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Notes on local government issues

Eight ways to improve your infrastructure strategy

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 improve your reports

Five ways to improve your reports

Many of the disciplines of business case writing can also serve us well when writing reports. These include: digging deep to identify the root of a problem rather than focusing on the symptomstesting the viability of an idea with an open mind, rather than to persuade...

How to write a community engagement plan

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...

Community engagement: five ways to ask for feedback

Community engagement: five ways to ask 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

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

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

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...

Moving to a low carbon economy

Moving to a low carbon economy

Introduction What role will local government have in New Zealand’s progress towards a low carbon economy? In this article I reflect on some of the points raised in the Productivity Commission’s Low-emissions economy report and suggest some ways councils may contribute...

How to be a smart city

How to be a smart city

I booked a flight to Wellington and a Masterton motel. Next minute my smart phone was wishing me a great visit to the Wairarapa … it’s a little unnerving, but companies are not the only ones making increasingly smart use of technology. Wellington City Council's smart...

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