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to catalyse is to activate and synergiseso that the result is more than the sum of the contributing parts.Very often almost no trace of the catalyst is visible,except to those most closely involved

social change agency auckland
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Community Engagement Agency

We design creative strategies to find out what matters and to make lasting positive impact

Let's work together

We work with you to bring people together
for positive change

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We believe that understanding your community is the initial stride towards affecting meaningful change. Our work is strengths based, recognising that everybody has something to offer and something to learn.

We listen

Our work with Geraldine Community Board to develop a strategic framework and action plan was based on community engagement approaches. As well as surveying and talking to individuals and groups, we developed bespoke ideas boards, postcards and suggestion boxes. We located these in various places people already go to - cafes, pubs, schools, grocery stores, farmers markets and workplace lunchrooms.

Over 1300 responses were received!

The first draft of a strategic framework was refined in workshops with locals in places close to where they live and, together, we created an action plan for the first 3 years. Over 120 people participated in these workshops and many said it was the first time they felt the things that matter to them were heard.

We heard Geraldine's voices

We connect

Connection is the foundation of community engagement. Our facilitation and co-design methods forge stronger bonds and bridge gaps between individuals, teams, groups, and organisations.

Introducing The Kūmara Awards: A distinguished platform celebrating exceptional community placemaking leaders across Aotearoa. As a founding member of Placemaking Aotearoa, Catalyse takes pride in honouring remarkable projects and expanding the reach of these awards to more regions. Through our comprehensive judging process, we engage experienced local panellists, design captivating collateral, and host memorable ceremonies. The Kūmara Awards inspire innovation, raise awareness, and foster a stronger network of community builders, encouraging active contributions to New Zealand's environments.

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Kūmara Awards

We activate

Together, we mobilise the potential of your team, group, community, and place to achieve collective goals. Our team combines a wealth of expertise in community development, placemaking, research, and design with your invaluable local knowledge and experience to make good change happen.

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In our collaboration with the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, community engagement was at the heart of the process, helping to build bridges and forge connections among residents. Through participatory workshops, community members’ ideas were woven together, culminating in the creation of a community map, the inspiring “Heart Pulse” exhibition and GeoLingo multicultural rock garden at Mairangi Arts Centre. Each of these initiatives are the result of both diversity and unity in the community and the processes of creating them have enriched the area, fostering a sense of pride, belonging, and collective identity.

Working together in Mairangi Bay

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We love our work

Catalyse fuses passion with expertise to drive community change. Our offerings encompass strategy, research, placemaking, and more. All tailored to your situation. We navigate consciously, respect diversity, and turn visions into reality. Let's collaborate and catalyse change together.

ENGAGEMENT

RESEARCH

PLACEMAKING

MENTORING

EVALUATION

STRATEGY

FACILITATION

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We are happy to talk!

If you would like to explore working with us to create good change in your community, book a free conversation

Our Clients

It was (and still is) a big pleasure to work with all of our clients. We appreciate the trust and embrace the achievements!

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Brave, Generous and Humble

The fields of “community development”, “community empowerment”, “placemaking” and myriad other terms that have become catch cries in inverted commas are difficult, emotional and highly complex landscapes to traverse. There are very few people/organisations who are able to make these journeys with the level of kindness, skill, empathy and wisdom that Catalyse brings. Working between the extremes of knowing that what exists in community needs to be protected, and knowing that our systems need to change, Denise and her team are consistently brave, generous and resolutely humble.

 — Frith Walker

Head of Placemaking
Eke Panuku Development Auckland

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First-rate Community Development

Denise is a first-rate community development theoretician, practitioner, consultant, presenter, facilitator, trainer and mentor. She helps communities and organizations to plan their own direction and to identify and build on their own strengths. Incredibly well networked across New Zealand and beyond, Denise enables different sectors and places to learn from one another and to coalesce for more powerful and holistic results.

Jim Diers

Community Builder, Consultant
Lecturer and Facilitator, Seattle

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