Auckland Council Auckland Council Immersion Session : Insight and understanding to inform communications pitch to the Auckland Council
Auckland Council Immersion Session Insight and understanding to informColenso BBDO’s pitch to the Auckland Council THE PROJECTS | AUCKLAND . collaborative projects | concept- brand- execution
What we’ll cover1. Getting to know the machine2. The changing role of local government and the possibilities for the new Auckland Council3. The Big Society and what it could mean for Auckland4. The revolution will be digitalised - starting the citizen renaissance online5. Introduction to The Projects | Auckland THE PROJECTS | AUCKLAND . collaborative projects | concept- brand- execution
1. Getting to know the machineunderstanding what local government in Auckland was, the latest reforms, and what it might become THE PROJECTS | AUCKLAND . collaborative projects | concept- brand- execution
Before we were a Super City A city of many diverse and different local identities, represented by a diverse range of different Councilswaitakeremanukau north shore auckland cityrodney franklin papakura
Before we were a Super City A city known for being dysfunctional and divided, as much as for its beauty and diversity
Fractured governance on show for all to see Our failure to come together and make regional decisions was highlighted in 2006 with the proposal for a waterfront stadium. The nations leaders decided Auckland could no longer fail to live up to its potential. Something had to be done...
However this was nothing newDove-Myer Robinson (Mayor ofAuckland 1959-1980) proposed amajor reform of greater Auckland’sseperate city, borough and countyCouncils. He wanted a regional authority that could alone decide issues of metropolitan importance. He advocated rapid rail for Auckland, but the expensive scheme was voted out when Labour reneged on its election pledge to pay for it. Isolated on the issue, he lost the opportunity to implement a long- term solution to Auckland’s growing transport needs
But this time there was a key strategic reason for change Internationally the discussion was around the emergence of Mega Regions governed as one, many communities coming together with one strategic voice; the new engines of economic growth internationally. In short, the government was starting to realise that NZ’s key to competing internationally was through a focus on the thing it loves to hate: Auckland.
In 2002 the World Bank had initiatedits metropolitan governance project “metropolitan governance was fast emerging as the governance issue of the millennium. It refers to the management, leadership and organizational arrangements in large cities, spread over multiple jurisdictions covering urban, peri-urban and rural areas. Metropolitan issues have hovered partially or completely unattended in urban public sector reform for decade” NZ was about to take the lead in this discussion, designing the most radical governance reforms of any country yet...
A new model for Auckland In 2007 the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance was established and undertook an 18 month process of intensive investigation and consultation to design an effective model for Auckland’s local government. “The Commission has recognised that there is much in Auckland local government that works, and should be retained. There is much to be commended in the way territorial authorities deliver core services and represent their communities, and these strengths will remain at the heart of local government in Auckland.” http://auckland.royalcommission.govt.nz/rccms.nsf/CONTENTPAGES/$first?open
The commission delivered itsrecommendations to Rodney Hide who in three days tore it apart and came up with his own model that didn’t consider the strengths in the existing organisations as fit foundations for the new system. His actions begged the question; who runs Auckland? Auckland or Wellington?
Aucklanders make their voices heard The Central Government were so focused on making Auckland into an economic powerhouse that they lost sight of what the people who live in Auckland want. Unfortunately for them, the ‘local’ in local government was stronger in some parts of Auckland than they has counted on, and in many parts of Auckland Councils and communities united to defend against Hide’s model which threatened to destroy the partnerships they had worked so hard for.
Aucklanders make their voices heard “We are not opposed to the idea of being part of a ‘super-city’ and recognise that if it’s done well it will bring some benefits. But change has to work for all the people of Auckland, not just for Rodney Hide and the interests of big business.” - Tony Mayow “The Royal Commission’s proposal took 18 months to prepare, cost millions of dollars and drew on the wisdom of both ordinary Aucklanders and governance experts. The report wasn’t perfect but it was a damn good start. Rodney Hide’s sham version that he’s forcing on Auckland was thrown together in just three days. Make no mistake, the people of Auckland are waking up to exactly what this means and they don’t like it” - Penny Hulse
Despite this, the changes havehappened and we are now one city before 1 Regional Council 4 City Councils 3 District Councils 30 Community Boards after 1 Auckland Council 7 CCOs 21 Local Boards
Is bigger really better though?Seduced by the potential for efficency in centralised operations,the Central Government’s model for Auckland’s governance has leftworrisome gaps between the Council and its people. Just look atthe numbers:20 Councillors + 1 Mayor serving a population of 1.4 million= a representative to constituent ratio of 1:70 000Even the local boards, intended to be flagships of local democracy,have a representation ratio of 1:10 000In a world where internationally jurisdictions start to worryingwhen ratios tip the 1:1000 mark.... Peter McKinlay blog, local government consultant. MDL
It’s no wonder that public apathy abounds... “The whole super city is turning into a big fat mess. There will be in fighting between the government and the Council because each will be trying to put their views forward. Who wins? Well I guess time will tell and the people will have to put up with it as usual because they are too disempowered” Response to NZ Herald Article ‘Hide Plans Liveable City for Trucks’
At a time when Auckland is centralising and disenfranchising, the rest of the world is talking about localising and engaging“Perhaps its time for New Zealand’s politicians to have a hardlook at what is happening internationally and why. First theywould find that representation is generally regarded not as acost to be minimised, but as an essential element in the key roleof local government, the delivery of local democracy. - Peter McKinley Local Government Expert
It is our assertion that The new Auckland Council was designed with little thought to the key role of local government, and that there is a massive job still to come in designing, defining and communicating that role if Auckland is going to become the city we all want it to be.
2. The changing role of localgovernment and the possibilities for the new Auckland Council THE PROJECTS | AUCKLAND . collaborative projects | concept- brand- execution
list of concerns that has plagued local government in NZ and contributed to an ‘identity crisis’ Historically viewed as the ‘poor relation’ of the public sector Major decisions made for them not by them – local government not always afforded the opportunity to think for itself Local government is usually dealing with the day to day – the urgent crowds out the important What does local government aim to achieve? No one knowsCouncils have long-term plans, but the local governmentsector does not have a strategic long-term direction forimplementing them
Many of the key issues faced by the sector are role related This is certainly going to be the case as the new Auckland Council attempts to position itself next to its creator – central government It has been standard in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and England to regard local government as primarily a service delivery organization.
It’s the difference between whatpaying your rates gets you – and what your vote should get you Service in a local government context should go far beyond the housekeeping function of providing local infrastructure and services to property. It encompasses representation, advocacy and above all leadership both locally and externally – it should be seen primarily from a governance perspective rather than simply a functional one.
The ‘functional’ service perspective of local government misses the point about the nature of the services it delivers Services matter, but the overarching business of local government in the world we now live in is governance – providing community leadership and working with its communities to determine their preferred futures and how best to realise those. This is where it can find true relevance again.
In an ideal world...“Local government is not distinguished by the servicesit provides, important though they are to its working.Other bodies can, and in some cases do, providethose services. It is distinguished by its basis in localdemocracy and this is where it gains legitimacy”. - Prof John Stewart, Birmingham UniversityThis might sound idealistic but one of New Zealand’sbiggest civic success stories transformed itself thisway…
Attaining true democracyWaitakere City gained international recognition from itsinsight that public services should reflect a democraticunderstanding and mandate.In the case of the Waitakere City Council it was to live up tothe sustainability principles of Agenda 21 the leaders hadbeen elected on, with the mandate to act as an Eco City.
Not just about the environment The Eco City vision was about collboratively working together to find the best possible solutions in the best interest of the community “It’s never been about tree-hugging. It’s been about smart, sustainable, thinking and being focussed on the outcome and delivery. No council in New Zealand has a stronger social agenda than us and I’m very proud of that. “ - Bob Harvey Former Mayor of Waitakere City
Ditching the top-down approach to unlock ‘people power’ I have often said that New Zealanders will do anything if you ask them but nothing if you tell them. So it has been important that every step of the way we have consulted and taken the community with us.” - Bob Harvey Former Mayor of Waitakere City
The flagship Eco City initiative Project Twin StreamsProject Twin Streams is a 9-year initiative designed to tackle stormwaterproblems of flooding and pollution in streams in Waitakere City. It isradically different from any other such initiative because of its largescale and unique approach to restoring our streams.Instead of a top down model putting in regulations and hiring contractorsto replant the streambanks, Project Twin Streams contracted 4 communityorganisations to deliver the project by engaging neighbourhoods in theirarea. Since 2003, close to a million native trees and shrubs have beenplanted by over 30,000 volunteer attendances.
At the heart of Project Twin Streamsis an approach that puts local people at the centre of thinking and action. “Twin Streams isn’t just an environmental project, it’s about bringing communities together and neighbourhoods taking ownership of their surroundings.“ Harry O’Rourke Former CEO, Waitakere City Council
A world leaderIn 2007 Project Twin Streams camerunner-up in the InternationalTheiss Riverprize Awards - widelyrecognised as the most prestigiousenvironmental awards in the world.Since then it has won six nationalawards for its innovative approach.Critical success has come fromengaging local communityorganisations to deliver theprogramme in their area; removingthe distinction between communityand council in delivering positiveoutcomes for local residents.
In the new Auckland, governance should come in two forms Firstly, the inherently local function of governing communities at a relatively micro level, ensuring strong local identities continue to prosper without a dedicated local Council Secondly, the reason we amalgamated in the first place, for strong civic leadership at a metropolitan level - a vital but much neglected local government ‘service’
These are both massive challenges for the Auckland CouncilHowever forces are combining to promote a new understandingof the potential of local government to succeed at both theselevels:1. A growing awareness of the problems with ‘top down’ design and delivery of social services Services are designed and delivered too far from the communities whose needs they are intended to meet, and so are inadequately informed by the local knowledge and networks needed to be truly effective.2. The global financial crisis and resulting fiscal environment this has provided the incentive to look more closely at how major services are designed and delivered, and the importance of working collaboratively in ‘local clusters’ with local government playing the critical pivotal role, and on the unique knowledge and networks (business and community) it is best placed to access.
In England this thinking has seena number of major new initiatives emerge Total Place - a policy initiative intended to break down the silo approach of departmental control in favour of local collaboration http://www.google.co.nz/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=total+place The Cooperative Council – which proposes a shift in the way the council and its communities relate to each other in the delivery of its services http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/MakingADifference/ TheCooperativeCouncil/SharingPowerNewSettlementCitizensState.htm
This shift in the role of local government is a huge opportunity for the new Auckland Council to give itself relevance in the eyesof both the public and central governmentA successful Auckland Council should be known for itscollaborative leadership, whether at the level of the localneighborhood or the metropolitan community.It is a role based on local governments unique potential to bringtogether different interests and stakeholders, and the uniqueknowledge and networks they possess. Providing genuineleadership to its communities, often in collaboration with otherswho also play a governance role – not just with the public sectorbut the private sector too.
The current leadership has already started on this quest
A ‘Collaborative Council’ is really the only solutionTo deliver both community outcomes and metropolitan progressAuckland requires collaboration on an unprecedented level. Active citizen participation $$$ from new types on and engagement for investment including community resilience Public Private PartnershipsIts about evolving for local government to be what it needs to be:INDEPENDENTLY CONSULTATIVELY COOPERATIVELY COLLABORATIVELY
To conclude, a perspective from a UK think-piece ‘The Engagement Ethic’ gives weight to why this approach to local government is so important now“Public services have learned a great deal from approaches importedfrom Big Business, to the benefit of service users. In particular, thefocus on citizens as consumers and on the performance of service unitshas improved outcomes. However, these approaches are subject todiminishing returns. And the credit crunch and fiscal crisis has freedour political imagination that this is the only game in town.Today, the biggest challenge public services face is the challengeof engaging citizens and service users and harnessing their energyand creativity. This is at the heart of challenges of services’ costeffectiveness and legitimacy.”Fortunately we can look to what’s happening internationally...
2.The Big Society and what it could mean for Auckland THE PROJECTS | AUCKLAND . collaborative projects | concept- brand- execution
David Cameron’s Big Society “The Big Society is about a huge culture change, where people, in their everyday lives, in their homes, in their neighbourhoods, in their workplace, don’t always turn to officials, local authorities or central government for answers to the problems they face but instead feel both free and powerful enough to help themselves and their own communities.”“We need to create communities with oomph – neighbourhoods whoare in charge of their own destiny, who feel if they club together and getinvolved they can shape the world around them.” - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
But what is the Big Society really? It might look like ideologically driven cost cutting strategy, at its heart though its research informed belief in the need to rebalance the relationship between government, local government and the community.It aims to:1. Give communities more powers (localism and devolution)2. Encourage people (and corporate citizens) to take an active role in their communities (volunteerism)3. Support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises4. Publish government data and involve citizen in decision making (open/transparent government)The rhetoric has been backed with action:1. Transfering power from central to local government (localism bill)2. The establishment of the Big Society Bank, which will help finance social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups; the training of community organisers; and the creation of a National Citizen Service program.
The Big Society Network projects The Big Lunch is an annual one-day get together in your local area with your neighbourhood. http://thebigsociety.co.uk/big-society-in-action/the-big-lunch/ Your Square Mile will be a mutual and on/offline platform to enable local action. http://thebigsociety.co.uk/big-society-in-action/ysm/ The Big Society Network is working with NESTA and the PB Unit to promote local engagement on council budgets. http://thebigsociety.co.uk/big-society-in-action/ylb/ Starting with a small group of volunteers, Abundance has pioneered urban fruit harvesting around the UK. http://thebigsociety.co.uk/big-society-in-action/abundance/
With it being Manifestation time (an election year) in NZ the Big Society model should look mighty tempting to our politicians looking for a vision... Local government in Auckland has the opportunity to take the lead in this discussion and define their role and show their relevance in the process. There is a real hunger for this new way from the grassroots; a way which is intimately understood by the current Mayor and Deputy Mayorhttp://www.ced.org.nz/?page_id=887
It is a vision no one can argue with, however it is about bringing about major cultural and systemic change whereby mainstream society doesthink of themselves as citizens again – and ask that of their leaders too
2.The revolution will be digitalised- starting the citizen renaissance online THE PROJECTS | AUCKLAND . collaborative projects | concept- brand- execution
The digital revolution which fuels the digital democracy provides a fundamental change to the brainscape and brandscape within which we all navigate. This revolution interlinks with sustainability challenges and culture shift in a fascinating and world-changing way. “The Digital revolution allows Citizens to re-calibrate how they view the world” Digital Democracy and The Rise Of Accountability and Transparency citizen renaissance.com
Transaction vs Interaction Central government and big business actions that target change do so within an ongoing central command and control structure – they do not share the passion for grassroots involvement. Conversely the genius of web 2.0 style social productions systems, highly relevant to sustainability, recognise the solution lies in each and everyone of us working together - John Grant Co-opportunity
Democratic digital engagement as a blueprint for Local GovernmentHow local democracy can be made more engaging, exciting andmeaningful to local people: Using social media to make a bridge between the formal world of local politics and the real world of real people Making clear that local government is not just about services – distinct and democratic role with local councilors at the heart Social media is changing the way the world works and can be a potent tool for increased and more productive engagement Building on the traditional ways of doing things and using online tools to make them work better and reach more people
Digital democracy is good for everyone It can create the ideal scenario where bottom up and top down meet in the middle constructively. It recognises that we are no longer passive viewers but collaborative generators and users of information. In this way social media can be an efficient information channel for citizens, staff and elected representatives.
How it can be realised as a tool for local government1. Online Councillors 2. Direct DemocracyCouncillors are the human element of local As traditional political parties are seendemocratic process and are the elected link as out of touch with the real world,between the council and the people who independent candidates are pushing theelected them. envelope - crowd sourcing every vote with people in their constituency.3. Social Council Meetings 4. Local Democratic NetworksThis means making agendas, minutes Places where people can nominateand reports palatable to citizens - the concerns they want addressed by electedarcane language of council won’t work on representatives, which are then rankedfacebook. The information needs to easy to and voted on to decide top priorities.engage with and real-time.
Themes of local digital democracy Connectability Customizability Sociability Accessibility OpennessBut what about ACTIONABILITY?
THE PROJECTS | AUCKLANDcollaborative projects | concept- brand- execution .As ‘The Projects” it is our belief that finding compelling andcaptivating common projects is key to kick starting civicparticipation and meaningful collaboration – using online tocreate tribes of action…“A good polity is one in which all citizens believe they arebound together in a common project” - Richard Sennett, The Culture of New Capitalism
“If we want to create new formsof civic value, we need to improvethe ability of small groups to tryradical things” - Clay Shirky Cognitive Surplushttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10675403