Te Hiko

About Us

About Us

Te Hiko is the Centre for Community Innovation held by Wesley Community Action. We believe that community driven innovation can be the spark we need to make a break from the way things have normally been done –either small or large – and create positive impact in surprising and interconnected ways.

We have built Te Hiko as a vehicle to more consciously and purposefully:

  • support and grow community innovation for new economic systems in our own mahi in the Wellington region, and
  • contribute to the mahi of many others in this space by sharing, collaborating and connecting what we learn for a bigger impact across New Zealand.

Our Focus

After more than 30 years of working closely alongside whānau and hapori (communities) in Porirua, the Hutt Valley and Wellington, we at Wesley have learnt first-hand that with the right support, sustainable responses to complex issues can be driven by hapori themselves.

We’ve been working out, as a community organization, what our part is in sparking the local community economic systems that truly value what makes people’s lives better. Te Hiko is our koha to this kaupapa. We are focused on working with those who are defined by some groups as ‘hard to reach’– hapori, whānau and people who have way more to offer than the current systems asks them for.

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Te Hiko - Our Name

The Word 'hiko' means:

  • to flash
  • to stimulate
  • to snatch, grab, grasp
  • electrical, power, electronic, electric
  • lightning
  • electricity power

We chose the name to signify the ideas of active sparking flashes of positive change in our communities and in the economic systems that currently restrict and exclude too many. 

You need sparks to start an engine of a powerful machine. You need a spark to start a fire. Those sparks need to land in the right conditions if we want them to ignite positive community action.

We are sparking movement:

from old systems that exclude and retraumatize too many, to alternative economic systems that work for whānau and hapori wellbeing.

We are working to support change:


  • Poverty
  • Trauma
  • Colonised
  • Entitled
  • Passive
  • Unempowered


  • Active
  • Hauora and healing
  • Reindigenised
  • Accountable
  • Organised
  • Collective
  • Innovative

Our Logo

Our logo was developed by Cannons Creek local artist Liana Leiataua. She took inspiration from the hiko metaphor and used the image of power pylons in the logo. It symbolizes the movement of sparks of electricity and power from one pylon to another across the community.  Its form is a familiar feature of the urban communities that we mostly work in, and rises up to a great height.  

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