Blog: Keeping it simple

In keeping with the title of this blog, check out these ward profiles I put together at work.

Previously, these were 20-page documents (for each ward) “summarising” the key facts.

I’m not trained in infographics so this is the best I could do using a combination of Microsoft Powerpoint, Excel and

Let me know what you think! It’s meant some other departments are now asking me to help them summarise some of their key information (finance and complaints in particular!)


Blog: Local government and horses

An excellent email forwarded to me today really captures the essence (sometimes!) of working in local government.  Interestingly, the original email came from an old colleague who had moved  back to New Zealand and works in local government there.  Suggests to me that my dream of moving to New Zealand might not be all it’s cracked up to be…!

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to
generation, says that; “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse,
the best strategy is to dismount.”

However, in government and local government, more advanced strategies are often
employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse’s

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the
dead horse’s performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed , it is less
costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more
to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

and of course….

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.