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  • simpsonfornapier

Decision making and getting things done

Decision making and getting things done should be easy when your organisation employs experts in their fields and your resources include some of the most experienced technical experts (consultants) in the country, right?

When your elected lay people (i.e. Mayor and Council) do not accept professional advice, guidance or professional opinion it becomes problematic and disheartening for staff.

Absence of good clear S.M.A.R.T governance led strategy creates paralysis by analysis. The absence of good leadership enables abrogation of decision making and the people our community has elected to make decisions decide to push it back to you 'say it Napier'. The amount of consultation this last council has done has cost a fortune in staff time and recourses, slowing down implementation and achievements. Imagine how much more productive staff could be if once an activity is in the long term plan or annual plan they could get on with delivering that service or activity without having to wait for another round of consultation.

I've spent thirty years making decisions on the best information available, determining strategy and engaging with a wide range of individuals and organisations to get things done. It's not hard, you just have to have the best interests of Napier foremost in any decision making processes.

In private business, you can almost do whatever you like so long as your shareholders remain happy but in local government there are reasonably strict rules around what and when projects or activities can and can’t be committed to. For instance, if a major cost commitment isn’t in the Long Term Plan or annual budget Council and then Council Management cannot commit significant resource to it, unless the Council approve a change to the agreed and publicly consulted budgets.

In local government, workshops are conducted behind closed doors to enable staff and/or consultants to inform elected members of major complex or broad issues coming up for resolution. The purpose of the workshop should be to inform and allow elected members to refine the direction and scope of any future exploration, research, reporting to assist staff in development of recommendations. This is designed to create efficiencies, save staff time and avoid them from making a mammoth out of a molehill, prevent them from heading down a rabbit hole and to refine their work to a narrower scope. Councillors are informed but do not make decisions at workshops. At a later formal meeting staff present a range of options for council to debate and resolve.

I challenge you to find and read a couple of council agenda and consider the structure of the recommendation process and ask the question, where are decisions being made?

If I were Mayor, I would be seeking greater transparency on which elected members attended workshops and the matters that were discussed in headline form and that reports set out a full set of options for Governance debate and resolution to ensure our community witness genuine debate and decision making in public forum. .

I'll say it as I see it, your view may differ and that is ok, so lets be respectful throughout this process. So lets be nice about it. Regards and best wishes Nigel Simpson , Candidate for Mayor Napier City Council Elections 2022 #IfYouCare #NapierIfYouCare #TheThingsYouDontKnowYouDontKnow #Transparancy This blog is approved by Nigel Simpson, Napier New Zealand - website -

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