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Coromandel showcased for energised communities

Coromandel showcased for energised communities

Coromandel's political changes made to energise our communities was showcased in Nelson last week by our CEO David Hammond at the annual Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) conference.

Mr Hammond was one of three highly-regarded speakers invited to discuss the world-wide trend of Councils working to empower local communities. He shared our experience of re-designing Council's systems to unlock the potential in communities for local innovative solutions and growth, and bring people closer to the decisions that affect their lives.

"At the end of the day we want to unleash local community innovation in ways we can't anticipate and do not want to control. Coromandel people who voted for change through the 2010 election ballot-box are expressing what is coming up all over the country; people expect faster and better customer service, genuine partnerships with their councils, to make decisions themselves and not have decisions made for them by distant people who use a one-size-fits-all method," says Mr Hammond.

"We've had to think more about innovation in partnerships and service delivery, and also innovation in the management and governance of local authorities. We've taken community empowerment to an extent no one else has in New Zealand and that is getting people talking. While community empowerment seems frightening for a lot of councils, just 'managing' people is not the way of the future. We need to embrace the change citizens are wanting by changing our approach to governance and management. That will make a far bigger impact on getting voters back out and engaged in local government than any TV campaign pushing the 'same-old'.”

Mayor Glenn Leach, speaking via a video presentation, agreed. "If you love your part of the country, show it by doing everything you can to leave it better than you found it," he said.

"If you love something enough, you’ll overcome fear for it. That goes for family, for communities, and for anything that counts in life. Especially does that hold true for handing over any form of power. But if you really care, if you really love your communities, you’ll do it."


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