Cheese Scones and Community Leadership

30 September 2023 | Articles

If you walk into Olive Grove Café in Waikanae at 7:30am you might find an interesting bunch of people having a coffee together and engaged in an in-depth conversation. With a range of ages and backgrounds, it is hard to pick at first glance what made them arrive this early for a coffee, why are they together and what is getting them so engaged?

All the people at the table are community change leaders, holding governance positions across the Kāpiti community sector.

As part of the Capable Sector Project lead by Kāpiti Impact Trust and Volunteer Kāpiti, we identified that community governing board members want more opportunities to connect and learn together. For the past three years, Volunteer Kāpiti has facilitated a total of three, 6 month Mentoring Foundation New Zealand programmes connecting community leaders with skilled local mentors. Community Governance Aotearoa supported the governance mentoring programmes. This was so successful that people wanted to keep on meeting after each programme finished. This is when the governance breakfast was born.

The Community Governance breakfasts currently take place every second month with specific Governance ‘hot topics’ each time. What is so great about them? This is a space specifically for Governance where difficult questions can be asked and feedback is sought from a mix of experiences in governance (from new to expert) and from diverse community groups across Kāpiti. We are so lucky in Kāpiti that we have such a range of community governance expertise and where everyone’s knowledge is valued.

Sarah Yanez, a recent attendee of the Governance Mentoring Programme, has found the Governance Breakfasts incredibly valuable. Sarah advises "To be surrounded by other community minded individuals is so energising and the topics have been very relevant to the work that we do. One such talk given by Community Law proved invaluable a few weeks later when we found ourselves deciding what type of organisation to establish the Waikanae Business Association as. This is one early start I look forward to."

The next Community Governance Breakfast is set for 13th September, 7:30am at Olive Grove Café, Mahara Place, Waikanae. Jill Griggs will be facilitating a discussion about conflict resolution. Jill is highly experienced in not-for-profit boards and governance mentoring. Spaces are limited to governance trustees/board members of Kāpiti community groups, do let us know if you would like to attend:

Plus the cheese scones at Olive Grove are the best!