Starting a collective: Tipu talks and community guidance

These notes are from the first Tipu meeting on 22nd June 16 at 17 Tory Street, Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington. Tipu invited their community members and speakers from established collectives and organisations to shed light on the importance of working together, emotional labour, non violent communication, accessibility and inclusivity.

Jaye Barclay from Inside Out and organisation that make Aotearoa safer for young people of diverse genders and sexualities.

Inclusivity, not assuming ‘cis-ciety’ heteronormative alienations from assumptions.

Respect pronouns. Ask.

Being mindful of gendered language, pronouns, casual homophobia, ableist language.

Safety, inclusion and comfort are paramount.

Characteristics of a safe space:

Safe and positive language

Youth having a voice

Representation of different groups – gender/race diversity.

Combat problematic language and behaviour:

Let people know without anger.

Be gentle, be patient.

All ages included.

Protect young people.

Inclusivity vs tokenism.

Respect & listen.

Dealing with problems at the very beginning – problematic people & behaviour


Kassie Hartendorp from Evolve Youth, the one stop shop for youth health & social support service, and Kava Club a community of Pasifika Maori creatives who collaborate, connect, support & network.

Evolve youth worker, started out in political activism & minority groups.

Working with LGBTQIA+ youth, Maori girls, homeless youth.

Theoretical knowledge is not enough, practical knowledge is so much more important.

Positivity and aroha are integral to serious groups.

Safer spaces & anti-oppression politics are not enough.

Always about the kaupapa, not the egos.

Coordinators/creative directors for each event.

Using Loomio, for organised group discussion.

Values come before work.

Why are you doing, what you are doing?

Hauora – Te Whare Tapa Whā.


Thoughts & feeling, mental & emotional.



Honouring these connections, balance.

Applying this model to the collective as well as its members.


Kyla Rayner from Wellington Women’s Refuge who work alongside Te Whare Rokiroki, Māori Women’s Refuge to ensure a safe and appropriate service for all women and children experiencing domestic violence, and Eleanor Butterworth from Wellington Rape Crisis who are a support centre for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, their families, friends and whānau.

How do you bring people in and connect? – Whakawhanaungatanga.

Values, what are our personal and shared values?

Always keeping in line with these & behaving in a way that is reflective of walking a valued path.

Fitting decisions and actions within your established values.

Bonding exercises, free ‘gifts’ to each other, anonymous wishes or warm fuzzies, creating a sense of worth, warmth and belonging.

Equal value in all roles.

The danger of ‘it goes without saying’ No! Not always, express it.

Process for people leaving:

Don’t throw people away.

Learn from conflict.

Respecting disclosure. How can I help you? How can I support you?

If you can help someone, facilitate the support they need.

Respect the person who has been harmed – what does this person want?

Remember that there needs to be room for a spectrum of reactions.

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