The definition of strategy is a long term direction towards a vision. Most of us agree where we want to go as a city, the problem is having an adaptive strategy that pivots when new data or issues arise. Instead, politics has led us to argue over solutions instead of banding together to achieve an outcome.
This is a common problem among our leading organisations, they make three year strategies based on solutions and then when things change in the market, it makes all the work they have done up until that point… worthless.
Local councils tend to make ten year strategies and we all wonder why we have the same issues ten years later. We live in a complex environment, this means things change and there are multiple solutions to achieve the same outcome. Life is not black and white.
For us all to have a greater Whanganui, we need more people involved, we need to agree to long term objectives and have a dynamic prioritised list of outcomes that we ALL aim towards. If we continuously change direction when new data arises, this will save us money, decrease the time to obtain value and increase our value as a society.
I promote a three horizon strategy, or three key goals with a set of metrics that we will need to agree on. These metrics should be live on our local website, so we can all help achieve greater things and see our progress together.
In order to invest in our future, we need a growing community and to grow an community we need to fix our economy.
Things have improved over the last six years in Whanganui but we still have a long way to go. Over the last three years we have been hit hard from central, increasing what our council must fund, while taking away our freedom to make choices for ourselves.
We have waited on central government long enough! Our people need action now, we can not sit around with ten year strategies. We need to focus on our homeless, our local businesses, our mental health and to empower our people for success.
Marslow’s hierarchy of needs shows that that true performance can not be obtained without the fundamentals. Humans have needs that enable greater goals outside of trying to feed themselves and keep warm.
By fixing our economy, we lower crime, decrease debt and empower our people to think of growing our community.
Our community doesn’t grow by exporting profits out of Whanganui. Our community grows when we focus on local businesses, employing local people and where we create unity.
Since I have been in Whanganui I have seen people celebrate big business turning up here, only to see that they pay low wages and export profit to another area or country.
What I want to see is a focus on our pre-existing businesses, helping them employ more, do more and scale. I want to focus on start-ups, something our young can aspire towards, instead of leaving Whanganui.
Lastly, when we engage our business life together, we come together as a community. Increased wages relative to inflation, linking rate increases to wages and more local successful businesses will mean happier, well paid employees who spend their money locally and have reduced stress which leads to increased happiness, decrease in crime and with less of our children going to school hungry and thinking there are limited choices in this world.
Once a region has a growing and successful community, our next step is to start to invest for the future. Our future is our children. Every investment we make as a community should be measured objectively using financial measurements that ensures that the time and money we spend today is worth more tomorrow than it would be in our back pocket.
I would like to see the council partially fund scaling organisations to invest in the future businesses that we need for a successful community. These funds may be a mixture of private ventures and investment from council.
Companies that provide dividend payments (a return on holding a share), do so because the dividend is better spent in the shareholders wallet then what they could do with it themselves. I see a future where it is possible not to have any rates and that not only are all our services met but we are continuously investing in our growing region, so that our tamariki have greater opportunities.