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A story of shifting social inclusion and connectedness in communities.


Living in the Ruapehu District, there is a strong sense of community among the residents, who supported each other through COVID and other challenges. Social media, especially Facebook, helps to keep people connected and informed. Rangatahi and other residents have diverse needs and desires, such as better education, employment, and health services. On the other hand, there are some issues with community facilities and town revitalisation. Waiouru residents have improved their relations with NZDF, but still face difficulties over shared facilities and playground location. Taumarunui and Raetihi struggle with family violence and drug use, which affect the well-being of the communities. The Ruapehu District is a place where people care for each other, but also face many challenges.

Key themes

  • Ruapehu District towns have strong community spirit despite COVID and social isolation
  • Facebook groups help residents stay connected and informed
  • Rangatahi want more opportunities and activities in their towns
  • Elderly need more support and services
  • Waiouru residents struggle with NZDF over shared facilities and playground location
  • Taumarunui and Raetihi face high rates of family violence and drug use
  • Town revitalisation projects aim to improve infrastructure and attract visitors
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