The World Cup is not the only arena where the Kiwis are shading the Aussies.
There’s no two ways about it, the All Whites are performing beyond everyone’s expectations. It’s probably best encapsulated by the statistic making the rounds on Twitter. Number of professional footballers, Italy: 3,541, New Zealand: 25; Result 1:1!
I’d argue that football is not the the only area where the Kiwis punch above their weight. There are certainly aspects of their system and practice of local government that are world class, from which Australia should and in cases is, drawing inspiration.
In Australia the notion of long term planning at the local level is just emerging. The Rudd government’s national framework for local government identifies the need for Council’s to approach asset management more pro actively and over a longer horizon. The framework also articulates the need to formally link asset planning, land use planning and the vision of the community for the area.
In Queensland and New South Wales we see the national framework given voice in new requirements for Councils to have a long term community plan. The community plan needs to articulate the vision for the Council area for a period of at least ten years. Local government in both States are looking to New Zealand for guidance and example in simply achieving the massive task of getting the plan drafted and considering how they will seek meaningful community engagement on the plan.
Meanwhile, with New Zealand Councils into their second ten year plan, the best practice bar for community planning is being raised again in New Zealand.
I was fortunate last week to meet with the Objective local government user forum. One of the standout contributions was by Environment Bay of Plenty (EnvBoP). EnvBoP are the regional council for the Bay of Plenty area. Their view is that the plan itself has no value until it is implemented. Drafting the plan and engaging the community may seem like big jobs, but the value comes in implementing the plan. Jim Fretwell from EnvBoP demonstrated the way they link sections of the Community Plan to relevant goals in the strategy plan. These are in turn linked to the projects and programs in the annual plan and the corresponding provisions of the budget.
This gives the organisation clear visibility of how they are performing against the community outcomes in the long term plan. More importantly it allows them to demonstrate to the community that each of the projects and programs undertaken by Council address the community outcomes in the long term plan.
Australia, this is where you need to be. A long term community plan’s value starts in the process of aligning the technical and commercial landscape with the aspirations of the community. But this value is properly realised once the programs and projects of the Council align with community outcomes.
Now…, has anybody at Soccer Australia got the name of the all Whites coach?