Blog

Notes on local government issues

Five ways to be more productive

Everyone knows New Zealand would be better off making furniture (and houses) rather than exporting raw logs. While productivity is a bit of an ugly word, there’s a lot to like about creating more value in less time, or with fewer resources. It’s highly likely to lead...

Councils can respond to the climate emergency

The groundswell of councils signing up to climate emergency declarations recognises the need to take large scale actions over the next 10 years. Christchurch, Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, Kāpiti Coast, Wellington and Dunedin councils have already made this...

Eight ways to improve your infrastructure strategy

The Long-Term Plan cycle sure comes around quickly! It feels like we just finished the last one, but now it's time to think how councils can improve on their 2018 infrastructure strategies for the 2021 Long-Term Plan (LTP). I was involved in writing three...

Five ways to enhance your reports

Have you ever gone to a training session, made lots of notes, then done nothing with them when you returned to work? That's what happened after I completed an online business case writing course back in August last year. When I finally got around to...

How to write a community engagement plan

Are community engagement plans magically whipped up by the communications advisers at your council, or do you have to come up with them yourself? Even if they are mainly done for you, subject matter experts can definitely add value to them. While there is no one...

Five ways to ask the community for feedback

Do a job badly enough and you won’t be asked to do it again. That’s a commonly held belief, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I took TERRIBLE photos during vox pop Wednesdays in my first year as a journalist at the Hamilton Press. No matter what settings I...

Climate research will support local government decisions

The complexity of climate change, as well as the unpredictable rate of change, can be overwhelming when considering how to respond to these challenges at a district or a regional level. Fortunately, the next infrastructure strategies and asset management plans...

How to write a submission that gets results

It's nearly that time of year again, when councils will be seeking feedback from the public on a wide range of plans, policies and bylaws.​I've read thousands of submissions. In my experience, the most effective submissions: provide a concise summary at the...

Summer reading … with a local government twist

I love reading a book in one big gulp during the summer holidays. My favourite this year was ‘Unsheltered’ by Barbara Kingsolver. The present-day story is about a family dealing with the fall out of a number of shocks related to their family, their careers, financial...

Let's Start a Conversation