HRL Community introduces 'The Partner Journey' in 2018. We are excited to partner with you to create community strategies, development plans and local governance solutions. We work with oranisations who are passionate about growing sustainable, economic and resilient neighbourhoods and towns.

2018 Community Boards of New Zealand Survey Results

How effective are our Community Boards and what is their future? 205 Community Board members’ responses are pulled together by this insightful report by Callum and David Hammond. The survey was undertaken in January and February 2018. With a 30% reduction in the number of Community Boards over the past decade, the report also shows a successive withdrawing of their powers by Councils. Boards are at a crossroads. This report proposes a new national mandate for Community Boards in place-shaping, and an evolution from Boards’ current role in advocacy and advice.

Read the full report at this link: 2018 Community Boards Survey Report

The Partner Journey

Communities are in constant change. The Partner Journey is HRL’s mission to develop sustainable, economic and resilient communities, and organisations who get back in-tune and have the right models to partner with their communities today.

We work with both organisations and communities for positive, adaptive change. It’s a journey. Through our work we see organisations adapting to their communities changing needs and communities who are working incredibly positively with organisations in co-design models unique to their area. They regain confidence in their skills and they know their priorities.

HRL Community believes that resilience and sustainability is from both bottom-up and top-down partnership.

Read more here: The Partner Journey

1. Organisations as Partners

The Partner Journey is HRL’s programme to work with organisations – staff and Boards to identify the right models of community governance to engage and co-design with communities. HRL also changes culture to be consistently ‘partner-orientated’ across all departments. We provide the following:

2. Communities as Partners

The Partner Journey is also HRL’s mission to work with communities. Many communities face big challenges in today’s world or get labelled negatively. With an ABCD approach we help them:

HRL Community Founding Principles Statement

Our Principles Statement can be viewed at this link:  HRL-Community-Founding-Principles.pdf

Community Governance Articles written by David Hammond

Practice Examples from HRL Community

1. HRL "Community Advisory Board" model developed in 2017

HRL Community launched its new design in its community governance architecture in 2017 called the "Community Advisory Board". Director David Hammond says, "Community Advisory Boards bridge the gap between councils and communities. These are brand new leadership structures led by communities and are the one place councils go to for advice, input and leadership from that community."

The Community Advisory Boards are a further evolution from David's first model of "Empowered Community Boards" in governance, which are more focused on local community engagement and set their priorities and board term around agreed community plans with their councils. Empowered Community Boards formalise their relationship with council through a Community Board Charter, and are the "go to" local group for council and community.

The focus on these community governance structures is relationship, community engagement, community planning and priorities, multi-agency solutions to Community Plan priorities, community at the centre of community-building, and place-shaping.

Waratah Community Advisory Board 

HRL Community has worked on an amazing project in the town of Waratah Tasmania. Initially contracted to help the council and community with tourism destination management the project led to the need to develop community priorities, a Community Plan and a local Board of people to oversee the Community Plan. This has led to the development of a totally NEW 2017 Community Advisory Board model to improve council / community relationships, deliver on community priorities and be the "go-to" group for council in that community. At the stage of writing, the Council has agreed to release the Community Plan and Community Advisory Board Charter to community consultation. We have seen a community with longstanding issues with their council turn a corner and be ready to move forward in a positive relationship in their future, and council has done the same. This is brilliant!

 Waratah Community Plan:

Read the plan here:  Consultation-Draft.-Waratah-Community-Plan-Nov.-2017.pdf

The Community Advisory Board Charter Example:

Read the Charter here:  31-October-Version.-WCB-Charter.pdf


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1 Community

2. HRL "Empowered Community Boards" model developed in 2012

HRL Director, David Hammond, with a team on the Coromandel of New Zealand including Sam Marshall, and fully backed by Mayor Glenn Leach's team, created the most devolved form of local government in New Zealand or Australia. 14 council services including budget control, levels of service and asset choices went back under local elected Boards of community leadership. The results were exceptional in cost control and citizen engagement in local decisions and choices. 

The focus on these community governance structures is service delivery, resource allocation and participatory budgetting, democratic representation, community leadership, community planning and engagement. 


Video evaluation 4 years later

Case Study


MB Community Board


G Leach 

"Community empowerment is one of the best things this council has put in place. It utilises the top-down and bottom-up talents. Partnerships can be developed out of it in a more cost effective way. I want to thank this council. There are some teething problems but it is allowing our communities to partner." (Strat Peters, Thames Community Board Chairman in 2015 Community Empowerment Review)

"We have nothing but appreciation and respect for David's input on the Coromandel. We inherited a Council that had lost touch with its community, and was crippled under high rates and debt. With David’s passion for Community Empowerment we have turned this around and what's been achieved is huge."

(Endorsement from Mayor Glenn Leach)


Offer of Services for Community Governance Architecture: (Click here)

3. 2014-17 Workshops and Conference Speaking

HRL Director, David Hammond was in Melbourne on 27 November 2017 for training in association with MAV in the new 2017 Community Advisory Board structure of community governance that he has developed for communities and councils like yours. David was also a workshop trainer and plenary speaker on Community Governance at the LGAT Conference 2017.



HRL Director David Hammond continued his work training the local government sector in 2017 as a plenary speaker to both the New Zealand Community Board conference and the MAV Futures of Local Government Conference. His topics in 2017 include the need for equality of local governance with council elected governance, the effective use of Community or Local Board Charters and the need in Australia for a re-balancing of governance relationships with community. David also frequently trains the local government sector in community governance in Australia, presents to councils and contributes many media articles in New Zealand.

4. St John National Community Health Services Strategic Plan 2017-22

HRL Community completed the St John National 5-year Strategic Plan for Community Health Services. A great project for an amazing organisation! Director David Hammond also led governance, staff and volunteer workshopping for the Northern and Central Regions of St John to clarify direction and priorities.

workshop 1St John Strategic Plan

4. ABCD Training and Community Planning with Peter Kenyon in New Zealand 2017

HRL Community organised along with 'The Stakeholder Agent' (Amanda Hema) for Peter Kenyon to visit New Zealand and assisted Community Planning from an ABCDE perspective in Whakatane and Central Otago. Director David Hammond has also provided advisory services to South Gippsland and Waratah-Wynyard councils in Australia. 

PH in Whakatane 2017

Peter and david in Whakatane 1 March 2017

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Gilbert Rochecouste Village Well

 5. Faith-based Strategic Planning 2017

HRL Community ran the Strategic Workshop for WEC International in 2017 to identify its biggest strengths and challenges, prioritise these, and identify actions needed in a fun and engaging workshop environment.

Director David Hammond also visited South Korea to assist FEBC International (Media organisation) with good governance training for delegates from Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Russia, Ukraine and former Russian republics in 2017.

David Hammond also prepared the 2010 WEC International New Zealand Strategic Plan.

WEC Strategy LR

WEC 2017 Feedback Report Strategic Planning

6. Auckland Council Local Board Support. External Advisor 2016

HRL Director David Hammond acted as an external advisor to Auckland Council in its project to review governance arrangements with the Local Boards, and also presented to Auckland Council elected members on devolved governance structures. David was requested to speak to the Local Government Commission on this innovative model he led on the Coromandel, New Zealand.

7. Free Training: Community Governance by David


Phone: +64 27 444 6368
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New Zealand

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