Wairoa doesn't want Wellington to solve its social ills anymore.
It wants to solve them itself.
Community leaders had the ears of the Government on Tuesday, when a delegation headed from the small Hawke's Bay town to Parliament.
At least 10 community leaders, including the mayor, a councillor, iwi representatives and a rangatahi representative spoke to ministers, with a showcase involving about 40-50 people from the town, and another 40 or so expats.
Mayor of Wairoa, Craig Little, said it was probably the first time such a big delegation had headed to Parliament from any town, let alone one the size of Wairoa.
The delegation was proposing a community trust which would invest in innovation in the town.
The trust would receive funds from government and other sources, and funnel them into community groups and businesses.
Little said ministers had seemed receptive to what the Wairoa leaders were saying.
"We're amazing little town, we do some wonderful stuff, but there are people who should not be in the state they are, they are falling through the woodwork ... and a lot of people"
He said Ikāroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri had come up with the idea for a delegation to attend Parliament when she saw the work being done through a community partnership group which had groups including council, iwi, the DHB, education sector and Work and Income around the table.
Ministers David Parker, Nanaia Mahuta, Peeni Henare and Tracey Martin all attended as well as advisors from the offices of Shane Jones, Willie Jackson and Phil Twyford.
Whaitiri said that Wairoa had been forgotten under previous governments.
"For many a decade from a lot of governments they seem to think that a top down approach in Wairoa will make a difference and it's been shown that it doesn't.
"So here is the community themselves talking the bull by the horns to say 'actually that won't even work for us but hey, we've got some ideas of what will work for us'."
She said housing, health, education and lack of jobs were critical issues raised by the leaders with ministers.
"They thought a way forward was ensuring that local solutions come from the local community."
Whaitiri said unfortunately there were many "Wairoas" in New Zealand.
"Rural provincial communities are doing amazing things often on the smell of an oily rag, and they are just so resilient."
She said she hoped Tuesday's event could be a leading light for other rural towns across New Zealand, to see they could come to Wellington and work with government to address their needs.
According to the report presented to ministers, 12.3 per cent of adults in Wairoa are jobseekers, compared to 4.3 per cent nationally.
The town has a 2.5 per cent higher teen pregnancy rate than the rest of Hawke's Bay, 50 per cent higher chronic illness rates and higher levels of intentional self-harm.