There are always plenty of people with opinions about what's wrong with a community. But not everyone has the drive or the ability to turn the talk into action.

Which is why I applaud the efforts of a new Rotorua collective.

Waka Whakamua is made up of 30 providers, businesses, churches and organisations that are focused on working together to deliver services supporting and strengthening youth, whanau and the wider community.

Read more: Local groups to tackle Rotorua's social issues


But what I found interesting about this collective, apart from its sheer size, was the specific issues it has chosen to focus on. It's perhaps a recognition that, no matter how hard they try, they won't be able to fix all the problems in our community at once.

So instead they have identified six areas to put their combined energy into.

Things like obesity rates in Maori aged 25 to 44, employability of 20 to 24-year-olds on jobseeker benefits and homelessness among solo parents can all be measured which means the collective's efforts can also be measured - at least to some extent.

The goal of helping children aged 5 to 11 in need in the suburb of Koutu is extremely specific. Clearly not all kids in Koutu are without basic necessities just as there are children in other Rotorua suburbs who could do with help. But isn't it better to make a real change for some, than cast your net too widely and fail completely?

The collective has done extensive research and concluded there are six areas where it can make a difference. It's a pragmatic approach, which I believe is a good one.

I wish all involved all the best and look forward to the community getting behind them.