The Greater Green Island Community Network Charitable Trust
The Greater Green Island area comprises the suburbs of Abbotsford, Burnside, Brighton, Concord, Fairfield, Green Island, Ocean View, Waldronville and Westwood.
All of these areas have their own distinct sense of community however Green Island is used by many as their hub for shopping and medical needs.
The Greater Green Island Community Network (GGICN) was established in January 2013 when a group of local community members got together to discuss how the Green Island community could better support its young people. At the initial meeting a number of local initiatives were discussed.
The group had a vision of a shared desire to foster a strong community which works together to develop its own solutions – a community which is self-reliant, responsive, resilient, and sustainable – a community where neighbourhoods are again full of people we know as our neighbours.
In 2014 funding was secured from the Department of Internal Affairs Community Development Fund to employ a community worker for three years. Family Works Presbyterian Support Otago assisted the network by becoming a fundholder for the DIA funding. The New Zealand Police also need to be thanked as they offered an office in the Green Island Police Station for the Community Workers for free.
The network formalised and became a legal entity registering with the Charities Commission in August 2016. For the past nine years The Greater Green Island Community Network has continued to have a strong focus on bringing people from communities together. We achieve this through community events, these events are a great way for people to come together and build friendships.
During 2015, the first fully operational year of the Greater Green Island Network, emphasis was placed on social inclusion through relationship building including meetings with the wider community and creating a series of low-cost events and activities which were well received and attended. The meetings identified some key issues that locals wished to address; the top three being local beautification, road safety, and localised crime.
In 2016, a follow up survey undertaken by the Greater Green Island Community Network confirmed that while there is overall satisfaction from living in the area, general personal safety is high, and there is a general feeling of neighbourliness, there are areas for improvement as identified through the local meetings, along with the need for a playground for 0 – 6 years olds in the area. Survey results also indicated that people were enjoying the range of activities and events that were being provided, and would continue to support activities taking place, especially if they were free and easy to access. It is this Survey and Community Consultation that leads the networks projects. Two priorities identified by the community were the need for a 0–6-year-old playground in Green Island and to work on Road Safety.
From 2016-2018 the network worked on these two priorities resulting in a $230,000 community playground being planned and fundraised for, with locals. The playground now sits in the Green Island Memorial Gardens, beside Fresh Choice on Main South Road in Green Island. The network worked in partnership with the DCC and NZTA to have 3 roundabouts installed on main south road, road reseal on Main South Road Green Island, plans for raised pedestrian crossings and more. The goals of the community have been met.
2019-2020 projects include the Runciman Street Mural and clean up, Emerson Street Park Mural, Community Events and a follow up Community Survey to set the priorities for the coming years.
2020 - 2023 has been beset by COVID which has curtailed doing large community events. The network has continued to engage with council and community in advocacy as well as hosting workshops for the development of local organisations, small events which promote the area but do not require a lot of connection, employment support events and moving on the phase two of developing the Green Island Memorial Gardens with a barbeque and stage.
Thank you to all of our funders and supporters for allowing us to do this work in our community.