and community patrols. Attend a meeting or post a message. Let them know of your concerns and gauge interest in coming together to discuss further.
Visit community online groups
Reach out through on-line forums such as community Facebook groups, Neighbourly, etc.
Organise an initial meeting
Sometimes a local meeting is a good way to get interested people together. These can be particularly useful if there has been an incident that concerns the community and there is a wish to respond.
Inviting a guest speaker can provide an added incentive for people to attend, and help to focus the meeting.
Form an action group
Action groups can take any form. They often establish and develop organically. They are essentially a group of people working together for a common purpose.
Sometimes a group only lasts to complete a particular task/outcome (e.g. to object to a licence application). Other groups are more on-going in nature to address broader community issues. The way a group functions needs to serve the group’s purpose. Find out more about what you’ll need to think about when forming a group.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO THINK ABOUT
Apply for community funding
If the group wishes to apply for funding then some degree of formalisation of the group will be required. You may consider registering as a charity, please click here. You can also take other forms such as an incorporated society. There are requirements for such entities. To find out more, check Companies Office, please click here.
Plan your action
Getting things done requires some degree of planning. This includes getting agreement on what you aim to achieve, identifying what needs to be done, how will it be done, by who and when. Below are some simple steps to follow.
Planning can be done by everyone in the group or by a smaller sub-planning group.
Brainstorm – Get the group or interested members together to explore the options for action. This will provide an opportunity to explore a whole range of ideas and options, and then refine these to what is within the group’s scope and capability.
It may be worth getting someone that’s not involved directly to lead this process. This will allow all group members to participate. It’s important that it is a creative process and everyone’s ideas are considered.
Draft a Plan – Use the information from the brainstorm and any other group discussions to draft a Project Action Plan.
Get feedback on the Draft Plan – Share the draft plan with the members or planning group and ask for feedback. Be specific about what feedback you require, how members can provide feedback and set a timeframe.
Finalise the Plan – Once all feedback has been received then the plan can be finalised and shared with the group’s members.
Communicate - The success of any group or project often comes back to how well it has communicated itself and its messages.