This chapter traces the foundations and growth of community development in Aotearoa New Zealand, including its particular historic engagement with government support and sponsorship. Using a broad typology of community development practice, it describes a fertile ground, early sprouts and the flourishing heydays of the 1970s. Despite a history of government support, it has not always been as passive or collaborative as this may imply. And the recent arid and often hostile policy environment (especially under the 30-year shadow of neoliberalism) has not succeeded in killing off community development. The chapter concludes with lessons for both funders and community groups on how community development might survive and perhaps even thrive in such a fragile ecosystem.