Hutt City Council

Co-designing a community-led response to climate change, enabled by Hutt City Council.

Hand touching a tree
Who we worked with

Hutt City Council

What we did together


In June 2019, Hutt City Council (HCC) declared a climate emergency and set an organisational goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 to match Aotearoa New Zealand’s targets.

The community of Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai/Lower Hutt needed to align and work together across community, businesses and government to drive long term and sustainable progress towards this goal. Hutt City Council enabled a phased community-led programme for climate action: The Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai/Lower Hutt Community Climate Change Response Programme.

For Hutt City Council, this was a hugely ambitious programme of work to be undertaken with our community. The partnership with Creative HQ was the best decision we made, and we couldn’t have achieved such significant and inspired results without them. Creative HQ brought a vision and framework to what was a multi-faceted programme of work.  This was executed with professionalism, true collaboration and a deep understanding of the co-design process. 

Helen Oram, Director Environment & Sustainability, Hutt City Council

How we did it

This was a year-long intense programme built from the community upwards.

But where to start?

First, we focused on getting the correct community representation for the Lead Group. The team composition of the Lead group was essential to the success of the programme: they were going to become the visionaries for the programme ambition and approach.

We then set out to understand what the community priorities and ambitions were, from which we developed a series of problem statements that provided the basis of the ideation on potential solutions.

We broke down the overall project into five key phases:

  • Phase 1: Establish governance structure,Te Āti Awa partnership and community Lead Group 
  • Phase 2: Design the approach with the Lead Group
  • Phase 3: Engage the community to understand their climate change priorities and ambitions, resulting in defined problem statements
  • Phase 4: Ideate with government representatives, subject matter experts and community leaders. This results in a draft of a pathway of action called ‘Our Race Against Time’ which will be consulted on in 2022
  • Phase 5: Propose pilot programmes for development in 2022 and beyond.

The result

The output from the year was considerable. The Lead group met formally in 17 workshops, over 21 face-to-face community engagements were held, 76 Problem statements were narrowed down to just 10 areas for ideation, 9 separate online Alignment hui were designed for cross-government collaboration and 6 separate CoLab hui were arranged for community ideation. 

Six potential projects have been identified as worth developing in 2022. A website was established which contains key documents which includes design logs, the Phase 3 engagement report and the output from the Alignment and CoLabs. A major document, Our Race Against Time, is still undergoing consultation but will deliver a pathway to community-led change.

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