New Community Coordinator



Original article appeared in Karamea Chronicle 19.12.2022

Brian Jones:

A Warm Welcome to our New Community Coordinator

For the last five years the Karamea Community has experienced an unprecedented number of successful community projects, as we have benefitted from the Department of Internal Affair’s Community Led Development Programme (CLDP).

 As the contract and fundholders for this programme, Karamea Community Incorporated (KCI) contracted Liz Kerslake as Partnership Manager, to facilitate the programme within the community. For the last four years Liz has very capably guided community groups and assisted them to lodge applications.

 With the end of the CLDP, Liz is not renewing her contract. A huge thanks from the KCI committee for the effort Liz has put in during this time. We recognise how fortunate we were to gain the services of someone with her personality and skillset, which were ideally suited to the role.

 To try to continue the progress Karamea has made, KCI have recently contracted Jessie Creedmore in the role of Community Coordinator.

 Because the CLDP has finished, the role will be similar to Liz’s but different. The role will develop over time, but Jessie will continue to assist groups which would like help to develop their ideas and to find suitable funding sources.

KCI welcome Jessie and hope the community will take advantage of her energy, enthusiasm and skillset, which we feel can be of huge benefit to us all.

Brian Jones
(Chair KCI)


A word from Liz Kerslake…

Liz Kerslake

I’ve spent the past four years in the role of Partnership Manager for Karamea Community, working with many different groups on community-led projects and events that have certainly enriched my life, and I hope some of them have trickled into yours too.  It felt a bit like being dropped into the deep end for a full immersive ‘welcome to Karamea’ experience, and at times it’s been a wild ride.  Overall, the experience of helping to get the good stuff off the ground and working with some wonderful local characters has been extremely rewarding; I am proud to call Karamea my home.

The five-year Community-led Development Partnership with DIA we’ve benefited from has now come to an end, and it’s a natural time to take a pause and reflect on what we have achieved.  Keep an eye out for our participatory evaluation report which will be coming out soon, we really have achieved so much collectively.  

I am taking the opportunity to have a chapter change and focus on my many home projects for a while and am stoked to be able to offer a warm welcome to our own Jessie Creedmore who will be at the helm as our new Community Coordinator.  It’s worth noting that the Community Coordinator is a slightly different role which is not backed by a magic pot of funding, however it still exists to support community-led action in Karamea to coalesce and move in the right direction, and to facilitate useful connections.

Over to you Jessie…

A word from Jessie Creedmore…
Jessie Creedmore

Thanks for the warm welcome Liz!

While I’m sad that the community loses Liz in the community-led role, I think her natural aptitude for this will see her having a positive impact on the community in this space simply as part of who she is. I’m excited to be jumping aboard, in a ‘tweaked’ new role. Identifying opportunities and using my skill set to contribute to enhancing the attributes, prosperity and wellbeing of the Karamea community is a great opportunity, with a unique role that provides us with a coordinated and aligned approach.  While my background is more business and economic development versus community development, I think some of the economic challenges we face here mean this aptitude is beneficial.

I already know many of you, and love chatting with you in all the usual haunts we’re lucky to have in this little (but mighty!) community. Luckily, I do bring more than yarning to the role. I have more than 20 years of experience across both public and private sectors, in economic development, business and product development, sales and marketing, publishing and creative services at operational, strategic and governance levels. I’ve worked with clients across a real mix of industries and sectors from wine and agricultural machinery to digital publishing, tourism and destination management, event promotion, business training and advocacy, and the Arts. Blah blah, yes, but this broad experience gives me some insight and perspective that I hope can add value to the mix in useful, pragmatic ways. After all, I grew up in an extremely isolated area on a farm deep in the King Country – resourcefulness comes naturally!

I’ve really enjoyed ‘bubbling’ away in Karamea over the last three years. It’s a truly unique, special and naturally beautiful place. After moving from Nelson I was able to continue some work remotely, taught art techniques on occasion, organised the 2022 Karamea Art & Craft exhibition and co-facilitated a Karamea cohort of the CO.STARTERS business start-up programme. A real highlight has been the Karamea Pop Up Gallery. I’ve loved being part of the ‘Pop Up family’ who continue to make this possible every second month. The project has helped me get to know so many people, from every corner of our piece of paradise - I love it! 

Settling into Karamea has allowed self-reflection, creative discovery ... and growing piles of vegetables! Now I’m ready to ‘dig in’ deeper, by contributing in more meaningful ways with this special opportunity.
Bring it on! See you soon.


Happy festive season to all...