In 2008 five organisations – Massey Matters, Ranui Action Project, Community Waitakere, Waitakere City Council (now Auckland Council) and Inspiring Communities decided to collaborate on a joint application for funding from the Department of Internal Affairs Community Development Scheme. Project partners wanted to support and grow street-level engagement and neighbourhood-led development in Ranui and Massey. The application secured three year funding and then went on to win a 4th Merit Year of funding.   

Massey and Ranui are two adjoining young, ethnically and socially diverse communities in the north west of Waitakere in urban Auckland. In 2008, these suburbs were home to 42,000 people, many of whom did not own their homes, had few formal qualifications and travelled out of the Waitakere for work. Many households here were one parent households and households tended to be larger than average with most including children. Both areas had high concentrations of deprivation and high degrees of transience so children’s education is often interrupted.

In this context, Back2Back aimed to create safer neighbourhoods through encouraging and supporting residents in defined neighbourhoods and key agencies to work together. Such neighbourhoods would be characterized by:

• Healthy housing
• Active and vibrant streets
• Opportunities for skill development and local employment
• Healthy and affordable food choices
• People who are connected to and care for the natural environment
• Neighbours who feel happy, healthy, proud and connected to the place where they live.

The project also aimed to strengthen community governance and foster learning to support resilient neighbourhood-led development as well as establish an infrastructure that could help grow the work beyond the life of the initial funding.

Starter Kit Resource

A Starter Kit for Creating Great Neighbourhoods” is available to you for FREE DOWNLOAD.  This booklet is for residents, neighbourhood groups and community development people.  Anyone who would like to get some great ideas and home-grown DIY neighbourhood tools for creating liveable neighbourhoods to be proud of.

Jim Diers says, “The Starter Kit is a fantastic resource for those who want to improve their neighbourhood while building a stronger sense of community. It supplies valuable tips, tools, steps and stories that will inspire and guide you and your neighbours to take collective action for the common good.”

Free Ready-to-Use Classroom Resource

A classroom resource on valuing, enjoying, improving and caring for one’s street, neighbourhood and community was developed over two years with input from Birdwood School, Massey Primary and West Harbour School. This resource is all about creating a sense of pride and connectedness with one’s community and is full of fun and educational activities.

Supporting the key competencies critical thinking, managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing, and using language, symbols and text, this ready-to-use resource is great for primary and intermediate students.

For a copy of the students workbook click here
For a copy of the teachers workbook click here


Over the course of four years of Back2Back collaboration there has been an immense amount of learning both about neighbourhood-led development and collaborative management and partner groups.  Below are two independent evaluation reports outlining the key findings:

STAGE 1 - The Back2Back Project Stage 1 Evaluation Report – Jenny Chilcott
STAGE 2 - Back2Back summative evaluation 2012 top line report – Pam Oliver Ltd.