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 network formalised and became a legal entity registering with the Charities Commission in 2016. This ensured that the community were able to continue to support the work of Network, community projects and receive tax rebates for any donations made.
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 network.
In 2017 the Network was successful in two funding applications to continue projects within the community. Otago Community Trust donated $10,000 and the Lottery Community Fund donated $23,000. The network is very appreciative of these grants. The Greater Green Island Business Association is also a supporter of the Greater Green Island Community Network donating $100 a month towards its projects. Thank you all!