The brief

We were asked to engage Auckland’s North West community in a conversation about new community facilities planned as part of a major multimillion dollar redevelopment of Westgate town centre.

Plans for the proposal included a new library, community centre and town square. The design, facilities and activities provided at these community facilities would need to meet the community’s needs – now and into the future.

Engagement in action

A variety of community engagement activities were designed and implemented to ensure that:

  • known community groups were given an early heads up about the process and an
    opportunity to participate
  • the activities were tailored to meet the needs of a number of diverse communities
    (including youth, Pasifika, Asian and Māori peoples)

These included:

  • peer-led youth engagement (conducted by a specialist youth engagement practictioner)
    at youth groups, dance nights, youth focused cafés and via social media
  • community road shows in a number of popular locations around the area (including
    libraries, shopping centres, sports centres, and retirement homes)
  • a pacific focused workshop conducted in Samoan, and led by a local community
    church leader
  • online and hardcopy feedback forms
  • a broad reaching media campaign


Working with community groups and the local board we actively engaged 630 community members and received rich feedback. We succeeded in engaging a broad range of people in terms of both age and ethnicity and heard from the people who would be most likely use the resulting facilities and who would benefit most from them.

The process clearly identified the community’s needs and wants in terms of local community and recreation facilities and their input was used to draft a design and future use concept.

Our work on this project won the ‘involve’ category in Auckland Council’s Consultation and Engagement Awards.