Solutions helping to shape a better tomorrow for Tāmaki Makaurau

by Aimee-Jo Coupe

December 05, 2023

Christchurch emerging leaders

When we imagine the communities of tomorrow, we're picturing places that feel connected, resilient, productive and inspired. Our dedication is rock solid – our focus is helping our clients strike a balance that serves both the present and future. We get it – today's challenges are a bit of a puzzle, and they call for some fresh thinking and innovative solutions.

With this in mind, we brought our key clients and partners together to identify the most pressing challenges affecting our communities in the Tāmaki Makaurau region - which led us to three critical challenges:

Reimagined assets: How might we make better use of Tāmaki Makaurau’s under-utilised land and buildings to create green spaces and community facilities?

Climate shock: How might we strengthen our regions’ long term plans for natural disasters to ensure a secure and sustainable future?

Food security: How might we ensure food security across Tāmaki Makaurau in the face of high living costs and food prices?

39 participants, each representing key entities such as 3PM, Auckland Airport, Auckland City Mission, Auckland Transport, Brian Perry Civil, Eagle Technologies, EY, Fisher & Paykel Technologies, Fonterra, Height, Kāinga Ora, Lightforce, Maynard Marks, Shape NZ, Student Volunteer Army and GHD, came together to form six teams. These teams, all with diverse expertise, embarked on a 10-week journey guided by their mentors and our Smart Seeds Facilitator, K Leung.

Teams delved deep into research mode, carefully reframing the challenges at hand. Fueled by collaboration, they crafted innovative solutions to address the intricacies of their respective issues. The result of their efforts led to a series of creative solutions poised to make impactful changes.

The solutions:

Taku Ara Haumaru - My Safe Way: Transforming alleyways into vibrant spaces, this solution not only enhances accessibility for walking, cycling and public transport, but also supports Auckland's transport emissions. It's all about creating pathways that are safe, sustainable and community friendly.

Safe Harbour: Disaster resilience and preparedness in Tāmaki Makaurau, all thanks to a savvy solution that taps into the power of AI and social media. Safe Harbour is more than a concept; it's a game-changer in protecting our community against unforeseen challenges.

Crisis Response Alert: The Crisis Response Alert connects communities in times of crisis. It's about solidarity and swift action when our neighbours and community need it most.

Food 2 Go: Mobile grocery shopping takes on a whole new meaning with Food 2 Go. This solution brings low-cost, high-quality food right to the doorsteps of communities across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Kai-tonomy: Kai-tonomy is all about empowering single Māori and Pasifika parents. This initiative goes beyond community gardens; it's a statement that says public infrastructure projects can fund not just structures but the growth and well-being of our communities.

Seize the Space: Modular portable gardens and community spaces that breathe life into under-utilised parts of Auckland. Seize the Space is a solution that's not just about greenery but about creating vibrant hubs that bring people together, transforming spaces into thriving community spots.

The judges were impressed by all solutions and had the difficult task of selecting a winning team. After much deliberation, Taku Ara Haumaru – My Safe Way took out the Judge’s Award, while Safe Harbour received the People’s Choice Award.

We are so proud of all our participants who poured their time, energy and expertise into developing such innovative solutions. The passion and commitment exhibited by each team was remarkable and evident during Showcase.

We’d like to acknowledge to our partner organisations and all those individuals who were involved – Mentors, Alumni Mentors, Challenge Authors, Validation Coaches, Pitch Panelists and Influencers. We owe our success and growth to you and we thank you sincerely for being an integral part of our programme as we shape a more positive future for our communities together.

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