The Kollective celebrates five years of working together

April 2024

The Kollective, in Tauranga’s 17th Avenue, celebrates five years of bringing not-for-profit organisations together this month.

The Kollective is New Zealand’s largest co-working space dedicated to the success of not-for-profits, socal enterprise and charitable organisations. It’s an award-winning building next to the Historic Village on Ngāi Tamarawaho whenua.

TECT developed the idea in 2014 based on feedback from the community, which saw value in a co-working facility, and a space where organisations could thrive by sharing knowledge and collaboration, dividing the costs and multiplying the benefits.

SociaLink, which supports the Western Bay of Plenty social and community sector, was appointed to manage The Kollective. After four years of development, research and testing the concept, The Kollective opened to the community on October 15, 2018.

Kollective manager Caitriona Anderson says as a relatively new concept there had been some fantastic awards and achievements, and as a relatively new concept with the universal challenges of the last few years, there were also some lessons to learn.

“In any month we host a wide variety of community groups and businesses running counseling or mentoring, team and board meetings, training workshops, AGMs, awards ceremonies and online conferences.”

Members include SociaLink, TECT, Acord Foundation, Creative Bay of Plenty, William Buck, Kānuka Wellbeing and Leadership, Stroke NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Recreate, Drake Medox, Community Living and many more.

The building itself combines stunning architecture, well-equipped work spaces, meeting rooms and event spaces, views of the Historic Village and green space.

“But for us, seeing members share their skills, knowledge and their time for the greater good is what it’s all about,” she says. “The nurturing culture and fun, friendly vibe at TK is something we have consciously protected and grown, and are really proud of.”

Everybody pitches in to make TK work. They might help out at the front desk, make a soup for a “Soup for the Soul” event or deliver a free workshop for other members.

Covid made a big difference to how many organisations work.

“We have had to adapt. We all work differently now, some with flexible work hours, more Zoom and Teams meetings, and wellbeing and connection more front of mind than before. We’ve added some swanky phone booths for confidential calls, beefed up our tech capability, and focused on nurturing or fun events to lift spirits and foster connection.”

TK has also added an Historic Village classroom for visiting groups that need more privacy – such as drum therapy, or the TK Christmas Choir.

She says TK runs on values of generosity and support, integrity and fairness, inclusiveness, diversity, participation and engagement. This year it introduced a free, online-only membership for non-profits, making it even easier for community organisations to connect and support each other.

It allows people to direct message each other and use the skill-search tool to find a match in the database to help with their niggly issue whether it’s IT, Xero, Governance or just wanting to ask where the best muffin in town is.

“We celebrate our fifth birthday with a vibrant, bustling Kollective community of almost 300 organisations, and look forward to many more connections, projects and collaborations in the future.”