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The Generator


A new preventative community action initiative, called The Generator, is being set up to generate prosperity through community action and enterprise in New Zealand communities that are the most vulnerable to poverty.

The initiative has been co-designed based on insights from people experiencing hardship in New Zealand. We heard that people accessing budgeting services were able to manage a budget, but didn’t have enough money to meet their needs.

To create financial resilience, people, families, whānau and communities who are experiencing poverty and hardship need opportunities to increase their income or reduce their expenses while building social connections.

The Generator will help people connect with others around areas of common interest, while learning to be self-resourceful and earning or saving a little extra. It could include, for example, Timebanks, vege box cooperatives, koha sheds, or a community enterprise based on recycling.

How The Generator will work

The goal of The Generator is to generate prosperity through community action and enterprise by helping people, families, whānau and communities experiencing hardship to:

  • have increased income, resource and employment opportunities
  • better meet their basic needs and obligations
  • build their skills, literacy, knowledge and capability
  • build new connections and networks in their communities and reduce isolation.

The Generator will:

  • target support to up to 10 communities experiencing the most hardship
  • have a network of ‘community generators’ who co-produce initiatives with communities aimed at generating prosperity
  • provide seed funding to grow these community action and enterprise initiatives
  • have a leadership collective who makes decisions aimed at maximising impact, and a small ‘backbone’ organisation who administers The Generator
  • use an online platform based on evidence that enables high quality funding proposals and monitoring, and which generates reporting about impact
  • leverage its impact through actively building partnerships.

We have developed two examples of how The Generator could work in practice.

Backbone organisation selected

Following an open tender process, Vaka Tautua and Emerge Aotearoa have been selected as the ‘backbone’ organisation to establish and manage The Generator.

Vaka Tautua is a national ‘by Pacific for Pacific’ health and social service provider that aims to help improve the health and wellbeing of Pacific people in New Zealand.

Emerge Aotearoa provides a wide range of community-based mental health, addiction, disability support and social housing services nationwide.

The Ministry will work closely with these two organisations over the next nine months to establish The Generator in up to 10 communities identified with high levels of hardship, and to ensure a close working relationship with the BFC sector.

Find out more about The Generator

Find out more about the target population for The Generation, the design process, the case for change and the draft Theory of Change.