Our community engagement strategy

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) adopted its most recent Community Engagement Strategy | He Toa Takitini in 2024.

He toa takitini refers to collective strength, it is a reminder that the vision of NRC can only be achieved through unity and collaboration. This title is drawn from a common whakataukī:

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

My strength is not as an individual, but as part of the collective.

The strategy is designed to provide structure and direction to:

  • Increase and improve engagement with the communities of Northland
  • Improve community satisfaction
  • Improve advocacy for the issues of concern to NRC.

Our Community Engagement Strategy | He Toa Takitini is represented as a whāriki, a woven mat which supports a core idea: Kia manahau hei tiaki.

This idea speaks of mutual respect for the taiao and for each other and being able to withstand changes and challenges together.

The whiri (weft) of the mat represent four focus areas for the strategy:

  • Mokopuna | Future focus
  • Tuku kōrero | Story sharing
  • Ūkaipōtanga | Connection
  • Whakararuraru | Agility

The perpendicular whenu (warp) of the mat represent the actions that support these areas:

  • Kōrero ake | Speak up
  • Mahitahi | Collaborate
  • Whakatū | Activate
  • Wānanga | Explore together

Together these focus areas and actions provide the framework for our communication and engagement activities.

A woven mat graphic representing Kia manahau hei tiaki.

The whāriki (woven mat).

Ngā whiri

Focus area Description

Whakapapa ora. Mokopuna remind us of the generations before and beyond us. Our choices today have an impact on the wellbeing of those that follow us.

We connect with our whakapapa and the voice of our young. This helps drive decisions that promise a flourishing future for whānau.

Tuku kōrero
Story sharing

Spreading the voices in our community — share stories from and about the people and places of Te Taitokerau.

Gathering narratives that reflect the experiences and aspirations of tāngata whenua and communities will bring energy to the work of NRC.


Celebrating the connection of tāngata whenua with this region.

NRC will draw purpose from the land and its people, celebrating the wisdom and knowledge of tūpuna.

NRC’s actions are guided by tikanga.


The NRC community is prepared, informed, and able to be proactive on issues that matter to the region and its communities.

NRC understands the challenges and can quickly adapt to new situations (eg, new pest incursions).


Ngā whenu

Action area Description
Kōrero ake
Speak up

Making space for communities to share their whakaaro. NRC invites people to step up and advocate for what is important to them. NRC encourages community contribution, while ensuring people feel heard and supported.

Focus on how feedback influences decisions and improves ways of working.


Encouraging sharing information, inviting participation, and working together to enable the region to thrive.

NRC creates content that highlights the benefits and opportunities of collaboration and partnership. NRC encourages community to get involved with NRC projects and the future of Te Taitokerau — sharing their time, relationships, and knowledge.


Communities influencing outcomes.

Highlighting — you make it happen. Communities are aware their contribution matters, and they understand the impact they can have.

This is a shift from inform to engage, exercising communities’ power to shape the region’s future.

Explore together

Taking a collaborative approach to navigate challenges.

NRC actively promotes respectful and productive engagement. This shifts emphasis from debate to partnership. Wānanga feeds into collective understanding, underpinned by transparency, partnership and tikanga — providing a safe space for people to share their views.

Customer satisfaction with the communication and engagement activities of the council is measured through our Residents’ Survey.

We continuously evaluate our community engagement activity using a wide range of metrics.