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Notes on local government issues

Three books for council bookshelves

Three books for council bookshelves

Happy new year! Before launching into new projects in 2020, I’ve been reflecting on some of the books which made the biggest difference to my local government work in 2019. Here are my top three recommendations for council bookshelves. Writing Effective Policies and...

Eight ways to get started on your 2021 infrastructure strategy

Eight ways to get started on your 2021 infrastructure strategy

It's time for councils to pick up their 2018 infrastructure strategies and decide how to go about updating and improving them. Key steps in the process are: scopinginterviews with staff to identify what has changed since the 2018 strategy was draftedputting it all...

How to meet your deadlines during the Christmas countdown

How to meet your deadlines during the Christmas countdown

There’s no such thing as a free dog. There's also no such thing as a free Christmas holiday — the price of entry is taking part in the extreme sport of getting everything done by Christmas. But back to the 'free' dog. When we were given Max I didn’t know he would need...

Writing an asset management plan?

Writing an asset management plan?

Asset managers around New Zealand are beginning the process of reviewing and updating their asset management plans to support the 2021 Long Term Plan process. Here’s some great advice I picked up on asset management plan writing during a training day with Ross Waugh,...

Making it easy for businesses to transition to a low carbon economy

Making it easy for businesses to transition to a low carbon economy

Taking action to reduce and offset emissions is top of mind for councils around New Zealand. However, they can only do so much on their own, and also need businesses to transition to a low carbon economy. Three reasons why businesses may resist this message are: not...

How to be more productive at work

How to be more productive at work

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. When you identify how to...

What will a climate emergency declaration mean for councils?

What will a climate emergency declaration mean for councils?

Many New Zealand councils have made a climate emergency declaration as they recognise the need to urgently implement solutions to climate change over the next 10 years. So far Christchurch, Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, Kāpiti Coast, Wellington and Dunedin councils...

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...