The thesis offers an interpretation of the origins and nature of the community initiative, the Flaxmere Educational Futures Project, an example of local cooperation which occurred in Flaxmere, in 1985 and 1986. The thesis discusses the development of Flaxmere as a suburb in terms of physical site, population pressure, housing development and demographic patterning. These matters are considered in relation to changing education and social service policy and the aspirations of local residents about education and social facilities. The suburb is viewed as a product of many decisions made by a variety of institutions and individuals over nearly 25 years. Significant influences that set the stage for the local turmoil within which the Flaxmere Educational Futures Project developed are documented and discussed. The Project represented a relatively sophisticated political response to related but not always obvious local concerns of residents living in Flaxmere and the statutory body responsible for primary education in the suburb, the Hawke's Bay Education Board. The thesis does not attempt to discuss in detail procedures relating to the community survey which was a central part of the Project but only presents results of importance to each interest group. The study identifies the complex set of background influences which carried the residents of the suburb towards a situation where local cooperation was a distinct possibility, and shows that once an arrangement for cooperation for the development of the Flaxmere Educational Futures Project had been achieved, many different groups were able to effectively participate in information gathering and in the preparation of a clear statement of local difficulties, concerns and aspirations regarding education and service provision in Flaxmere.