A co-operative is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Inspired by the prevalence and scope of co-operatives in Italy,  the co-chair of Transition Towns Bay of Islands Ken Ross headed off on a self-funded fact finding mission in 2016 to see how their successful models could be applied here in Te Tai Tokerau. He is giving a series of presentations across the rohe about co-operatives, testing the water to see what level of interest there is in the community for taking this further. If his first session in Kaitaia is anything to go by there is every indication that things will move forward. Those present quickly identified a number of local needs that co-operatives could be used for.

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Co-operatives around the world generally operate according tot he same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is a global membership association of co-ops and co-op support organizations. Co-operatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern co-operative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.

For more information on the values and principles of co-operatives see the ICA website.

If you would like Ken to come and speak to your local community or get on his mailing list for information on follow-up workshops, please contact him on oikos@slingshot.co.nz



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AUTHOR: Eco Centre
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