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Notes on local government issues

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...

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...