Community trusts in Northland have told the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector one of the challenges they face is collaborating with each other.

Alfred Ngaro, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, was in Whangarei on Friday visiting community groups like Hospice, Volunteer Northland, Miriam Trust and One Double Five Community House to find out some of the challenges they face.

One of those challenges was individual trusts struggling to collaborate with other trusts.

"It wasn't are there too many. What they were saying was there are lots but do they work well together," Mr Ngaro said.

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"The benefit if you can create consortiums, if you collectively come together there is a bargaining power so it means that you can make an approach as a collective to say here's what we know what works best."

An example of community groups coming together is a project called Te Timatanga Rangimarie which is aimed at implementing programmes of benefit to the community and their wider whanau.

It involves One Double Five Community House working with Otangarei Marae, Literacy Whangarei, Te Kura o Otangarei, Plunket and other community organisations and businesses.

"It was a bit of a struggle to get some kind of collaboration, we finally got there though. The part that they struggle with the most was who would lead it out and from our community perspective it was the marae," said Makoare Hoterene, community development worker for One Double Five Community House.

Mr Ngaro said he was in Whangarei to hear about projects like Te Timatanga Rangimarie, to share them, learn from them, and take them to other communities.

"It's allowing communities to lead and our role is to be their neighbour. When we do that you get a really good outcome. They know how to do things better than we do," said Mr Ngaro.