When it comes to Community Partnerships… Council joins the dots, writes Councillor Gaile Noonan.

Community Partnerships came about during my time as Chair of Community Services. 

I thought the concept of Council acting as “connectors and aiders” for the Nelson and Stoke community could achieve more.

Our staff are well connected and available to assist with funding applications and join interested groups together who then provide services to our community.

Recently some work has been done on governance with community groups. 

This is essential learning as many people join community boards because they are passionate about what that entity does. 

Often, they don’t have any experience in governance and work in roles that are becoming much more complex, covering things such as health and safety, with more accountability than ever before.

In collaboration with a number of external groups, the Community Partnerships team launched an educational governance bites programme (many of these sessions were over-subscribed due to the interest). 

Several offshoots have occurred since and one that I am involved in is the Youth into Governance programme, which gives young people the chance to be mentored by a board member and be involved in how a board works, sitting with them at meetings and giving a youth perspective, all while learning governance skills.

Many community groups will be familiar with the Community Investment Fund. 

This is administered through the Community Partnerships team, who liaise with independent community individuals who review the applications and decide where funding is allocated.

The funding is one way Council assists the community so recipients can promote their services and meet needs.

The Nelson 2060 Goal Nine is “Everyone in our community has their essential needs met”. 

The measures relating to community partnerships are:

  • Everyone feels they belong and is proud to live here;
  • Family and children are at the heart of our community;
  • We are a diverse community and we welcome newcomers;
  • Everyone can be involved in community life;
  • Older people are respected and valued;
  • People feel safe

I am very proud of our team at Nelson City Council and am grateful for their care of the communities that make up our home.