A river, three policy worlds and a bus — ASN Events

A river, three policy worlds and a bus (14219)

Te Aroha Hohaia 1
  1. School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
In community governance contexts, civic leaders frequently call on ‘community’ to support or oppose a policy proposal. Whether it’s to lobby to be at the decision-making table or respond to a change in geographic scope; or react to environmental pollution or assert a sense of place and belonging, those in civic leadership roles invoke an idea of community that is, apparently easily recognised and well understood by others. But is it?

What academics understand by community is well documented but what civic leaders mean by community is unknown. Understanding what civic leaders mean when they invoke community – in terms of who they are referring to, what interests are being represented and how they want public policy to be shaped – is profoundly important in understanding the nature, content and effects of community governance.

Te Aroha Hohaia, a PhD candidate in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, will present one of a number of case studies informing her doctoral research on the conceptions of community amongst civic leaders in Taranaki, Aotearoa-New Zealand. She will talk about the range of understandings of community across three distinct policy worlds driven by infrastructural pragmatism, environmental consideration and political accountability. In doing so, Te Aroha will be looking at an emerging theme around community as a way of governing.