reports and case studies

The reports and resources below demonstrate how co-design principles and practice have been used to collaboratively explore new insights and responses to a range of complex social issues. Please feel free to share and reuse.


This innovation brief profiles the Healthy Homes Initiative – Auckland Co-design: testing ideas to make homes warmer and drier. A collaboration between The Southern Initiative, the Ministry of Health and other partners between 2015-2018.


Learning in Complex Settings

A relational approach report

This report focuses on Auckland Council’s engagement with South Auckland communities through The Southern Initiative (TSI) and provides a grassroots view of its relational approach and practices.

- A relational approach report

TSI Year in Review report

The Southern Initiative is a team providing a place-based innovation platform that champions, stimulates, facilitates and enables social innovation in South Auckland. The report provides as overview of work during 2018

- TSI year in review 2018


7 cases studies from Aotearoa NZ

This booklet is an output from Policy by Design, a two-day symposium held in Auckland in May 2018 for representatives from across central and local government in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The case studies in this book profile seven different, recent applications of design-led practice and identify some of the key challenges, enablers and learnings.

Policy by Design - 7 cases studies from Aotearoa NZ

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Early years challenge

Led by The Southern Initiative, this work focused on better understanding the lived experience of parents in South Auckland. Adopting a strengths based approach the project also explores the impact of toxic stress on child development.

- Early Years Challenge summary report
- Parent's experiences of early years in South Auckland - insights report
- 'Creating home' co-design sprint story book

Posters and resources
- Early years challenge posters
- Insights from South Auckland parents - posters
- Co-design process and whānau centric practice

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The project adopted a place based lens on early childhood education in Māngere, South Auckland. Through collaboration with the South Auckland Social Investment Board, it explored participation, parental engagement and school readiness from the perspective of ECE staff and parents.

- Māngere ECE project report

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Pacific Peoples’ Workforce Challenge

A summary report of work exploring how the advancement of Pacific people in the workforce can be accelerated. Led by MBIE and TSI, with input from the Co-design Lab, it sets out key insights, personas and principles that will be valuable for policy makers, providers and employers.

- Report - Accelerating the advancement of Pacific people in the workforce

Posters and resources
Key insights poster
- Personas

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Attitude Gap Challenge

A multi-agency skills and employment challenge led by the Lab exploring the importance of work ready youth and youth ready employers throughout the employment journey. MBIE and MSD were the lead sponsors.

- Attitude Gap Challenge - full report
- Attitude gap Challenge - executive summary
Research Evidence and Case Studies

Posters and resources
Attitude gap posters
Employer and youth personas

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Drivers Licensing Challenge

Over four months a multi-agency team worked with over 360 people across NZ to co-design potential solutions to increasing the number of young people getting a drivers license.

- Drivers licensing challenge - full report
Drivers licensing challenge - exec summary
NZIER economic report

Posters and resources
- 8 key concepts to develop - poster
- Four stories / personas navigating the system


rental tenure project

Focused on South Auckland, the purpose of this project was to identify insights and ideas in response to tenancy issues by  exploring  the experiences of renters, landlords and tenancy managers.

Exploring tenure security through co-design report

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This journey map was been developed to make the factors that influence family violence more visible alongside the lived experience from a whole family’s perspective. It was developed with the support of ACC and Auckland Council. 

Changing the script empathy tool - full report

Posters and resources
How to use these tools - tips
Changing the script - journey map posters
Changing the script - 3 children's stories
Workshop discussion prompts