By: Tessa Mackenzie, Waihi Community Resource Centre Dated: August 2004

For effective Community Development to take place, both Social and Economic development need to progress concurrently. If social development is not addressed then the jobs and wealth created by economic development will not be realised by the local community. The gap between socially advantaged and socially disadvantaged members of the community will increase, as will crime and unemployment.

Three key aspects of future social development are included for the purpose of this Golden Legacy booklet, as follows:

1) Social Development Co-ordinator. To identify gaps and overlaps in existing community social services and to work towards linking and co-ordinating access to, and development of, local resources across social, recreational, educational and employment sectors. These may include further development of initiatives such as local apprenticeship schemes, alternative education facilities, local public transport, creative pursuits, recreation, sports, and regional social service opportunities.

2) Aroha Learning Centre. The research and development of an holistic cross cultural centre of learning for youth and their families/whanau, incorporating community values. The key objective being to foster development of self responsibility around parenting, life skills and effects of drugs and alcohol in family dynamics, incorporating role-modeling/mentoring and other experiential hands-on programmes. Also to provide visual, audio and kinesthetic teaching models for core curricular subjects as well as develop opportunities for creative expression in the performing arts.

3) Community House. Provide a short-term residential respite facility for children and young people, or families, as a preventative measure where potential family breakdown or abuse is threatened. The Community House would provide a supportive environment to allow proactive encouragment to make positive change for families, through links with social and health services including mentoring and other hands-on personal development programmes.

The links between these initiatives are obvious, as are the opportunities for existing social, health, education and employment services to benefit from these opportunities.

Economic, especially tourism growth would also be advantaged by having access to a local source of well-adjusted work ready youth, apprentices and performers, built from a strong community framework.