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June 2011

From participants
of the workshop
Edited By
Wendy McGuinness
Jessica Prendergast
Louise Grace-Pickering
Foreword By
Sir Paul Callaghan
Report name StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future Reflections: From participants of the workshop

Published Copyright © Sustainable Future Institute Limited, June 2011

ISBN 978-1-877473-85-2 (PDF)
This document is available at and may be reproduced or
cited provided the source is acknowledged.

Prepared by The Sustainable Future Institute, as part of Project 2058

Editors Wendy McGuinness, Jessica Prendergast and Louise Grace-Pickering

Contributors Stuart Barson; Rachel Bolstad; Anthony Cole; Yvonne Curtis; Scott Dalziell; Debbie
Dawson; Roger Dennis; Krystal Gibbons; Sue Hanrahan; Neville Henderson; Beat
Huser; Maria Ioannou; Damian Lawrence; Ella Lawton; Richard Logan; Michael
Moore-Jones; Christian Penny; Sue Peoples; Peter Rankin; Heike Schiele; Phil Tate;
Roger Tweedy; Christian Williams; and Murray Wu.

About the Institute The Sustainable Future Institute is an independently funded non-partisan think tank.
The main work programme of the Institute is Project 2058. The strategic aim of this
project is to promote integrated long-term thinking, leadership and capacity-building
so that New Zealand can effectively seek and create opportunities and explore and
manage risks over the next 50 years. It is hoped that Project 2058 will help develop
dialogue among government ministers, policy analysts and members of the public about
alternative strategies for the future of New Zealand.

For further information The Sustainable Future Institute

Phone (04) 499 8888
Level 2, 5 Cable Street
PO Box 24222
Wellington 6142
New Zealand

Disclaimer The Sustainable Future Institute has used reasonable care in collecting and presenting
the information provided in this publication. However, the Institute makes no
representation or endorsement that this resource will be relevant or appropriate for
its readers’ purposes and does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any
particular time for any particular purpose. The Institute is not liable for any adverse
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Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand Licence. To view a copy of
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Sir Paul Callaghan________________________________________________________________________ 1

Wendy McGuinness_______________________________________________________________________ 2

Part I | Vision: Lessons from StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future_____________________________ 3

Response to StrategyNZ Hui 2011
Christian Penny__________________________________________________________________________ 4

An early personal reflection as a participant

Yvonne Curtis___________________________________________________________________________ 5

Common issues, striking points and a challenge

Peter Rankin_____________________________________________________________________________ 7

Reflection on the StrategyNZ workshop

Anthony Cole__________________________________________________________________________ 10

Weighing the future

Richard Logan__________________________________________________________________________ 12

Personal reflection
Damian Lawrence_______________________________________________________________________ 13

Rethinking economic growth

Scott Dalziell___________________________________________________________________________ 15

Competition as a motivator
Roger Dennis___________________________________________________________________________ 16

Part II | Foresight: Opportunities and obstacles to New Zealand's long-term success__________ 17

New Zealand sans frontières
Stuart Barson___________________________________________________________________________ 18

Education for the future – what does it mean?

Rachel Bolstad__________________________________________________________________________ 19

Introducing New Zealand students to the world

Michael Moore-Jones_____________________________________________________________________ 21

Beyond the growth paradigm

Christian Williams ______________________________________________________________________ 22

Enough is enough
Debbie Dawson_________________________________________________________________________ 23

Balancing opportunities and obsticles

Maria Ioannou__________________________________________________________________________ 24
To kill or not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
Heike Schiele___________________________________________________________________________ 28

How to attract and retain talent – a youth perspective

Krystal Gibbons_________________________________________________________________________ 30

Productive diversity – learning to relate

Sue Hanrahan___________________________________________________________________________ 31

Politics as if the future mattered

Phil Tate_______________________________________________________________________________ 32

Terrible tragedy of the south seas

Sue Peoples_____________________________________________________________________________ 34

Part III | Strategy: The case for a strategic approach____________________________________ 36

The need for a national strategy for a new economy
Beat Huser_____________________________________________________________________________ 37

Strategy in a non-linear world

Richard Logan__________________________________________________________________________ 38

Four plausable futures for Waikato

Beat Huser_____________________________________________________________________________ 43

The magic is in the process!

Ella Lawton____________________________________________________________________________ 45

Part IV | Execution: How to initiate change___________________________________________ 47

Strategy mapping – A technique for facilitating strategy
Murray Wu_____________________________________________________________________________ 48

Constitutional review – thoughts on capacity building and engagement

Roger Tweedy__________________________________________________________________________ 49

Increasing participation in decision-making: How to initiate change

Neville Henderson_______________________________________________________________________ 50

Part V | Final reflections__________________________________________________________ 52

Louise Grace-Pickering___________________________________________________________________ 53

Jessica Prendergast_______________________________________________________________________ 54
Sir Paul Callaghan

Long-term vision is something we tend to avoid can attract the best in the world, and provide
in New Zealand, with the possible exception of opportunities for our most talented Kiwis to see
Mäori, who have greater reason to focus on the their future here. Imagine what we could achieve
development of their assets for future generations if we built a strategy around, and made central to
of mokopuna. But I will argue here that vision our thinking, the existing success of our emerging
is essential to any strategy aimed at enhancing knowledge sector, gearing our education system
prosperity. accordingly. That is the challenge for us all.

There is a myth that we are an egalitarian society, StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future created a place to
a great place to bring up children. But in income discuss this challenge. I hope you enjoy reading the
disparity, child mortality, imprisonment rates and following reflections from participants and may
most other negative social indicators, we are among these and other discussions lead you to participate
the worst in the OECD. The second myth is that in shaping New Zealand’s long-term future.
we are clean and green. In truth, the reality is
altogether different. Like other developed countries
we have despoiled our environment to eke out a
measure of prosperity, and we therefore have no
moral high ground from which to preach to others.
Our valuable dairy industry severely impacts
Sir Paul Callaghan, Kiwibank’s 2011 New Zealander
our rivers and lakes. Our pastoral industries are
of the Year
significant emitters of greenhouse gases. The third
myth is that we, as New Zealanders, do not need
prosperity, that we have ‘lifestyle’ instead. But we
Sir Paul Callaghan (GNZM, FRS, FRSNZ) was selected as
complain that our health system cannot afford
Kiwibank’s 2011 New Zealander of the year for his service to
to meet our needs and that our infrastructure science in the fields of nanotechnology and magnetic resonance.
is decrepit. Now we face significant economic He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford,
stress following the Christchurch earthquake. was made Professor of Physics at Massey University in 1984, and
Furthermore, the ‘lifestyle’ argument is hard to was appointed Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences
sustain, given New Zealanders are the second in 2001. Sir Paul is the founding director of both the multi-
hardest working in the OECD. But when we look university MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and
at how hard we work against how productive we Nanotechnology and of Magritek. Sir Paul is past president of
are, in comparison to other OECD countries, we the Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand and
see that New Zealanders are amongst the least the current president of the International Society of Magnetic
Resonance. The distinctions he has received include, becoming a
Fellow of the Royal Society of London, Ampere Prize, Rutherford
But we have it in our power to change all that. We Medal, Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit,
have an excellent education system, as good as the KEA/NZTE World Class New Zealander Award, the Sir Peter
Blake Medal, James Cook Research Fellowship, the Günther
Danes or Swedes. If we care for our environment
Laukien Prize for Magnetic Resonance and in 2010 he shared the
and create a just, equitable and creative society,
New Zealand Prime Minister’s Science Prize.
a ‘place where talent wants to live’, then we


Wendy McGuinness

In late March 2011 the Sustainable Future Institute Part IV: Execution – How to initiate change
hosted StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future, a contributions in this section remind us that
two-day workshop held in Wellington. The the execution of a strategy for the future
event provided a place and a process in which requires a structured approach to change, and
New Zealanders could consider, prepare and communication that facilitates people’s engagement
communicate strategy maps for our country’s and participation in a complex development with
long-term future. One hundred participants uncertain outcomes.
were brought together from a diverse range of
backgrounds, to learn from each other, share Part V: Final reflections – Common threads
ideas, and then create visions for New Zealand and includes two final reflections on StrategyNZ:
strategies for their execution. Mapping our Future from staff members of the
Sustainable Future Institute. They comment on
The first step after the event was for the Institute the areas of consensus that emerged from both the
to acknowledge the significant support we received workshop and the contributions to this e-book.
from a wide range of individuals and organisations, These final words encourage the thinking and
and to honour that support by documenting conversations from StrategyNZ: Mapping our
and acting as a repository for the considerable Future not just to continue, but to be acted upon
amount of material that was developed during the for New Zealand’s future.
workshop. This includes publishing three post-
workshop documents: StrategyNZ: Mapping our We hope you enjoy the 30 reflections of these
Future Strategy Maps: From Te Papa to the Legislative committed New Zealanders and find them
Council Chamber; a working paper documenting stimulating. We welcome comments on the
feedback on the workshop, and this e-book, which authors’ work: either a simple ‘like’, or a more
brings together a range of reflections and next steps detailed response provided online.
from participants.
To my co-authors, thank you for taking the
This e-book, the Institute’s first, is organised time to share your thoughts and ideas. Only by
into 5 parts. The participants from StrategyNZ: developing a shared understanding of what we
Mapping our Future are in effect ‘co-authors’, want for future generations, and the challenges
and the quality of this book is a testament to their and opportunities that lie ahead, can we develop
knowledge, motivation and desire to pursue, with a pathway forward. Thank you for sharing your
clarity and purpose, a long-term direction for reflections and your ‘next steps’.
New Zealand.
All the best
Part 1: Vision – Lessons from StrategyNZ:
Mapping our Future includes reflections on the
workshop and comments that enrich and extend
the visions for the future of New Zealand that
Wendy McGuinness
were developed there.
Chief Executive
Part II: Foresight – Opportunities and obstacles
Sustainable Future Institute
to New Zealand’s long-term success includes
participants responses which focussed on the
opportunities and challenges that New Zealand
Wendy McGuinness is the founder and Chief Executive of the
will need to address strategically as it works
Sustainable Future Institute. As a Fellow Chartered Accountant
towards becoming a country ‘where talent wants
(FCA) specialising in risk management, Wendy has worked in
to live’. both the public and private sectors. She holds an NZCC, BCom
and an MBA, and has also completed several environmental
Part III: Strategy – The case for a strategic
papers. In 2004 she established the Sustainable Future Institute as
approach includes reflections which focus on the a way of contributing to New Zealand’s long-term future. Wendy
imperative for strategy, the role of government and also sits on the boards of New Zealand Futures Trust and the
other participants, and tools and processes that can Katherine Mansfield Birthplace.
be used to achieve the desired strategy.


1. Vision
Lessons from StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future

Why do we as an individual, business, city or country

desire a new strategy? We need to develop a clear
purpose for what we are trying to achieve and an
understanding of the values and ethics that will shape
our thinking and actions.

The StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future workshop

inspired a wide range of reflection and comment
from participants. This section includes reflections
on visions for the long-term future of New Zealand.


Response to the StrategyNZ Hui 2011
Christian Penny

What struck me most was the way that when you I think there was a value in working fast. It asks
push out the vision to fifty years, the similarities of people to get on and offer. However I think we
that shared vision are suddenly transparent. could have gained more from working more fully
with a tikanga marae framework. Addressing first
Everyone wants to live in a country that protects and foremost who we are, where we come from and
the landscape and creates a providing economy and why we are here. I like imagining this. It feels edgy
nurtures and grows the role of Mäori. Suddenly and a little beyond what we normally do in this
it seemed so clear. All of this was very enlivening sort of world but it might have carried us to a more
because mostly we live with a very different human; personal and connected vision of who we
dominant reality – that is, the work of making it are and hence enabled us to ‘feel’ this work more.
all happen, day in, day out.
I think then we could work within tighter frames
I recently heard Harry Tam, a policy manager in developing our offers. Work step by step.
from Te Puni Kökiri, state ‘what we need is ngä Presenting, critiquing and re-researching, re-
moemoea, dreams’ – and here it was – on the presenting etc. We use this process all the time
waterfront of Wellington, a dream for our nation. in the theatre and in screen when we are
The dream I heard is: a small country commits to developing new work. I think more leadership
a set of key values long-term. A set of values that here, tighter time frames, homework, and all of the
override the governmental solutions of the day teams being tasked and cast, would present bolder
and keep directing us. Keep us on course. Keep us more ‘real’ offers.
ethical. Keep us clear. A radical idea really. But
essential and really sensible. Of course this is clear post the attempt.

In a way, that was the gift of the four days. We I loved that we were close to those ‘wise’ folk. This
spoke this vision aloud to ourselves. I do not think is important. Their voices need to be heard more
that was all that we had hoped we could achieve and we need forums for this conversation.
but with such diverse positions arriving together
I think that was enough. And, you could think No reira ngä mihi ki a koutou mä
that that outcome was always likely when groups Te whanau kua whakahaerea
of such diversity come together for such a short He mea miharo ngä hua kua puta ake
time span. The groups have to reach a unanimous
outcome because the risk of not doing so is too
high. Interpersonally I mean.
Christian Penny (Tainui, Ngapuhi) is the Director of Toi Whakaari
But the crucial thing here is: we are stopping to NZ Drama School. For the past nine years he has headed the
Masters in Directing at Toi Whakaari co-delivered with Victoria
form a vision and devoting some space to working
University, Wellington. He is a theatre director by training, with
that out. That is important. What we did not
an emphasis on New Zealand work and classic adaptations. He is a
do was devote enough time or structure to the 2009 alumni of The Leadership NZ programme.
‘how’s’. That was the disappointment.

If we were carrying on today I would be keen to

take the goals we arrived at as the starting point.
And here lies the real concrete challenge – how,
and what steps need to be taken? This really
interests me.


An early personal reflection as a participant
Yvonne Curtis, published in Future Times 2011/Vol 2 (March 2011)

The Sustainable Future Institute embarked on a In preparation for the task, during the first
very ambitious two day workshop in March 2011 morning and early afternoon, knowledgeable
as the next step in their Project 2058. It involved speakers addressed many of the issues we needed
over a hundred people as planners, speakers, to consider when formulating our strategy for the
workshop participants and resource people. Wendy future. The information provided was excellent,
McGuinness cast her net far and wide when she but was too much to take in in one sitting. I am
began planning for this event and inspired many very grateful that most of the speeches and power
talented people with a wide range of skills and point presentations are readily available on the
resources to help her make this workshop come Institute’s website (
alive in a special way. The participants who chose, to be reflected on later.
or were chosen, to take part, came from numerous
walks of life and places and their ages ranged from It really was a very tight schedule and working
late teens to over seventy. For two days with, for with our team, I was impressed at how quickly
many, very little sleep, we worked in ten teams of all settled to the task, made contributions and the
about ten people, on a project that for most was final presentation was very much a full team effort.
very different from our everyday experiences. We Very early on, one of the younger members of the
were challenged to consider the key words that team volunteered to be the spokesperson for the
could describe our desired future for New Zealand presentation and we were able to build our story
in 2058, as well as to develop a strategic plan that around this. The final key words that represented
might get us there. To visually compliment this, our vision did not come easily and the searching
each team had to design a new Coat of Arms for for agreement helped to build a team spirit.
New Zealand and a front cover of The Listener for
Listening to the ten presentations for the judging
31 March 2058, which highlighted our strategys’
was also very inspiring. There were common
success. These elements were then moulded
themes, but also unexpected differences that were
into four winning (four out of the ten tables’
very thought provoking and I am looking forward
presentations) ten minute power point presentation
to having more time to re-read and listen to the
to be presented to MPs in the Legislative Council
presentations at my leisure.
Chamber on the evening of the second day.
My immediate feeling, after the end of the two
To support the teams, there were various roving
days, was of satisfaction and delight that I felt so
experts in communication and strategy planning.
comfortable to be working with an unknown
For example, each team included one design
group of New Zealanders and that we were able to
student from Otago University who had the task of
complete the task in harmony. But as I reflect now
actually designing and drawing a coat of arms, the
some time later, I suspect that because our primary
cover of The Listener and slides for the power point
focus was on completing the assigned tasks on
presentation from the ideas developed by the team.
time, we went with wishful thinking rather than
As a participant it was very energising to be reality when determining aspects of what might be
thinking, planning and working together with nine possible. ‘Flight’ mode is not really a good space to
other people, whom all but one, I had met for the have to make substantial long-term decisions that
first time that morning at the team table. We all could lead to the better future we all were seeking.
obviously cared that New Zealand in 2058 was still At the end some of us were left wondering how
going to be a place that we would all enjoy living in. the issues of the first morning presentations were
acknowledged in the strategies presented by the
following lunchtime.


I really appreciated that despite the feeling of The workshop is a very important first step in a
urgency to complete the task on time, Mäori longer more reflective process to find a possible
protocols and practises introduced into the strategy or strategies that could encourage change
programme provided valuable quiet times for re- towards a more sustainable future for New
energising and reflection. It was also useful to have Zealand. The data and thinking that has been
time to sleep on the ideas before having to make gathered in this workshop has the potential to give
final decisions the next morning. a new impetus to this on-going task. I hope that
many of the participants will continue thinking
From first impressions, there were a number of about what is possible and will seek out more
common themes expressed in all the presentations: information and continue to enrich and deepen the
•• a general acknowledgement of the bi-cultural visions and strategies that were developed over the
history of New Zealand and possible ways this two days.
could be reflected in the future;
•• New Zealanders welcome the diversity of
Yvonne Curtis has been active in chemistry tertiary education for
cultures we have here now; over 30 years and has been involved with the New Zealand Futures
•• all are hoping for a prosperous New Zealand for Trust since 1982 as a researcher, a workshop facilitator, a writer for
all, but acknowledge that that must not be at too and editor of Future Times, and at various times has been on the
high an environmental cost; executive and the Board.

•• good relationships and a healthy community

were more important than many material goods;
•• Aotearoa was also accepted in many of the
presentations as an alternative name for New
Zealand in 2058. The Southern Cross was the
one element from the present coat of arms that
appeared in many of the new versions.


StrategyNZ visions: notes on common issues,
striking points and a challenge
Peter Rankin
The visions and strategy maps prepared by the ten Kaitiakitanga; Sustainability
separate groups at the Sustainable Future Institute’s The word kaitiakitanga was used commonly as
StrategyNZ session had many points in common. groups called for: a restored environment; self-
These notes provide a quick summation rather sustaining society; healthy eco-systems; progressive
than a scientific analysis. stewardship of resources.

Community Values Bi-culturalism

Community was emphasised more often than The language, symbols and metaphors used showed
individuality. Values for Aotearoa New Zealand that bi-culturalism was embedded in all the strategies.
included: egalitarian; equality in resource distribution; All but one of the groups used the name Aotearoa
social cohesion; sustainable communities; mauri;1 in place of, or in combination with, New Zealand.
co-operation; community well-being. In addition there was: support for bi-culturalism as
education for tolerance and valuing diversity; calls
Participation to use bi-cultural success to lead the way in diversity;
Strong emphasis was given to the need for a more and developing a post-settlement view of bi/multi-
participatory style of government. Terms used culturalism. All the groups seem to have got to the
included: transparent government; empowered and stage where the language and culture of Mäori is no
connected people; inclusive society; participative longer seen as just another tourism product but as
processes. one of the few unique defining aspects of Aotearoa
New Zealand, compared with all those other places
Gross National Happiness (GNH)
settled by Anglo-Saxons and Celts.
Several called for a GNH index to replace Gross
National Income (GNI); others described Aotearoa Longer-term Thinking
New Zealand as the happiest nation on earth There was, of course at a futures forum, an implicit
emphasising: quality of life; redefining wealth; an call for more future-oriented approaches. Explicit
economy that serves society and environment; a proposals were made for: longer-term thinking
place to live, work, learn and grow. Competition embedded in policy-making; societal leadership
to match the GNI of other countries did not through forward planning; commitment to our
feature despite a common emphasis on prosperity, grandchildren’s health and well-being; an office of
smart business, innovation etc. (see below). Strategic Foresight; a keeper of the long view.
Innovation, Opportunity, Research and Constitutional Reform; Citizen Charter
Development (R&D) There was widespread feeling that current structures
All groups saw Aotearoa New Zealand in the of politics and government militated against longer-
future as a smarter place: a place of opportunity term thinking, with specific calls for: a Citizens’
that values smart business ideas; champions Charter Aotearoa; reform of the constitution; a
innovation; realises the potential of earth and sea; new written constitution; and developing a New
encourages and incentivises research; lifts R&D Zealand Constitution. Most called for a longer, four
expenditure to at least 5% of GDP. or five year term for Parliament.
Global Connectedness; Whakawhanaungatanga Education
Awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand as linked to Education was a core focus, seen as: a key to
a wider world was widespread (interestingly with future development; a smart education system;
no emphasis given to particular parts of the world personalised; innovative; fostering creativity; with
– neither the old links with Europe nor the new a need to invest in people (not farms); in youth;
with Asia). There were calls for bringing the world education that equips people to harness talent;
closer; a borderless world; transcending geographic all will be well educated; a major investment
boundaries; global co-operation; connecting to in our children from birth to adulthood; direct
other communities across the world. government investment into areas with large pay-
offs such as early childhood education and support.

1 mauri – the life force which all objects contain


Health Governments should be expected to assemble and
Health was generally treated more indirectly, examine more information than individual citizens
with many references to healthy outcomes – do, and should be expected to take a broader,
healthy communities, health and well-being of our longer-term view than individuals or special
mokopuna etc. – rather than to health interventions. interest groups. In general that is what the strategy
More specific references focused on pro-active, groups were asking government to do. But the
preventative approaches; incentivising healthy demand for a ‘citizens’ charter’ seems to be driven
choices; tailored health care – right care, time and by a feeling that ‘government’ has not listened to
place; preventative and monitoring health care. the people. This is seen most clearly at the local
level when, e.g. ‘186 submissions were against
Striking Points and only 28 for, but the council supported the
Beyond all the common issues emerging from the 28’! ‘Consultation’ is not a referendum that tells
work of the ten groups, there were some striking elected decision-makers to do what those who were
points worth thinking about and exploring. prepared to make submissions want: it is about
Hospitals Flat lined [Avocado Group] explaining, listening and deciding on the weight
The Avocado group headlined the closure of New of argument and evidence, not simple numbers.
Zealand’s last hospital. Ironically, people also complain about government
doing only what the polls tell it to do, and about
Is that a good idea? What does it imply? How government being driven by focus-groups.
could it happen?
Looking back over successive governments, the
I guess the point they were trying to get across most common fault is the weakness of government
is the ‘future-thinking’ idea that policy should efforts to set out issues, problems and options – to
concentrate on keeping people healthy rather than spread information in a form and place that people
waiting till they get sick to provide remedial care. will access and can digest – and then to explain
In some ways it is a typical public policy problem: the reasoning for the ultimate decision. Those
the rational, cost-effective approach is to promote obligations exist now. A citizen charter might help
good health, but the politics demands a short term if it set out requirements for practical, effective
response to treat sickness. Prevention – the fence at consultation – but one would need to look at what
the top of the cliff – attracts little political support; has happened to previous efforts to do this under
indeed, efforts to promote health by encouraging the Town and Country Planning Act and then the
healthy eating are presented politically as a ‘nanny Resource Management Act. There is a tendency for
state’ interference with freedom. But treatment mandated consultative processes to shift into rituals
– the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff – has that are effectively controlled by interest groups
a strong political force behind it: ‘my father has with the most money.
emphysema and will die if the government does
not provide a place in a hospital with all the latest Net Exporter of Capital [Yellow Group]
technology’. Free public treatment is presented Now that is a radical idea! I do not think it has ever
almost as a ‘right’ regardless of the personal choices occurred in Aotearoa New Zealand’s history since
that might have led to the need for treatment. 1840.

Successive governments have tried to put more And a brilliant idea. The last few Budgets have
resources into preventative health care but keep been focused more on convincing ‘Standard and
running up against pressure to shorten the queues – Poor’ not to downgrade our credit rating than on
even for elective surgery. growing the economy. And this is a long-standing
issue. Much effort when I first joined the Ministry
How can pressure be built for a longer-term of Foreign Affairs in 1965 went into persuading
approach here? London that it could safely lend us more. Our
basic infrastructure (roads, harbours and the main
Citizens’ Charter trunk line) owes quite a lot still to Vogel’s ability
There were several mentions of a charter or some to borrow in the 1880s.
similar re-forming of the relationship between
government and people. In an increasingly global and hi-tech world,
power will reside even more with those who
What is a citizens’ charter? What issues does it have surpluses than with those who have
address? infantry divisions and aircraft carriers. Singapore
understands that. For a small, inter-dependent
Dissatisfaction with government outcomes is often
country, being ‘mortgage free’ may be the first key
not a result of a structural issue, but an information
to freedom.
imbalance – or a misapprehension of citizen power.


How could it happen? That I think is the key. All people, and particularly
young people, need to feel they have a realistic
Those with surpluses include not only countries possibility of achieving something, of discovering,
(China, Saudi Arabia) but also ‘high net-worth developing and enjoying their unique talents. If
individuals’. Do we aim to attract more of their surroundings tell them that the ‘system’
them as migrants (at least part-time, like Hong offers them little chance of a future wider than
Kong millionaires before 1997)? Make savings the dole and the benefit, they will make their
compulsory? Can we manage a transition choice between a depressed resignation or an active
from encouraging foreign investment in our challenge to the ‘system’ – or any bit of it that gets
development to creating domestic savings sufficient in their face.
to take over the role?
If we regard the vision of a less equal future as
And a challenge... realistic, and we want a cohesive, innovative, safe
society with a high GNH that does not think of
Inequality and a Cohesive Society
income as the only measure of success, then we
Several groups, and notably Sir Paul Callaghan in
must work at ensuring that everyone does have
his introductory speech, pointed to the correlation
reasonable opportunity to discover, develop and
between inequality and disruptive violence in
enjoy the use of their talents. And we must work
society. Yet the general thrust of the visions
at presenting role models of success that celebrate
and strategy maps pushes us towards a society
skills rather than monetary wealth – a challenge that
that retains, attracts and rewards innovation
the New Zealand Rugby Union is already facing!
and success. On a broader scale, intelligent
commentators say we will see a trend towards If we are serious about a GNH index, then we
greater inequality spreading and shifting from an also need to focus attention on that rather than
inter-country to an intra-country phenomenon. A setting goals (whether ‘aspirational’ or not) based
dramatic example is the claim that call-centre wages on comparing our per capita national income with
are now the same in the USA and India. other countries. Those people, for whom money
income is the over-riding goal, will leave and go to
So – can we expect to reverse this trend in
places where they have a better chance of mega-
Aotearoa New Zealand? Or do we have to re-focus
salaries and mega-profits. But if we have learnt
on ways of managing inequality?
better how to enable our young people to discover,
The important issue may not be inequality so develop and enjoy their unique talents, we should
much as inequity. have little difficulty in replacing the skills we lose.

People choosing to live on organic life-style blocks The greatest resource we have is not our potential
in the Coromandel may not be driven to violent to grow more grass, or to dig up more coal: it is
protest against the multi-million dollar profits of the unrecognised and under-utilised talents of
successful entrepreneurs. They may feel they did our people.
have a valid choice and remain happy with the one
they made.
Peter Rankin was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Planning
But 16 year old women in Porirua may not feel Council – Te Kaunihera Whakakaupapa mo Aotearoa from 1982
they have the same opportunity to earn a multi- to 1990. Drawing on a degree in Classics (Auckland) and in Public
million dollar salary as the CEO of a state-owned Policy (Harvard), and diverse experience in international relations
enterprise. Indeed with youth unemployment and trade, development assistance, management and farming, he
rising again towards 20%, they may well feel that has been commenting on longer-term issues for Aotearoa New
their end of the decile system does not offer them Zealand since the 1970s.
many options at all.


Reflection on the StrategyNZ workshop
Anthony Cole

My name is Anthony Cole and I am the Kaihautü1 a criticism, but an observation that the cultural
of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, which values and ways honoured in this teaching space
is a small private training establishment located were different to those we are familiar with –
in the city of Palmerston North, New Zealand. different enough to be instantly noticed.
Our centre currently runs a Masters degree2 in
Aotearoatanga – a Mäori cultural approach to the The four-day workshop and think tank was a
bible. This programme of postgraduate learning busy time. We came with a keen desire to learn,
is Government accredited and primarily funded to become actively involved and contribute in
by the Pï hopatanga3. Our Taahuhu Mätauranga whatever way we could to make the event a success
Aotearoa teaching programme currently provides for all participants. To try and make the very best
postgraduate training for Minita-a-iwi4 within the use of this opportunity we also held a class session
Anglican Church of New Zealand. into the evening going back over the teaching of
that day and sharing our collective experiences. We
I am writing this short reflection on the found that the teaching in the two-day workshop
StrategyNZ workshop and think tank. I was session was very engaging, but in our late night
privileged to be able to attend the StrategyNZ sessions we had to work really hard to try and
workshop and think tank with three of my understand just how the ideas presented could be
Masters students, currently enrolled in year 1 of related back to Mäori cultural ideas and values that
the Taahuhu Mätauranga Aotearoa programme. we were more familiar with. Overall, it became
These students are aiming to advance onto future evident to us that this area of learning was of
Doctoral studies and for this reason attendance great importance to the well-being of our people
and involvement in the StrategyNZ workshop and offered quite practical tools, many of which
and think tank provided a practical classroom for we could adopt in our whakatupu mätauranga
what we were studying at the time (Kaitiakitanga).5 (research) and ministry activities. In some cases
This reflection is about our experiences at the we felt that there were areas of learning presented
StrategyNZ workshop. to us where our own cultural perspective and
knowing offered what we felt would have also
The aim of our Taahuhu teaching programme is been helpful approaches to some of the problems
to provide advanced studies where our students being explored. The workshop was engaging and
have an opportunity to explore reality from the we all enjoyed the opportunity to meet and make
reference points provided by a distinctly Mäori friends with so many other people who were
view of the world. It was therefore very interesting concerned about the same future concerns we
for us to step into a social teaching and research had been studying. We really enjoyed talks with
process based on quite a western scientific or Peter Bishop and liked the idea of maybe writing
academic view of the world. This shift in context something providing a synthesis of our ideas and
became evident within the first few minutes of the those of Peter on this subject matter.
two-day workshop that preceded the StrategyNZ
think tank. The classroom session run by Prof. The first morning of the think tank brought an
Peter Bishop was started without a Karakia6 or unexpected change for us – a powhiri7 by the staff at
formal welcome of the visiting teaching (Peter) Te Papa8. For the first time in this StrategyNZ event
– something that would not have been done in a we were suddenly projected back into the familiar
Mäori cultural context of this kind. This is not ways, sounds and knowing of our own culture.

1 Kaihautü – director
2 The Taahuhu Mätauranga Aotearoa (TMAo)
3 The Mäori Bishops within the Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand
4 Minita-a-iwi – those who minister to the needs of iwi members. In New Zealand society, iwi are the largest form of social organisation in Mäori
culture. The word iwi literally means ‘people’ or ‘folk’ and can also imply the existence of a confederation of large social groups. Most Mäori in
pre-European times supported and identified with relatively smaller social groups called hapü (clans) and whänau (an extended family).
5 Kaitiakitanga – guardianship of tangata (whänau, hapü, iwi) and whenua (the natural world)
6 Karakia – may be approximated by the biblical ideas of prayer
7 Powhiri – a formal Mäori cultural welcome ceremony
8 Te Papa – the National Museum of New Zealand /Aotearoa which was our venue for the StrategyNZ workshop


This was a very sacred moment for us as we In conclusion, the StrategyNZ workshop and think
joined our whänau9 in acknowledging the Tangata tank was a wonderful experience for us and we all
Whenua10, the house of meeting (Te Papa), our felt that it was a privilege to be a part of this event
tüpuna Mäori11 and the manuhiri12 in waiata,13 marking such an important milestone in strategic
karakia and whaikorero.14 This made possible a thinking in the contemporary history of our
sense of kotahitanga15 with the other think tank country. As mentioned, this was very new ground
participants that would otherwise have been for us and a cultural context that we are not used
missing from this event for us. to; but this was a positive learning experience and
one that was combined with lots of wonderful new
The think tank was a fascinating journey for us friendships.
with amazing and sometimes shocking discoveries.
On the morning of the first day we sat and As we sat together and reflected on our experiences
listened to quite amazing presentations from very we felt very proud of Wendy and the staff from
distinguished speakers – this was a great honour the Sustainable Future Institute who worked so
for us. We then broke into different teams to start hard to make this event a stunning success and
the strategy development process. This part of hospitable occasion for all of the participants. We
the think tank process was quite a big step for us. also felt privileged that they had gone to so much
We found our Taahuhu röpü16 split up into teams trouble to make it possible for us to attend. We
of other people who for the most part were not were also thankful to have had the privilege to sit
aware of our culture to the same extent that we and listen to the learning and experiences of Prof.
were aware of theirs. Each of us did our best to Peter Bishop.
participate and put forward what we felt would be
helpful suggestions. When comparing experiences Anthony Cole (Kaihautü) on behalf of Ema
(later) we all affirmed that other team members Weepu, Shona Albert Thompson and Ramari
found it quite a challenge to know how to integrate Collin (TMAo students)
our cultural perspectives into the workings of the
group, but that this had been a positive experience.
On the morning of day four, we all watched with Anthony Cole, Te Whare Wānanga o Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa,
great interest the presentations by the different Ngāti Raukawa. Anthony is interested in trans-disciplinary
research, atuatanga and futures modeling and teaching and cross-
teams and felt that overall Mäori culture had been
cultural dialogue.
treated with respect, sincerity and generosity.

Two of our Taahuhu röpü were members of

teams that were chosen to present their strategy
presentations in Parliament. This was a very new
and exciting experience for us and an honour for
our team members.

9 Whänau – family members

10 Tangata Whenua – the local people of the land (in this case the staff of Te Papa and local iwi)
11 Tüpuna Mäori – ancestors
12 Visitors
13 Waiata – song
14 Whaikorero – speech making
15 Kotahitanga – A mental, physical and spiritual oneness
16 Röpü – a group (in this case composed of three Mäori Masters students and their Kaiako (teacher))


Weighing the future
Richard Logan

I really enjoyed being part of the StrategyNZ: gives examples of the various ‘collapse’ and
Mapping our Future workshop in March 2011. ‘descent’ scenarios. It is after all an assumption
I enjoyed in different ways the four days of two that the Sixth Extinction (one caused by humans)
parts. Each part was very different, but very will not include us. For example, what are the
interesting. My only concern was that we got to implications of ocean acidification or nitrogen/
very positive scenarios without really factoring in phosphate cycles? What would New Zealand’s
peak oil/climate change etc. We were very strong resilience be to these and the other issues? Having a
on social values and very light on environmental vision going forward under these scenarios will not
matters. All groups maintained a very positive view be quite as cheery, but is worth another session at
of the future, despite many or most of the speakers another time.
outlining many difficulties now and in the future.
This difference between what the presenters were Overall, the StrategyNZ workshop was very
saying and our positive group visions was further worthwhile, with good presenters and content.
highlighted for me when I purchased and read Dr
Richard Slaughter’s latest book, Biggest Wake Up
Call in History (2010), which he was promoting at Richard Logan works as a Principal Policy Analyst in the Spatial
the workshop. and Infrastructure Strategy Unit of the Auckland Council. Prior
to joining the new Council, Richard worked at North Shore
It paints a very realistic and rather bleak view City Council where he specialised in a wide range of strategic/
going forward with many issues that may not be governance projects.
easily solved. These include issues around climate
change, energy and resource depletion. Slaughter


Personal Reflection
Damian Lawrence

Insights gained from StrategyNZ: Mapping our Constitutional review – thoughts on capacity
Future building and engagement
My greatest insight was the collective power Whilst I fundamentally agree in having
of thought from people with a wide range of representation across all sectors of society in
backgrounds, ethnicities, ages and beliefs. Whilst decision making, unfortunately MMP clearly
this can mean the process takes longer, and there has not worked. This system does not allow
are frustrations along the way, the end result is governments to make long-term strategic (tough)
richer dialogue and thinking. decisions. Instead it encourages decisions that
find a middle ground and ones designed not to
Saying that, what was also insightful was that New upset anyone. The lack of decision on universal
Zealanders typically share similar views of fairness, superannuation entitlement is an example of this.
equality and empathy as a foundation to their beliefs. Whilst clearly unsustainable, no-one is prepared to
Opportunities and obstacles to New Zealand’s long- make tough decisions on this.
term success
I do not suggest FPP should be resumed, however
Anything that celebrates our uniqueness is an
we need to find a system that encourages long-term
opportunity; anything that tries to conform with
strategic decision making. The first step to this is to
the rest of the world (especially Australia!) is
increase the parliamentary term to 5 years.
an obstacle.
The need for a national strategy
Obviously our clean, green image (if retained) is a
Fundamentally, we need a (non-partisan) long-term
competitive advantage, and we need to maximise
strategy. We need to agree to what this would look
and promote our lifestyle.
like after sufficient debate and engagement of all
I see a significant obstacle as the inability of New sectors of society. And we need systems in place to
Zealanders to have constructive public debates. An ensure we stay on track, not compromise the long-
example is welfare reform. Whilst I have a personal term for the short-term, in the pursuit of power.
view on this, the real issue is that we cannot have
The strategy should address the question: what
a mature and informed debate on what is good
type of society do we want our children’s children
for New Zealand, without getting emotive and
to live in?
personal on the issue.
How to initiate change
Personal responsibility is paramount and should The first step is to build a culture of personal
always come before collective responsibility. responsibility and of striving for/celebrating
Unfortunately, I feel New Zealand as a culture success. Equality does not mean that everyone is
has swung too far towards the side of collective equal. It is about everyone having the opportunity
responsibility, people have an expectation that to be the best they can be.
others should provide for them, and this has
created a culture of dependency. Fifty percent We need to take advantage of technology, as this is
of people receiving some form of government reducing the issue of geographical distance.
welfare is clearly unsustainable and fundamentally
Examples could include:
•• Building up New Zealand as an Asia-Pacific
Talent – how do we attract and retain talent? financial hub
•• Promote our lifestyle and the importance of
family. •• Food science
•• We should learn to celebrate individual success, Taking New Zealand to the rest of the world is
not fear it. also an opportunity.
•• We should provide every opportunity possible
to ensure business and entrepreneurship is


Final thoughts
Let us move away from GDP to a happiness index
that recognises success factors other than monetary
drivers, i.e. standard of living, quality of life, lack
of pollution, mental well-being etc. Let us set an
aspiration of being top of the world in this index.

Damian Lawrence has been involved in the financial services

industry for 11 years in a variety of positions ranging from
operations, regulation, strategy and corporate affairs. His passion
with sustainability dates back to his time at Waikato University
studying Environmental Law. He is a patriotic kiwi and has a
particular interest in the social aspects of Sustainability, especially
developing strategies to enable all New Zealanders to reach their
full potential.


Rethinking economic growth
Scott Dalziell

The starting point for this observation is the I believe that particular presentation quite
realisation quite early in the ‘Mapping our Future’ deliberately ignored the pre-occupation with
exercise that one of the basic assumptions for standards of living as currently conceived in terms
most participants was that improved economic of the size of one’s pay-packet. We sought to define
performance was an important theme. There were a future that would be more humanly fulfilling
a number of variant ideas about how this was to because of the attempt to fully utilise human
be addressed, including the emphasis on making capital.
better use of individual intellectual skills (Sir Paul
Callaghan). But all of the contributions made I know that I wholeheartedly participated in the
seemed to assume that the economic system itself development of that plan, in part because I have
would remain largely unchanged. long believed that our present economic model is
both unsustainable and humanly crippling. My
In a world increasingly aware of the finite understanding of the current economic crisis also
resources available for exploitation by human supports my belief that such a change is imperative.
enterprise, that unchallenged assumption is a Most of the reports I am now hearing, about the
fundamental weakness to planning for a sustainable severity of the current crisis and the length of time
future. That weakness was evident again in many the underlying trends have been developing, all
of the group presentations that arose out of the support my belief that a radical change of direction
workshop. And I make that criticism while at the along the lines I have suggested are called for.
same time I acknowledge the wonderful creativity
evident in those efforts. The overall failure to I want to go on and reflect on the input of people
address the unsustainablity of our dominant like Sir Paul Callaghan. I recall with gratitude that
capitalist economic model seriously constrained very small part of his presentation in which he
that creativity. spoke of how satisfying it was for him to work
in the very creative fields of his working life.
Now I want to spend some time addressing what Underlying much of what he had to say was the
was attempted within the yellow group of which I emphasis on developing, to the full, the talent of
was a part. Early in our discussions there emerged individuals to be creative in their involvement
a strong commitment to focusing our strategy plan in society. That needs to be seen as desirable,
around the idea that the major aspect of our plan even more for individual well-being than for the
would be to develop a different culture where the economic benefit of the nation. It is also important
dominant theme would be the quality of individual that we see some of the challenges around climate
development and community interaction that change and sustainable use of natural resources as
occurred. That was expressed in The Listener theme an opportunity to show a greater respect for the
(the country where people throughout the world natural world of which we are only a part.
wanted to live). The ways in which that human
satisfaction theme found expression were clearly The values that I have barely touched on here may
outlined in the development of more involved help to move us away from a pre-occupation with
participation in the political shaping of the future, our national aspirations, away from competition
in the strong statement about leveraging off with other nations over wealth measured in dollars
individual differences to create a richly diverse or material possessions, to wealth measured by
social and enterprise structure. This vision was how we value and seek to enrich each other and
supported by an education structure that enabled the environment in which we live.
people to more actively and creatively participate
in a society which they were able to own as a result
of that participation. Scott Dalziell is a 78 year old member of an intentional
community. This community is focused on living sustainably by
growing as much of their own food as possible and making much
lower demands on our environment, by lowering our energy
needs, fostering local resilience and recycling materials as much as


Competition as a motivator
Roger Dennis

StrategyNZ was a fascinating and valuable process I do not think there is a middle ground here –
on many different levels. However, from my there have been many initiatives to kick start
perspective the most interesting aspect of the thinking about the future of New Zealand (and the
event was the incentive created by introducing a Sustainable Future Institute has catalogued each of
game layer to the workshop process. To put this these dating back to 1936) but most of these have
in context, teams competed on the basis that only walked down the safe path. In order to move the
four of them would be able to present to MPs in dial and engage either a key group of people, or
the Legislative Council Chamber. to engage thousands, a fresh approach is clearly
The result of this was a group of individuals who
were motivated far beyond what you would The world is rapidly changing, and the next few
reasonably expect in this situation. On the first years offer a small window of opportunity for
day some teams were still working at midnight, the government to position New Zealand for the
while others opted to start early in the morning to next fifty years. Whether this is well recognised
prepare for the judging and selection process. remains to be seen, but the imperative is clear and
the outcome will dictate not only how many of
I have now seen the game layer work the next generation of smart Kiwis will leave the
extraordinarily well in two similar situations – the country, but how many will never return.
second being the ‘game’ called Magnetic South
that was run by Landcare Research after the
Christchurch earthquakes to imagine what the city
Roger Dennis is a foresight and innovation consultant based in
could become.
New Zealand. He is part of the core team of Future Agenda, the
In both of these examples the competition element world’s largest open source foresight programme. Roger co-led the
2007 Shell Technology Futures programme for the GameChanger
turns a potentially very dry process into something
team in The Hague. The GameChanger programme was designed
quite powerful with a high level of engagement.
to sponsor innovative ideas in the energy industry and help them
This has implications for how the momentum for move into the marketplace.
StrategyNZ could be carried forward, and I think
there are two possible paths to take:
1. Engage with key influencers and decision-makers
on a small scale in order to convey the strategic
importance of long-term thinking.
2. Engage at a much greater scale across New
Zealand by creating a game that provokes
thought and stirs debate among thousands of


2. Foresight
Opportunities and obstacles to New Zealand’s long-term success

Once an individual, business, city or country has a clear

picture of what it wants to achieve, it must consider
what is happening and may happen in the future. While
vision is about looking inwards, strategic foresight is
about looking outwards; in terms of what is happening
around us (insight), what has got us to this place
(hindsight) and where we might be going (foresight).

The participant responses included in this section have

focused on the opportunities and challenges that New
Zealand will need to address strategically as it works
towards becoming a country ‘where talent wants to live’.


New Zealand sans frontières
Stuart Barson

New Zealand now is a place. I argue that New educate them and be educated by them. We can be
Zealand instead needs to be known as a set of protected by them. We will actually just do many of
values. Our country will be made up of all those the things that citizens of the same physical country
people who share these values, wherever they live do, but we will be spread over the world.
in the world. Being without frontièrs will redefine
what our country is so that we can be the country This is what redefining the notion of country is
we want to be. largely about. Many of the things the government
does for us, and what we do for each other, do not
When we travel overseas we sometimes meet people depend on physical proximity (and this is certainly
we feel a special kinship with. You travel together, only going to become more true).
talk through the night together, share a flat in
London together. They become life-long friends. You are a New Zealander because you share with
other people the set of values that define what it
You may be the same age, you may work in a is to be a New Zealander, not because you share a
similar job, but what you really have in common location.
with them is shared values. And there is no doubt
you share a lot more of these values with them than But it is not some hopeless utopian vision – we
you do with most people in your city or street. need to be pragmatic about the how and why. It
is a big opportunity as the world is a big place.
It is the shared values that define your relationship, We will be more secure because we will have a
not a shared place. And if you have elements of a global-scale Neighbourhood Watch looking out for
shared history, as you do with your neighbours, us. We will be wealthier because our distributed
then these have been forged by a globalised world economy will be more resilient to shocks. And we
– we eat sushi, wear Levis, learn about the Middle will live more sustainably because we will cultivate
East on the BBC. multi-cultural connections with people, not a
mono-culture of grass.
It is probably fair to say your life is better because
you have connected with people with shared values I know it can happen. The German friends I made
who are not here. You have defined your life-long in Portugal are mad about New Zealand. We
relationship with them because of the strength of watched Whale Rider together, they buy things
these values. from our online store. They wear the pounamu I
gave them. And is there a better mark of being a
New Zealand’s future depends on the same thing New Zealander than this?
happening – for all our lives to be better, we must
become a nation of people defined by values, not
by place. In doing this, we will redefine what a Stuart Barson is a business manager at the University of Otago
country is. focused on connecting the University’s research with business,
government and communities. Prior to this, he was an EFL teacher
Place will still be important; there is no doubt a
in Portugal, China and New Zealand, and Private Secretary to
core value of a worldwide New Zealand will be three Ministers of Health in the 1990s.
a strong connection to the land and sea. But does
it have to be in these islands, in the last major
landmass to be settled?

We need to reach out to all those who share our

values wherever they are in the world and tell them
that they too are New Zealanders (I will leave it to
you to decide what those particular values are).

We need to do this because we will be a better

country as a result. We can trade with them. We can


Education for the future – what does it mean?
Rachel Bolstad

The strategy maps generated by participants at the The second interpretation focuses on the future of
StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future event highlighted educational systems and structures themselves, and
education as an important tool for achieving our how (and why) these might need to change from
visions for the future. This was evident in calls to: the systems and structures we have today in order
to better meet the needs of tomorrow. During the
•• ‘Educate our children to be creative, innovative
and adventurous’ (teal group). past few decades there has been substantial national
and international thinking about this,1 and in New
•• Cultivate a nation of ‘skilled future thinkers’ Zealand there have been various developments
(avocado group), and ‘a culture of learning’ geared towards constructing curriculum and
(navy blue group). teaching ‘for the 21st century’.2 But transformative
•• ‘Foster creativity, systems thinking, civics changes within systems as self-stabilising as schools
curriculum, lifelong learning’ (avocado group). or tertiary institutions can be slow and difficult;
some liken it to trying to ‘build the plane while
•• ‘[Design an] education system that fosters
flying it’.3 It is also unclear whether there is yet a
creativity, values, responsibility, is globally
competent and connected’ (plum group). widespread vision for what a truly ‘21st century’
educational system might look like, and how we
The idea that ‘education is for the future’ seems might achieve it.
obvious. However, looking across the phrases from
the strategy maps above, I can see evidence of at A third way of interpreting ideas about education
least three different interpretations of the idea of and the future is to ask how education can prepare
‘education for the future’. I have shown these three learners and communities/society to deal with
interpretations in Figure 1 on a continuum from complex systems-level future challenges. In my
‘most familiar/obvious’ to ‘least familiar/obvious’. view, this way of thinking about education
and the future is the most challenging, the least
The first interpretation is that education prepares familiar to most of us, and as a community and a
learners for their personal futures. We tend to nation, we have not yet clarified how we might
assume that this is more or less what our education proceed. Below, I outline some of the ideas that
system is already set up to do – although how well I think ought to underpin our discussions and
it currently does this, and for how many learners, deliberations about this aspect of ‘education for
is debatable. the future’.

Figure 1 Three ways of interpreting ‘future focus’ in education

1 For example, see Delors, J. (Ed.). (1998). Education for the twenty-first century. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
2 For example, New Zealand schools are exploring many new ideas in The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) that derive
from national and international thinking about the future of education.
3 Hipkins, R. (2010). Reshaping the secondary school curriculum: Building the plane while flying it? Findings from NZCER National Survey of
Secondary Schools 2009. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.


Educating future-thinkers and future-problem- How often do we hear conversations about
solvers education in the public sphere that centre around
It is neither radical nor controversial to suggest how we can design teaching, learning, and
that education ought to help prepare people for a curriculum that might support learners? Not to
life of real-world problem solving. However, it is mention teachers, school leaders and families/
worth considering the nature of the problems that communities – to develop the capabilities they
characterise the 21st century world. Mai Chen put would need to productively engage in these kinds
it well in her address to the StrategyNZ: Mapping of wicked problem-solving? In my experience these
our Future event: kinds of conversations are rare. It is also rare to
hear our national leaders acknowledge the fact that
Life is increasingly ‘Plan B’. We are dealing
there are simply no ‘easy’ solutions to our present-
with a global financial crisis, global warming,
day challenges. So what might need to change in
earthquakes, and tsunamis. There are more
order to have more of these kinds of conversations?
issues, they are bigger, they are more complex,
and they are game-changing.4 Once again, I would like to draw on Mai Chen’s
suggestion. She has argued that it is time for
The term ‘wicked problems’ has been used to
creating a new, richer level of public engagement
describe these kinds of challenges.5 They are
and conversation about shaping public policy.
‘wicked’ because they:
What we need, she argues, is to better understand
•• do not present a clear set of alternative solutions how our everyday lives are connected with, and
– different ‘solutions’ can create or exacerbate impacted by, legislative and policy decisions. In her
other problems. words:
•• tend to be characteristic of deeper problems. We need to be able to talk about these things
•• have redistributive implications for entrenched and understand the impact they have on us ...
interests. what I am saying is that at the ‘ordinary’ end
of every conversation there is perhaps some
•• involve ‘contradictory certitudes’ – that is,
extraordinary stuff behind it, but we need to
different people or groups ‘know’ what the
answer is, but these answers are irreconcilable
make more of these ‘ordinary’ conversations
with one another. enlightened and consciousness-raised ... so [that]
we can achieve better.8
•• tend to be persistent and insoluble: ‘we do not
really solve them, and we are really not looking I would like to see New Zealanders moving from
at optimal solutions – the best outcomes – we are the ‘ordinary’ to the ‘extraordinary’ end of our
just looking for something that will damn well conversations about education and the future. We
work’.6 want our education systems to support the best
for our young people and for our country – but
Wicked problems can not be solved using straight- what will it really take to achieve this? The ideas
forward sequential solutions, partly because they raised at the StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future
span multiple domains: social, economic, political, event are a good beginning. I have offered some
environmental, legal, moral, and ethical. They are additional ideas that I hope can help to take these
systems-level challenges. They are ‘highly complex, conversations even further.
uncertain, and value-laden’.7 They can only be
addressed with ‘clumsy’ solutions, and this involves
bringing together disparate perspectives on the
Rachel Bolstad is a senior researcher at The New Zealand Council
for Educational Research. Her recent work has been on future-
focused education, including education for sustainability and
education for enterprise. She blogs on
and is the co-author (with Jane Gilbert) of Disciplining and drafting
or 21st century education? Rethinking the New Zealand senior
secondary curriculum for the future (2008, NZCER Press).

4 Chen, M. (30 March 2011). Address to StrategyNZ: Mapping our future Workshop. Wellington.
5 Rayner, S. (2006, July). Wicked problems: Clumsy solutions – diagnoses and prescriptions for environmental ills. Jack Beale Memorial Lecture on
Global Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney.
6 Rayner (2006). p.2.
7 Frame, B., & Brown, J. (2008). Developing post-normal technologies for sustainability. Ecological Economics, 65 (2), 225-241.
8 See footnote 4


Introducing New Zealand students to
the world
Michael Moore-Jones
Education is without a doubt crucial to the success What exactly should organisations in New Zealand
of any modern economy. While in New Zealand be doing to encourage a cultural education for
we have a relatively high standard of intellectual young people? They should be investing in young
education – the maths, science, and economics we people to give them the ability to do exchanges to
learn here is relatively the same as what you would other countries. Money is the main barrier to pay
learn in Europe or the USA – we lack on giving a for the flights to get there. They should also work
social, emotional, and cultural education. We are on developing partnerships with schools around
handicapped, like in many areas, because we are the world, such as the United World Colleges.
miles from the rest of the world. We need to be willing to invest the money it takes
to get our youth overseas to gain this cultural,
Let us compare a student growing up in Paris to a emotional, and social education.
student growing up in Wellington. The student in
Paris is inundated every day with different cultures, In addition to physically getting our young people
languages and ways of living, simply within overseas, there is a lot we can do within New
their own city. Because France is surrounded by Zealand from our computer desks. Organisations
many countries, each with different cultures and such as TED and the RSA aim to increase global
languages, the student need only walk down the awareness amongst young people. They both
streets of Paris to gain a cultural education. In create videos that young people can watch from
Wellington, students are not so lucky. We see New anywhere in the world – and they are videos that
Zealand urban culture, and that is it. It gets worse will help our youth to see what it is like on the
than that though – the student in Paris can fly to global scale, and how we can be competitive.
any number of other countries within an hour,
for a tiny cost. This allows them to really become Education is a lot more than just learning maths
more globally-aware than us in New Zealand. The and studying literature. We need to step past the
cheapest place we can fly to is Australia, and by physical barrier that is the ocean and invest in
no means does that give our students a different our country’s future. If we can combine a good
perspective of the world. intellectual education system with Kiwi ingenuity
and a globally-minded view, I have no doubt
New Zealand risks getting left behind as the rest that New Zealand can place itself truly on the
of the world becomes more intercultural. Most international stage.
students in Europe speak at least two languages.
They understand a multitude of different cultures.
These are immense advantages to Europeans Michael Moore-Jones is a 16 year old who has grown up globally.
and Asians, simply because of their geographic He writes for various blogs and publications on technology and
locations. business topics, and is the Founder of a company called ‘They
Don’t Teach You This In School’, which aims to help motivated
Luckily for us, all is not lost. It is simply going to young people learn from the knowledge and experience of leaders
take some work on behalf of the government and and thinkers. His thoughts can be found at his personal blog,
the private sector. There seems to be a mentality
that giving money to young people to travel
abroad and attend conferences is a cost to the
government or the private sector. That is entirely
the wrong way to view it. It should be seen as
an investment in New Zealand’s future, and an
investment that could pay off very handsomely.


Beyond the growth paradigm: ‘What the
industrial economy calls ‘growth’ is really
a form of theft from nature and people.’
– Vandana Shiva
Christian Williams
While I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and What is the alternative? The only mention it
presentations of the various visions for the future, received was a brief comment by Colin James at
I ultimately left with a feeling that none were much the end of his speech in the Legislative Council
different from the themes that have been promoted Chamber. It is a steady-state economy, one where
over the decades past. Sadly, I also have personal both population and economy do not grow for
doubts as to whether any of the visions could truly growth’s sake. Some things can grow indefinitely
be considered as ‘sustainable futures’, when global in a steady-state economy. The cultural resources,
ecological limits and global distributive justice social bonds, human knowledge, moral philosophy
theories are taken into consideration. Regarding and all those non-material aspects of human
the first point, humanity’s ecological footprint is development for which we often seem to have too
now 50% above the global sustainable capacity. little time for. Our productivity may be well below
Regarding the second point, a vast majority of that that of Australia and America, but it is well above
biocapacity is appropriated by a small minority of what it was half a century ago. Instead of taking
the world’s population, leaving billions of people these gains in productivity as endlessly rising
in poverty. Although it seems hardly recognised, consumption – a disposable society of planned
New Zealand is among that elite minority, and obsolescence – we should be increasingly rich in
also produces an ecological footprint (per capita) leisure. Yet we work the same hours as Samuel
more than twice of our fair share. Despite this, an Parnell demanded when he arrived in Wellington
obsession over the need to catch up with Australia in 1840. A shorter working week would reduce
and other ‘more developed’ countries pervades the or maintain our aggregate material wealth but
discussions on our future. would provide more time for human development
– time with family, time for learning, time for
This is the growth paradigm that now grips the healthy living, time for enjoying our ‘100%
world; a short-term race to maximise economic pure’ environment. These are our real sources of
growth and stay ahead of our competitors, based wealth, and if we were not blinded by the lights
on the assumption that there is no limit, and that of economic growth, we could easily see that we
the more we grow, the better life will be. From can be the richest people in the world, living in
memory, every vision for the future presented the richest country. A non-growing economy is
at the workshop either explicitly or implicitly the only sustainable future that I can imagine. The
outlined measures that would maximise our transition is urgently needed.
rate of growth and push us towards the top of
the economic ladder. The debate is focused on
sustained growth rather than a sustainable future. Christian is a 30 year old Wellingtonian currently living in
This worldview is about maximising our share of Sweden. He has just completed a thesis for a master's in sustainable
the pie (already unfairly shared), and fails to realise development, in which he investigated the implications of the
that the pie we fight over is produced mostly with working week on our society, economy and environment, based
the use of limited, non-renewable resources. It is on a case study of New Zealand. He is convinced of the benefits of
thus a race not only to apportion a larger share a shorter working week, of the need for government to be actively
from the present, but also to wastefully take from supporting it, and also of the need for developed economies to
future generations, leaving them to shoulder the look beyond economic growth.
costs of our ecological debt.


Enough is enough
Debbie Dawson

I attended the StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future recommending that we ‘spend our way out of
workshop held in March 2011 co-ordinated by the recession’? This focus on consumerism and the
Sustainable Future Institute. Participants in Peter ‘worship of the dollar’ has a negative impact on
Bishop’s two-day course at the beginning of this our physical environments and our own bodies.
week were given the opportunity to develop scenarios Both processes result in ‘rubbish’ – one means that
of importance to the future of New Zealand. I more useless stuff will end up in our landfills and
nominated health and well-being and was surprised the other is the excess rubbish we ingest will lead to
that this topic was not among those taken up for illness and inactivity that will soak up millions of
further exploration. The following notes reflect my dollars of taxpayers’ money diverted to treatments
personal thoughts about an issue I believe to be of for ailments that could easily be avoided.
great importance to our future in New Zealand.
It is time to redefine ‘healthy’ for New Zealand.
In a prosperous country such as New Zealand whose It is important to avoid the trap the Americans
primary produce is of acclaimed quality, it is both an have fallen into by thinking that the solution is a
irony and tragedy that we are among the leaders in medical one. They have lobbied strongly to ensure
the world for the rates of bowel cancer and diabetes. that everyone has access to health insurance but
Recent newspaper articles1 refer to a study published this approach and assigning funding to short-term
in the international medical journal the Lancet, mechanical solutions such as stomach stapling will
where, among high-income countries, New Zealand do nothing to eliminate the cause. That is simply
is reported to have the fourth highest-rate of diabetes treating the symptoms and the problem will just
with an estimated 10 percent prevalence. Obesity continue to grow. Surely the best outcome would
caused by an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and over- be for people not to get sick in the first place and
consumption of cheaply produced carbohydrates have a better quality of life in the process.
with limited nutritional value is the main culprit.
This issue has the potential to bankrupt not only New Zealand has the potential to be a world
individual families who will struggle to meet the costs leader in nutrition. Unfortunately the quality of
of treatment but also to bankrupt the country and our education in this area is compromised by the
totally monopolise the ‘health’ system and deplete discovery that many of nutritional graduates can
health funding. This is not a sustainable future for only find employment with the multi-nationals,
New Zealand. The 2006/07 NZ Health Survey found peddling expensive sugary and nutritionally
that one in five children are overweight2 and it is well compromised products such as breakfast cereals.
accepted that those who are overweight during their We often lament how small we are and far away
childhood are more likely to be overweight as adults, from the rest of the world yet we can use that to
committing us to an unhealthy future. This is an our advantage to mobilise and effect change which
issue of personal sustainability which is inextricably is often more achievable in a smaller environment.
linked to our sustainability as a country. We need to extend our efforts around achieving
a ‘clean, green environment’ to our own bodies.
It is time for a rethink. Clearly the time-worn and Remember how people used to say ‘New Zealand
knee-jerk response to assign responsibility for the is a great place to bring up kids’? Well I would
cure to the ever increasing burden of our educators like us to make worldwide headlines for being the
is not working. And while the government healthiest and most active population on the globe
might write worthy policy and fund health rather than the biggest and most slothful.
education through schools, ‘health’ institutions
and community agencies, which are all very well-
intended, their impact is often undermined by other Debbie Dawson is a self-employed consultant based in
government policies. For instance our economic Christchurch who works with a range of organisations in the area
prosperity seems to be linked to consumption of strategic planning, governance and leadership development. She
and driven by consumerism. How often do we has held senior management positions in local government and
hear politicians and economic commentators retains a keen interest in community issues.

1 Call for strategy on soaring diabetes by Kate Newton, Dominion Post, 27 June 2011 & Wellingtonians fatter, happier and poorer by Katie
Chapman, Dominion Post, 28 June 2011.


Balancing opportunities and obstacles
Maria Ioannou

1. Trade-offs 2. Consensus building

Coming away from the StrategyNZ workshop I People from different parts of New Zealand
was, and continue to be, struck by the startling society need time to get used to each other, and
truth that no one wanted to talk about the trade- each other’s agendas, in order to be able to have
offs that may be necessary to get us to where we real discussion where they can feel free to think
want to go. We, workshop participants, were aloud. It takes time to build towards consensus
happy to talk about our visions of 50 years hence – views, and then to work towards any shared
of beautiful, fairytale days where our environment vision that develops. It is important that different
is pristine, where only the talented and young live, stakeholders in the country’s future are drawn
and where our economy was booming. But we are together on a regular basis to look at the full raft
all always much more comfortable talking about of issues, much like the StrategyNZ workshop
a long-term, far-off vision than about what hard started to do. This gives people a forum to debate
choices, what compromises, might have to be made not only the things they feel passionately about but
to get there. also those that are less close to their hearts, which
is very useful for building rapport in less intense
As an example, the causes and impacts of climate situations.
change were an inevitable hot topic at the
workshop and there appeared to be a consensus You can do some things to fast-track the process –
opinion that New Zealand should become a the building of trust, a shared vision and an action
happy, low-carbon country. So it was in principle plan to get there – when you need to. In Europe,
agreed that we need, somehow, to cut emissions the European Commission (EC) introduced a new
fairly quickly. In New Zealand, the main source strand to interregional projects (those between
of carbon emissions results from a heavy reliance different regions in the different European Union
on personal car use and road freight. I showed my Member States) – ‘fast-track networks’.2 These were
group the spending priorities of the New Zealand unusually short projects, by EC standards, just two
Transport Agency for the next three years1 – years in length, and requested that networks were
for the year 2010/11, just 0.4% of the current formed between older Member States, experienced
approved programme spend ($10.8m) is allocated in certain issues, and newer Member States, which
to provision and maintenance of walking and wished to learn quickly. At the end of the two-
cycling facilities compared to 88.1% ($2,191m) for year period, action plans had been developed for
road provision, improvements and maintenance, each region and relationships established to help
of public transport work. However, to challenge implement these in the near future.
this status quo for transport investment seemed
to be unthinkable for my group. It was not that 3. Youth
we did not want cars, but that we apparently It was evident from the StrategyNZ workshop
wanted magic cars that did not pollute. Of course, that young people are crucial to discussions
there is a possibility that electric cars will become regarding a forward plan. However, it should
increasingly viable but this is not the case today be clear to all that the burden of the challenges
and even electric cars will demand huge amounts faced at this point in time, and those that we are
of energy, albeit electric, to work. This electricity anticipating in the future, is not placed solely on
will have to come from somewhere, and in a world their shoulders. Young people should be part
which is struggling to slow the use of fossil fuels of things, a voice at the table, and not a special
to meet current electricity demand, it seems to me bolt-on element or used as an excuse to opt out of
that we need to actually think about changing how tackling hard problems. For example, the current
we live in significant ways. We need to invest in trend of older people, governments, academics, and
public and active transport, but how will we do businesses abdicating responsibility for tackling the
this if we cannot talk about it, or it is seen to be climate change and environmental issues we are
too untouchable an issue? faced with. It seems to have become de rigueur for

1 Current National Land Transport Programme snapshot (May 2011), available at
2 European Commission. Regional Policies: Regions for Economic Change, available at


everyone to suggest that it is the young who must with each hesitation of Government and each time
address these challenges and deploy solutions. This a politician spells out the wish for New Zealand
not only puts a huge stressor on our young people, to pursue the Australian economic dream;
but also misses the point of a society and the need •• a clear brand to develop a long-term strategy
for a society to fix what is broken. around – ‘100% pure’ is such a bold, unique
message that should not be lost but rather lived
Everyone has something to offer and a part to
up to;
play. At each age, and in different roles, we have
different priorities and different flaws. Perhaps •• internet connections to the rest of the world
the young lack realism and sometimes react too – the rise of the internet has given New Zealand
quickly to passionate emotions, and maybe the a connectedness and attractiveness that did not
old are sometimes too adhered to the usual way of exist before. New Zealand can now interact with
doing things to really see the potential for doing other countries on a level playing field, it can
access global best-practice, and talented people
something different. But together we can moderate
need not leave, and some others may come, as
our flaws and make use of our qualities.
the weighing up of quality of life versus
Opportunities and obstacles to New Zealand’s professional success does not rule out New
long-term success Zealand anymore;
New Zealand is, even in a climate-challenged •• a high quality of life – the traditional economic
world, a country full of opportunity. I see the key indicators would suggest that New Zealanders
opportunities as: have a lower quality of life than say Australians.
But times are changing and the indicators need
•• geographical isolation – New Zealand is in an
to catch up. Someday soon having unpolluted
enviable position at a time when borders and
river systems, empty beaches and landscapes
border control (both for people and for invasive
uncluttered by industrial or residential
species, for disease, and for conflict) are
developments will be very high on the list when
increasingly tense issues around the world;
looking at quality of life. New Zealand should
•• a good natural environment – although New protect its quality of life for this future; and,
Zealand is facing many environmental issues (and
•• an increasingly strong bi-cultural framework
is inarguably not living up to its ‘100% pure’
– the blending of Mäori and Päkehä ideas,
branding), it is a country that still has the potential
decision-making methods, and ways of living is a
to restore, protect and conserve its natural
strength that New Zealand should continue to
environment and resources, something that the
play to. The unique context of New Zealand
majority of other countries can no longer do;
offers helpful perspectives and multi-layered
•• a low population – growing up in the ways to address challenges.
overcrowded chaos of London in the UK and
examining the issues arising from the rapid There are, of course, obstacles:
increases in global population as part of my •• pushing and subsidising low-wage,
work, it is clear that New Zealand is in a good environmentally harmful industries – e.g.
position with low population numbers and tourism, agriculture, lignite mining;
should be planning and working hard to
maintain these; •• persistent pursuit of low-value added exports
– New Zealand could be selling renewable
•• renewables potential – New Zealand already energy technology to China today but instead
has a large proportion of its electricity generated we are mostly exporting milk powder. The
using renewable resources and, though these do government should focus on boosting high-
have their own issues that need to be thought value-added sectors, and building an innovation
and talked through with all stakeholders, it is and knowledge-based economy, rather than
feasible that New Zealand could have 100% selling off its self-reliance;
renewable electricity in the near future;
•• reluctance to engage and utilise global best
•• the power to take brave decisions – from the practice – I have found that much of the best
success of the Manapouri Dam petition to the practice that has been exchanged and
decision to end logging in the West Coast’s implemented elsewhere in the world is ignored in
beech forests, New Zealand has a history of New Zealand, which seems to prefer to look to
making bold and forward-thinking decisions that Australia (a very different context!) instead of to
have made it a world leader on some issues. This countries more similar to New Zealand in terms
legacy could be strengthened and continued, and of resources, environment and challenges faced;
New Zealand could lead the world towards a
low-carbon economy. It is a huge opportunity but •• stubborn and short-sighted continuation of fossil
one that is quickly sliding away from New Zealand fuel addiction, and a refusal to be energy efficient;


•• lack of imagination – brilliant things have Encouraging debate amongst all stakeholders/
happened in New Zealand (for example, Weta) public towards a consensus view of the future –
and yet somehow the focus seems to be on this is more than just visioning, it is about setting
maintaining the status quo; up strong networks and relationships that will
•• dream to be like Australia – i.e. focused on hold when it comes to making difficult decisions
short-term economic wealth at the expense of and finding the best way forward. Sometimes this
long-term environmental and societal health; will be about compromises, but sometimes it will
not. Sometimes it will be about getting everyone to
•• a reluctance to reallocate long-established
agree on a certain path so they can then take action
budgets to meet new challenges effectively
to make it happen.
– e.g. road transport spending rather than public
transport investments; Changing the parliamentary term
•• poor school-finishing rate – this is a serious Whilst the idea of a longer parliamentary term can
problem, especially for a country that loses seem very attractive, there are powerful democracy
many of its brightest and best to overseas; and issues around longer terms. Longer terms can lead
to bad feeling – e.g. when politicians stretch out
•• poor progression possibilities for
their term of office to the maximum extent to
push through unpopular legislation. My personal
Talent – how do we attract and retain talent? feeling is that there should be another body, with
Why would talent come and stay in New Zealand? some budgetary power, that holds the long view
For the amazing life and low population, beautiful in New Zealand, and that this body should also be
environment, freedoms, not for the cities and accountable and in touch with what is happening
culture and political thought. Post-immigration at the cutting edge, to work on putting New
view – the low population of New Zealand Zealand ahead of the rest of the world.
is a huge plus in today’s overcrowded world.
Berl projects the university sector will need to The need for a national strategy
consistently attract between 560 and 920 academic It would be good to get an agreed vision of some
staff each year to resource our universities to the sort in place – but this needs to be done through
year 2020.3 consensus building work with all stakeholders,
then there is something to work towards. It was
Constitutional review – thoughts on capacity very interesting that at the futures workshop, all
building and engagement the groups basically wanted the same thing but no-
To get an interested and engaged public, you need one wanted to really make the hard decisions and
to present things to them in an accessible way. The examine the trade-offs necessary to get there.
public of New Zealand does try to get involved
(think of those involved in all sorts of clubs/ Any national strategy will be a constantly
volunteering etc.) but are sometimes exhausted evolving, alive creature, and this would be its
by the process, e.g. Resource Management Act/ beauty. As new challenges appear and as solutions
Environment Court process. to older ones are found, as new key stakeholders
emerge, the strategy will be adapted and modified
There are a number of things that put the public to be fit for purpose. The value will be in the
off engaging with government at all levels. Two process of its evolution, as different parts of New
things that come to mind are: the discrepancies Zealand’s society are bought together to find
between policy and budgetary spend; and, common ground and to be allowed to dream.
unfairness and distrust as a result of prior decisions
and the protection of special interests. I would say How to initiate change
here what I say to every government around the New Zealand should take note of its legacy of bold
world – special interest lobbying needs to come to and brave decisions and look at where it wants to
an end. be in ten or twenty years’ time. As a country, at
all government levels and across different strands
of government, New Zealand should learn from
global best practice, rather than looking only to
Australia, fast-tracking, and in some cases leap-
frogging, its way to a low-carbon world. Basically,
New Zealand should be brave and innovative and
not try to be like everyone, or anyone else.

3 Berl economics. Academic Workforce Planning Towards 2020 – Berl media release (2 February 2011), available at


Scenarios you have worked on and/or would like to New Zealand, sadly like the rest of the world,
see developed refuses to look forward with eyes open. This is
My group at StrategyNZ got through to the why last week I went to a conference on the energy
presentations in the Legislative Council Chamber. future of New Zealand and had to listen for more
Whilst unfortunately the presentation of our hard than half an hour to the greedy ramblings of a coal-
work did not completely do justice to the strategy hungry industry executive about what Southland’s
we had developed, the main ideas were embodied lignite reserves could bring in for New Zealand if
in our summary in the booklet produced just they were dug up and exported. New Zealand has
beforehand. The key idea was to redefine ‘health,’ an amazing chance to take pioneering decisions
‘wealth’ and ‘wisdom’ and I still think this is a on becoming low-carbon, to export high-end
useful way to develop a plan for New Zealand technology and advice, and to attract and retain
going forward. those who want to live in a very different world.

It is critical that New Zealand starts to take real I have been thinking a lot, especially working in
steps toward developing a low-carbon economy the university environment, that there needs to be
(exploitation of lignite reserves or of offshore oil a real strengthening of the link between the public
should be an absolute no-go area), before it gets left sector (civil service and local councils), academia,
behind by other countries with more forethought the public generally, and business. One way I have
and more innovative spirit. seen work well, in the South West of England, was
where the regional development agency set up a
Weak signals and wildcards regional ‘Panels of Economists’. Which consisted
Wildcard: lead on transition to a low-carbon world of economics professors from the region’s
Weak signals: hi-tech sectors, and high-talent universities meeting every two months with the
sectors rather than low-value-added ‘foundations’ region’s key policy makers to a) raise issues that
of the economy (farming, tourism etc.) they were thinking about and b) answer questions
posed by the policy makers about challenges they
The need for forward engagement were facing.
It is good to look ahead, to know what you are
aiming for, but what is critical is actually making
use of that when making decisions now. For Maria Ioannou is currently working on energy policy at the
example, with regards to reliance on car transport University of Otago, and co-ordinates the Energy Cultures project.
and road freight – China IS looking ahead, Maria has substantial public policy experience in the UK and
spending vast sums on putting in place a cross- Europe, with a strong focus in recent years on the transition to a
low-carbon economy and European cohesion. She holds a degree
country rail system.4 But New Zealand, which
in Physics from Imperial College and an MSc in Urban Design and
HAD a rail network, continues to spend its limited
Social Science from the London School of Economics.
funds on roads not rail.

4 China Daily. China to spend $1.3t on new rail, road infrastructure (19 February 2011), available at


To kill or not to kill the goose that lays the
golden eggs
Heike Schiele
‘Democracies are very good at responding to crisis, The cost of water treatment for human
but less good at preventing them as this would consumption has quadrupled in the last five
frequently require asking people to give something years. The recent E-coli outbreak has caused 1271
up’. This is just one of many ‘common sense’ deaths in less than 2 months and an end of the
statements Peter Bishop made during his two day epidemic is not yet in sight. Due to contractual
Future Studies course (Wellington March 2011). obligations entered in the 2030s to export two
thirds of the available rainwater harvested in
Crisis management around the Christchurch the former Fiordland National Park area, the
earthquake was immediate, time was seen to be of country will now have to further increase its costly
the essence and funds were pledged readily. At the Antarctic iceberg harvesting programme to supply
same time there appears to be far less appetite to its population with safe drinking water. The
prevent a slowly building crisis around freshwater cumulative impact of these events will cause a 20%
in the country. On average there is plenty of water reduction in GDP in this year alone. The Credit
in New Zealand and on average it is of a good Rating of the country has just been reduced to a
quality compared with other countries. But averages triple C- rating by the international rating agencies,
contain both the very good and the very ugly. making it virtually impossible to raise any funds
for the restoration of its once splendid waterways.
There is no substitute for water – and while this
country is still enjoying its abundance, freshwater 2058 – Scenario II – A note in the Times Online
around the world is rapidly turning into the Magazine
new ‘blue’ gold as countries run out of sufficient For the 3rd year in a row New Zealand has been
quantities of clean freshwater to meet the demands ranked as number 1 in the global ‘Quality of Life’
of their populations. The Honourable Nick Smith, awards. The almost perfect scores in water quality
Minister for the Environment, in a recent speech underline the country’s commitment to responsible
(22 June 2011) at Foxton, made the point that resource management. The gradual restoration of
New Zealand’s wealth potential stemming from waterways including wetlands has been achieved
freshwater can be compared to that from mining in while maintaining or in some areas even slightly
Australia or oil in Saudi Arabia. increasing agricultural output compared to 2015
levels. The quality and diversity of New Zealand’s
New Zealand’s waterways (rivers, lakes, wetlands
agricultural produce is recognised globally and
and aquifers) are the goose that lays the (blue)
is attracting a high premium. Animal health and
golden eggs. What is the future of our goose going
welfare are outstanding. The more ‘crop per drop’
to be? ‘We cannot predict the future, but we can
programme has led to higher yields. At the same
describe a range of futures; and if we can see futures
time riparian planting, the gradual conversion
we can also work towards making them happen’ –
of highly erodible hill country from pasture to
another one of Peter’s quotes.
forestry and the establishment of shelter belts in
2058 – Scenario I – A note in the Times the lowlands have contributed to significant soil
Online Magazine improvements.
After the collapse of the tourist industry in the
The restoration of waterways had other positive
2040s as a result of an increase in water borne
flow on effects. A strong correlation between the
diseases, diminishing recreational value of its
health of the environment and the health of the
once splendid green, clean, environment, New
population has manifested itself over the last 15
Zealand is now seeing the rapid demise of its
years, leading to a gradual cost reduction in the
agricultural industries. Following in the wake of
public health sector.
Canterbury, Southland and Otago, the Waikato
and the Manawatü regions have also recently been The departure from mass tourism to a targeted
experiencing major stock losses due to polluted high end clientele has taken further pressure off the
waterways. Commodity prices have fallen below country’s natural resources while creating a range
average due to unreliable supply and quality issues of new positions and related income streams in
with New Zealand produce. the service industry. More and more highly skilled
people choose to live in the country and contribute


to an increasing diversification into environmental
consulting, research, innovative technologies and
entertainment industries.

Thanks to the government’s enlightened approach

to investing funds generated from its freshwater
resources in to education and labour market
development, the income gap (GNI coefficient) is
at an all time low and the happiness index highest
in the world.

Heike Schiele’s international business career in supply chain

management led her to Patagonia where she became acutely
aware of the global challenges around freshwater management.
The realisation that people are seriously considering exploiting
Antarctica for its icebergs to supplement dwindling drinking
water supplies, prompted her to embark on a PhD in Ecological
Economics and Integrated Freshwater Management.


How to attract and retain talent:
a youth perspective
Krystal Gibbens
As a member of New Zealand’s youth, one of With this in mind, I am sure you will agree with
the things I think about is my future. Where am me that our niche needs to be something else, not
I going? What am I going to do? And how am I just inspiring, but something that calls to talent,
going to get there? Involved in these questions is something that talent seeks. To help us figure this
not only; what career will I follow? And will I out, we need to also decide what kind of talent
have a partner and kids? There is also the major we want. What is talent? Who has the talent New
question of where will I live? By this I do not just Zealand wants? And how will this talent help New
mean where in New Zealand? I mean where in the Zealand. Realistically to grow as a country we need
world? As a talented member of our youth I do talent that can generate jobs, income and increase
not want to waste my talent here in New Zealand, our real GDP. Economically related, also consider
places like New York City and Los Angeles are that we are a small country and economically
far more attractive options. I do not even want to we cannot drastically grow overnight; supply
stay here for University if I get into a big name would fall greatly short of demand. Therefore also
University like Harvard or Yale. So with bigger consider, how can New Zealand attract talent with
and better opportunities being offered overseas, its current resources? We are the family country
how does New Zealand keeps its talent? Let us face and many middle class citizens with families
it; the likes of Peter Jackson and Rachel Hunter come to New Zealand seeking this and some
only come home for a visits and toss a bit of the are transferred. If New Zealand had more New
bread our way. They have more money, more Zealand owned companies, both in New Zealand
facilities and more opportunity elsewhere. The key and overseas, we could have the underappreciated
to keeping the talent is to find a niche for the talent middle sector start coming to New Zealand with
to fall into. LA is the city of film, New York is the jobs and we could utilise this talent.
city of music, Paris is the city of fashion and on it
goes. What is New Zealand’s niche? To succeed, we Rome was not built in a day and neither will New
need to find this niche. Zealand be. Slow expansion and letting the world
know who we are and what we stand for is what
New Zealand is a unique country with unique we need to aim for first. Currently a lot of people
things to offer, a muse for talent to be inspired by. think we are Australia, such as when the UK Daily
However the question we need to ask ourselves is; Mail had a picture of Katy Perry jumping off the
what is our unique niche market? I am sure many Auckland Harbour Bridge in Australia. I think we
minds will leap to tourism based ideas; after all all know it was New Zealand. So tell the world
we have beautiful sites and rich culture. However that New Zealand is not a state of Australia and
other countries have this too and if you consider then may the world be our oyster!
that currently that is what we offer and our GDP
per capita is one of the lowest, yet we are one
of the hardest working countries in the Western Krystal Gibbens is a Wellington Girls' College student. She is
world. interested in science, English, media studies and economics; as
well as performing arts, music and photography. She was selected
by her college to attend StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future.


Productive diversity – learning to relate
Sue Hanrahan

When people migrate, they tend to the immediate Our way of doing business is not universal.
and obvious issues such as housing, schooling, Learning to relate across cultures is a key
and banking. Little attention is given to the more ingredient in employment and client relationships.
subtle issues that will make or break the settlement It is not a skill that comes naturally. It requires
process, that is, the ability to relate and adapt to a a curiosity to examine difference without
new cultural environment. fear, and the skills to communicate so that
misunderstandings are avoided and the migrants
For the migrant, this will be a personal challenge
come to participate fully in their new community
because in this new environment the way that
to the satisfaction of all.
locals eat, work, laugh, play or raise their families
may be unfamiliar. Learning how things are done Imagine a New Zealand that is acknowledged for
in the new country, and having a willingness to its ability to trade in a multicultural environment
adapt, enables migrants to successfully make the because we:
transition to their new home.
•• clearly understand and communicate the
Migrants should not expect to do the adapting on economic benefits of being able to relate across
their own. New Zealand employers signal their cultures;
need to import skills to supplement the domestic •• set an expectation that people in business equip
workforce. The employers therefore have a role themselves with these skills because they are key
in helping the migrant and their families through to our economic success;
the settlement process. A swift transition to
•• provide learning resources to communities and
the new workplace will reduce the lead time to
organizations of all sizes; and
productivity. OMEGA1 does this well by offering
mentoring and internships so that migrants can •• apply these skills to build markets, increase
relate to their profession in a new environment and productivity and draw innovation from
understand how we work at work. diversity.
Skilled migrants can do more than plug the gaps in
our domestic workforce. Employers would do well
Sue Hanrahan has a background in training and development. As
to relate to the experience that skilled migrants
establishment manager for the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural
have acquired in their countries of origin. How can Research (Victoria University of Wellington) she developed an
these specialist skills, international experience and interest in the productive integration of skilled migrants into the
cultural contacts promote their business locally or workforce. She works in association with iglobal coaching ltd,
develop markets off-shore? promoting the economic benefits of diversity and developing

1 OMEGA Opportunities for Migrant Employment in Greater Auckland


Politics as if the future mattered
Phil Tate

The StrategyNZ event promised a unique some to become fearful, whether it be with respect
environment to engage on the core questions to their immediate economic circumstance or
relevant to the New Zealand of tomorrow. longer-term impacts of the changing World. The
It delivered on that promise through some temptation to shoot the messenger as a way of
outstanding delegates and speakers. I was coping with fear becomes compelling for some,
particularly struck by the similar descriptions of a but has the unfortunate side-effect of undermining
sustainable vision for the country and the actions discussions of solutions. A cursory glance at the
required to achieve a future that all citizens could letters to the editor gives ample evidence of this in
engage in and find a place. action.

This singularity was partly a product of the This phenomena is politically well understood,
pressured workshop exercise, but the time- especially by representatives who owe their
constrained environment merely highlighted the position to continued electoral support. The
core issue with startling simplicity. That New consequence is a national debate focused on re-
Zealand stands at the beginning of the 21st century creating the perceived successes of yesterday rather
facing a set of challenges which demand innovative than defining a radical vision for tomorrow. How
thinking and a mature appraisal of the necessary else can we explain the narrow cross-party mantra
hard decisions. We know that last century’s model of achieving GDP per capita parity with Australia,
of increasing our financial wealth at the expense of whilst at the same time neglecting to define a
our social and environmental capital is no longer tangible, aspirational vision of what a New Zealand
tenable, but then neither are our consumption of 2030 could look like, and the steps proposed to
patterns without the economic underpinnings our achieve it?
commodity industries provide. Typically this is
where the thinking sticks, locked in the intellectual Too often we heap opprobrium on politicians
purgatory of two seemingly irreconcilable for their perceived failures in this respect, whilst
perspectives. overlooking our own role in creating the political
framework in which they act. We therefore have,
So where to from here? A question many delegates as citizens, a twofold role to play in building a
posed as the conference drew to a close. New Zealand fit for the challenges of tomorrow.

This debate has been for the majority of society One is to continue with the passion and insight so
a reasonably academic exercise until recently. frequently displayed at the conference to address
The respective protagonists are observed, but life the challenges and opportunities in our local
for most is not impacted in any meaningful way. spheres of influence. A second task however, and
However, a couple of rather challenging aspects are one that we perhaps neglect, is to engage within
now emerging to undermine this neutral position. the process to build a political framework for
The first is the financial crisis with its attendant effective dialogue which will take this remarkable
local pain and spectre of long-term economic country to the next level. Thomas Jefferson noted
malaise, despite commentators’ desperate search that ‘every generation needs a revolution’ and
for silver linings. This constant quest is perhaps in certainly we are now many generations overdue in
part to avoid the fundamental questions raised by revolutionising our collective thinking.
an ongoing no/low growth economy. The second
is the recognition that earth's ability to sustain The upcoming Constitutional Review provides us
a burgeoning global population has been truly an opportunity to consider living up to Jefferson’s
exceeded and that the behaviour of commodity challenge to improve the foundations of political
markets, most notably oil, are reflecting this cold engagement to enable us to develop as a sustainable
reality. nation. Whether it be the length of parliamentary
term (frequently a topic of comment at the event),
Confronted with these interlinked trends it seems or the representation of minorities, there are
self-evident that we need to change our behaviour, many areas of our political landscape that warrant
but unfortunately it is perhaps the hardest change considered reflection.
for us to make. There is a natural tendency for


Perhaps if we can bring something of the energy
and intellect displayed at StrategyNZ to this task
we may indeed set the course to achieve the more
aspirational goals presented at the last evening in
the Legislative Council Chamber.

Phil Tate is an independent strategic consultant with He is focused on working with organisations to
develop effective strategies to address the impacts of future trends,
particularly sustainability and resource use. His perspective is
based on a varied commercial career spanning manufacturing,
technology, financial services and wholesale distribution.


‘Terrible tragedy of the south seas.
Three million people trapped alive’
– Thomas Jefferson Scott
Dr. Sue Peoples
New Zealand’s isolation is both its curse and its should do. Alas, it is these archaic views that are
blessing. Vast areas of untouched splendour appear retarding New Zealand’s future and that is what
unchanged as processes of globalisation have StrategyNZ highlighted we need to change.
produced tides of urbanisation which progressively
engulf other western nations. Unfortunately, In 2008 the World Bank found that, indeed,
our isolation has also meant that as a nation, our investment in peasants was among the most
capacity to engage with narratives of change to efficient and effective ways of elevating people out
achieve future sustainability has been reduced. of poverty. Take out the word ‘peasant’, and that
Furthermore, notions of independence and is essentially what many New Zealanders think
self-reliance, introduced and embedded into our our government should do – invest in our farming
cultural values by Victorian England emigrants, sector and that will mean our future is assured.
have been retained, no more so than in rural New Unfortunately, we would also be guaranteed of a
Zealand, thus restricting our capacity to look third world status, albeit, one with some very nice
externally for change. rugby stadiums, whilst the rest of the capitalised
world worked together to reach levels of prosperity
Since the early pastoralists colonised the South that are sustainable though to the next millennium.
Island in the 1850s, agriculture has been the
mainstay of New Zealand’s economy, though we StrategyNZ highlighted that agriculture is not
no longer live off the sheep’s back, the dairy cow New Zealand’s future. The initial key note
has taken over that role. And for many Kiwis, speakers underlined that we need to think outside
agriculture remains New Zealand’s future … unless of the square and stop relying on the old adage
they went to the StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future we can convert grass into money. The only way
workshop and saw that there are alternatives. we could really do that is legalise cannabis and
that is not going to happen anytime soon! The
As an employee of an agricultural organisation, diversity of delegates overwhelmingly emphasised
farming discourse dominates our discussions about that our continued reliance on wearing Red Bands
New Zealand’s future. Research strives to achieve gumboots would not be our future. Although the
higher levels of productivity from cows and grass. number eight wire approach is still endorsed as
Alas as New Zealand is quickly realising, what one of our key strengths, it is time this is taken
goes in one end does not all come out the other as out of the paddock and applied to other innovative
white milk. Severe environmental problems due ventures and opportunities.
to a legacy of intensive pastoral farm systems are
threatening our country’s natural environment, However, New Zealand must engage to do this.
but still we push on with the bigger is better As Peter Jackson once noted, ‘New Zealand is
paradigm, producing agricultural gadgets, and not a small country but a large village.’ As a self-
widgets to ensure Daisy’s udder can fill the vat. contained village we feel safe and secure in what we
do well. But we sit down here with a false sense of
And there are strong arguments to endorse grandeur of who we think we are whilst the world
agriculture as New Zealand’s future. World works together and progresses into the future
demographers predict that the world's population without us; we need them more than they need us.
will be 10 billion by 2100 and they all need to be
fed. Realistically though New Zealand cannot and New Zealanders are talented; they have become
should not be aspiring to feed the world. Alas, world leaders in a multitude of disciplines. Yet,
the masculine discourses which have prevailed those people generally leave New Zealand to
throughout New Zealand’s agricultural history achieve their goals. The village needs to wake up,
are still heard echoing through the corridors of and start to work towards greater collaboration
power and this is their goal. They espouse notions with other social groups to retain our own talent
that emphasise that size does matter, and that and then attract that of other nations. If we do
New Zealand is a nation of farmers through and not have the financial capital to do this then let us
through, that is what we know so that is what we leverage off our social and knowledge capital.


StrategyNZ showed that the capacity for StrategyNZ highlighted that New Zealand can no
strategic thinking is alive and well in the village longer continue on an inwardly focused journey;
but then progress is halted by our insecurities we will end up going around in circles with
and distrust in others. Increasingly words such continued severe myopia. Collaborations and
as transdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and engagement with others will facilitate our growth
interdisciplinarity are being used within research and our capacity and capability to achieve future
and business. And once again, the StrategyNZ sustainability. And we need to think broader than
workshop underlined that a multidiscipline team just geo-political boundaries; many opportunities
composed of a diverse range of professionals exist in other spheres now which are no longer
can work together to produce an outcome for restricted by the placement of a wall or fence. We
the greater good. Why can’t countries do this? must turn Thomas Jefferson Scott’s quote around,
Traditionally highly protectionist, New Zealand
does not need to remain staunchly independent; Terrible tragedy of the South Seas avoided…
most of our land is owned by overseas people, we four million people unite for a sustainable
operate in a neo-liberal economy and who really future … after they win the world cup!
is going to invade us for our 30 million sheep? So
why do we operate in such isolation?
Dr. Sue Peoples has been involved in two careers to date; teaching
social sciences in secondary schools, and working as a rural
sociologist. Her key areas of research involve studying the lives of
farm women, the impacts of climate change on rural communities,
the future of rural communities within neo-liberal regimes, and
if not farming, what next? In the future she would love to assist
less able communities and populations, nationally and globally, to
adapt to the social and environmental challenges presented by the
21st century.


3. Strategy
The case for a strategic approach

When you have a clear vision of where you want to go,

and the landscape you need to traverse, it is timely to
focus on designing the optimal strategy.

In these reflections participants have focused on the

imperative for strategy, the role of government and
other participants, and tools and processes that can
be used to achieve the desired strategy.


The need for a national strategy for a
new economy
Beat Huser
Countries that have a strong focus on futures We need to find ways to identify the proper values
thinking, such as Finland, Singapore or Switzerland, of these assets and the services they provide. These
are not only economically prosperous but also feature ecosystem services are generally not included in our
on the top of the list of countries in surveys about current market economy (as measured by GDP).
welfare, quality of life, well-being and happiness. New Zealand could be a pioneer in developing
This, and bearing in mind issues such as climate an ‘Eco-Economy’ based on natural capital (or
change or the global financial crisis, clearly ecosystem services), including methodologies and
demonstrates that it is timely to dismiss the ‘economy standards to guide best international practice.
or environment’ argument once and forever. For example, by replacing the current Standard
National Accounts (SNA), which includes the
New Zealand lacks a tradition of using GDP and is used and reported on by all countries,
comprehensive strategic planning and foresight to with a new system of ecosystem services accounts.
explore plausible futures for our country and to This would include both monetary and non-
inform the development of future-proofed policies. monetary (e.g. biophysical) values and would
While the complexity of today’s issues, and the support current initiatives by international
severity and global scale of potential adverse effects, organizations such as the OECD and UN towards
increasingly demand evidence-informed planning a ‘Green Economy’. Such a new ‘Eco-Economy’
and decision-making, New Zealand’s vision, goals would reduce New Zealand’s vulnerability to
and aspirations remain vague, lack a clear purpose external global drivers such as commodity prices
and direction and generally are unattainable (e.g. and exchange rates and instead position New
GDP in the top-half of the OECD; ‘clean and Zealand as an (eco)-rich country providing valuable
green’). It is no surprise therefore that politicians, assets to the rest of the world.
business and communities share no common vision
for the future of our country.

Key government functions and responsibilities Beat Huser is Manager of Sustainability Projects at the Waikato
such as environmental management (water quality Regional Council. He has been involved in central and local
and use, air quality, coastal), land use and transport government in New Zealand for the last 25 years with a passion to
link science and information to policy and decision-making using
planning have been devolved to local communities
horizon scanning, scenario analysis and indicators. Beat currently
(regional, district and city councils) without
works on integrated models to support spatial planning.
providing adequate guidance and resources.
This has led to significant issues, prompting
more central government strategic leadership
and direction (e.g. Canterbury, National Policy
Statement for Land & Water).

There is little doubt that New Zealand needs an

inclusive national vision and associated action
plan. A key consideration of such a strategy is to
emphasize and appropriately value our key assets:
our natural and cultural resources, our river, lakes
and streams, our air, land and soil, our beaches and
landscapes, our unique ecosystems and the plants
and animals they support, and our indigenous


Strategy in a non-linear world
Richard Logan

For most things, including strategy, there is an across, in Siberia and the US 35 million years
apparent paradox or mismatch between our ago, which caused no mass extinctions, have the
predominant ‘linear’ thinking style and our same impact? Something non-linear is happening.
knowledge that most things in the world, including For problem solving, we have known for forty
most networks are non-linear. It therefore makes years that linear thinking has always failed to
sense that strategic planning as a subject has had solve complex social/economic problems (called
significant ups and downs over the last 50 years. ‘Wicked’ problems3) due to amongst other things,
This paper considers at a high level the difference not factoring in feedback loops.
between linear and non-linear and it considers in
greater detail one approach to non-linearity, called So what is non-linearity?
power laws. Non-linear systems are systems in which changes
in initial conditions do not produce proportionate
Linear thinking changes in the final state.4 In the last 40 years, non-
Linear thinking includes many interrelated things linearity has gone from obscurity to becoming an
such as proportionate effects, reductionism, essential tool in many areas (e.g. physics, climate
equilibrium state and cause-and-effect logic. For change science, peak oil, finance, economics etc).
most of the past 200 years science (and everything We now know that most systems in nature are
else) has largely been conducted in a linear non-linear (i.e. they are the ‘norm’). Even linear
manner.1 It has often been brilliantly successful and systems have non-linear aspects, hence my article’s
achieved great things, e.g. ‘put a man on the moon’ title. Historically it would have been a provocative
and got them back again. title. Non-linearity is made up of many
different approaches. These include ‘chaos’ and
Two examples of linearity: ‘complexity’. This article is about ‘complexity’ and
•• 65 million years ago a very large meteorite hit this means it involves ‘complex adaptive systems’.
the Yucatan Peninsular of Mexico and it Complex adaptive systems have as their signature
triggered a mass extinction of life on earth with ‘power law’ distributions. The term ‘power-
75% of all species dying.2 This was a big action law’ is relatively new, and it has as its signature
that had a big effect. It is a clear example of the straight line ‘log-log graph’.5 The power-law
linear cause and effect. distribution is often called the ‘long tail’ or ‘fat tail’
•• Problem solving is often boiled down to; because of the few extreme outliers which is the
problem definition, identification of options, key feature of the distribution.
determining a set of criteria to assess the options
To understand what a non-linear power law
and then applying it to get a solution. This is
also linear. distribution system is, you need to compare it with
the linear ‘Normal’ or ‘Bell’ curve. In the graph
Whilst both of my examples are true, if you take a below, Barabasi6 compares the major interstate
wider context, there is a problem with this linear highways linking major cities with the major
thinking. For example, they explain one of the airline routes to the major cities in the US. The
five mass extinctions, but where are the other highways followed a normal distribution, whereas
four big holes? Also, why didn’t the much larger the airline routes had significant hubs, which is a
meteorites, causing craters of 100km and 85kms feature of a power law distribution.

1 Gluckman, Sir Peter (April 2011). Towards better use of evidence in policy formation: a discussion paper. Office of the Prime Minister’s Science
Advisory Committee.
2 Buchanan, Mark (2000). Ubiquity – The Science of history…Or Why the World is Simpler Than We Think. Weidenfeld and Nicholson. London.
England. pp. 102-112.
3 Australian Government/Australian Public Service Commission (2007). Tackling Wicked Problems – A Policy Perspective. Contemporary
Government Challenges.
4 Thuan, Trinh Xuan (2001). Chaos and Harmony. Perspectives on Scientific Revolutions of the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press. New
York. USA. pp. 340-346.
5 Wikipedia – Power Law. 07/05/2010.
6 Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo (2002). Linked – The New Science of Networks. Perseus Publishing. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. pp. 67-72.


The Normal/Bell Curve versus the Power law Power law curve for avalanches in a mathematical
Distribution7 model of a sand pile9

Power laws
To identify a power law distribution you apply the
data to a double logarithmic graph (called a ‘log-
log’ graph) and if this is a straight line then that
part of the graph follows a power law distribution. Power laws are ubiquitous, other examples include:
A logarithmic scale is where each division is a
factor of 10 larger than the one that came before Language (Zipf’s law10)
it, for example, 1, 10, 100, 1,000 etc. The exponent
of the slope is called the ‘power’ which is why
we use the term power law. Each power law is
characterised by a unique exponent. Naturally all
power laws tend to look alike, but with varying

The master non-linear metaphor is the 1987

‘sandpile’ experiment of Per Bak (Danish
physicist). This ‘sandpile’ metaphor can be applied
to all complex systems, e.g. physical avalanches,
crashes of stock markets, evolution of species and
companies, economic cycles, political regimes
cycles, changes in technology, paradigm shifts
etc. All of this runs counter to our usual way of
Wealth UK 1996 (Pareto’s law11)
thinking about large events. The following graph
shows the ‘signature’ power law straight line
log-log graph.5

7 The Random (Normal or Bell Curve) versus the Scale-free Networks (Power law Distribution). (Barabasi, 2002).
8 Anderson, Chris (2006). The Long Tail – Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. Hyperion. New York. U.S.A. pp. 126-7.
9 Ball, Philip (2004). Critical Mass – How one thing leads to another. Arrow Books. London. United Kingdom.
10 Power law curve for language – Zipf’s law for the English language. Casti, John L (1997). Would-Be Worlds. How Simulation is Changing the
frontiers of Science. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York. U.S.A.
11 Power law curve for economic wealth (Pareto’s law). The wealth distribution for the population of the U.K. in 1996, according to figures
collected by the Inland Revenue. This is a cumulative distribution; each data point shows the percentage of the population with net capital
wealth greater than the corresponding amount on the horizontal axis. (Ball, 2004).


Size of US companies12 (n=5m) Research citations15 (Redner’s law)

Zipf ranking of city size13 War (Deaths)16 (Richardson law)

Earthquakes Southern California14 (Richter Scale) World Wide Web17 Incoming hyperlinks to HTML

12 Power law curve for U.S. Company size distribution by employees (probability mass function). Data from 1997 U.S. Census. (Axtell, 2001).
Axtell, Robert L. (2001). Zipf Distribution of U.S. Firm Sizes. Volume 293 Science, 7 September 2001. pp. 1818 – 1820.
13 Power law curve of city size – Ranking of cities by size around the year 1920, from Zipf. The curve shows the number of cities in which the
population exceeds a given size or equivalently, the relative ranking of cities versus their population. Bak, Per (1997). How Nature Works – The
Science of Self-Organised Criticality. Oxford University Press. Oxford. U.K.
14 Power law curve for earthquakes in Southern California between 1987 and 1996 from Buchanan but quoted by Beinhocker, Eric D. (2007).
The Origin of Wealth. Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics. Random House Business Books. London, Great Britain.
15 Power law curve by Redner of the distribution of research papers according to the number of citations they receive. Buchanan, Mark (2000).
Ubiquity – The Science of history … Or Why the World is Simpler Than We Think. Weidenfeld and Nicholson. London. England.
16 Power law curve for War – The distribution of deadly conflicts according to the number of people killed according to Richardson. (Buchanan, 2000).
17 Power law curve for the World Wide Web (www) – The probability distribution of incoming hyperlinks to HTML documents on the www.
The outgoing links have a similar distribution. (Ball, 2004).


If a power law distribution applies, then it will have fall of the sharemarket etc. You can not tell when
the following features: the big ‘punctuation’ will occur, but you can study
•• ‘Scale-free’, with no valid average.
the emergent macro pattern. The pattern has a step
gradient. For example:
•• ‘Punctuated equilibrium’, with long periods of
little change, punctuated by short periods of •• Authors (Lotka’s law) – 1/4 as many authors
dramatic/revolutionary change. publish 2 articles, 1/9 publish 3 articles, 1/16
publish 4 articles.23
•• The ‘butterfly effect’, where a small change at
one level of organisation can have a •• War (Richardson’s law) – double the deaths,
disproportionate effect at the same or different the frequency of the war becomes 4 times less
level.18 For example, the unexpected fall of common.24
U.S.S.R. which demanded the complete
•• Wealth (Pareto’s law) – double the wealth
remapping of the world.
from $1m to $2m, the incidence of people
•• The ‘Matthew Effect’, also called the ‘winner decreases is cut in four.25
takes all’, rich get richer, cumulative advantage
•• Earthquakes (Gutenberg-Richter scale) – For
or preferential attachment. For example, 2%
every 1,000 earthquakes of magnitude 5, there
of the world owns more than 50% of wealth
are 100 earthquakes of magnitude 6 and 10 for
and the poorest 50% own 1%.19
magnitude 7 etc.26
•• ‘Emergence’, where an effect or pattern arises
at a higher level than the individual units and An aspect of concern for humanity, is the
can not be explained or predicted at the lower dangerous paradox of increased networks, means
level. It ‘emerges’ from feedback loops, hence increased turbulence. This is because the world is
emergence is greater than the sum of the parts. locked in networks – food webs, trade networks,
This contrasts with linear systems where the social networks, electrical systems, internet, stock
whole equals the sum of the parts, hence markets, political systems, financial systems,
reductionism only works perfectly for linear ecosystems etc. Previously it was believed that
systems.20 most networks followed the ‘normal’ distribution,
but we now know that most networks follow
•• ‘Self-organising critically’ applies, where the a power law distribution. As the network gets
system automatically drives itself to a poised more densely linked, it becomes less resilient,
critical point, where minor disturbances may since the more efficient the network gets, the
lead to events, called avalanches, of any size. faster the danger of spreading turbulence of any
It is natures way of making possible enormous size. Extreme turbulence will get more extreme
transformations over short time scales.21 (Matthew Effect) with the emergent pattern of
punctuated equilibrium.28 The recent example of
If a distribution is a power law, then pattern
volcanic ash affecting London’s Heathrow airport
prediction is possible, but point prediction
(major hub) showed how effectively removing
becomes impossible. Knowing the history of a
only one major hub could take down a significant
non-linear system provides little or no predictive
part of the entire airline network. We can expect
value as to the next event.22 It is not possible to
turbulence of any size, including ‘black swans’.
predict the size of the next earthquake, war, rise/

18 Coveney, Peter and Highfield, Roger (1995). Frontiers of Complexity. The search for Order in a Chaotic World. Fawcett Columbine. New York.
U.S.A. pp. 7-10.
19 Ball, Philip (2004), op. cit., pp. 307-8.
20 Thuan, Trinh Xuan (2001). Chaos and Harmony. Perspectives on Scientific Revolutions of the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press. New
York. USA. pp. 340-346.
21 Bak, Per (1997). How Nature Works – The Science of Self-Organized Criticality. Oxford University Press. Oxford, U.K. pp. 28-29.
22 Ibid., pp. 60-61.
23 Wikipedia – Lotka’s Law. 07/05/2010.
24 Buchanan, Mark (2000), op. cit., pp. 190-193.
25 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas (2007), The Black Swan. The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Random House. New York. pp. 262-5.
26 Gribbin, John (2004), Deep Simplicity. Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life. Allen Lane. An imprint of Penguin Books. London, England.
pp. 138-143.
27 Ramo, Joshua Cooper (2009). The Age of the unthinkable – Why the new world disorder constantly surprises us and what we can do about it.
Little, Brown. London U.K. pp. 49-60.
28 Beinhocker, Eric D. (2007), op. cit., pp. 174-175.


In a non-linear world, strategy is about surviving
the ‘Red Queen Race’. The Red Queen Race
comes from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking
Glass, where the Red Queen said, ‘In this place it
takes all the running you can do, to keep in the
same place’. There is no winning a Red Queen
Race. In evolutionary systems (i.e. all non-linear)
competitive advantage is temporary, there is
only a never-ending race to create new sources of
temporary advantage.29 Learning faster than your
competitors is the only sustainable advantage in
an environment of rapid innovation and change.
Resilience is key to survival, as the non-linear
world of tipping points and avalanches of any
size, means any quiet period is just an equilibrium
period between punctuations. Things are bound to
change, but you do not know when.

Richard Logan works as a Principal Policy Analyst in the Spatial

and Infrastructure Strategy Unit of the Auckland Council. Prior
to joining the new council, Richard worked at North Shore
City Council where he specialised in a wide range of strategic/
governance projects. This article summarises his recently
submitted Masters by Thesis (MCA) that he is doing through the
School of Government at Victoria University, Wellington.

29 Beinhocker, Eric D. (2007), op. cit., pp. 328-334.


Scenarios – four plausible futures for
the Waikato
Beat Huser
Four scenarios were developed for the Waikato 1. Crowded House
Region. These scenarios have been developed The first scenario, Crowded House, shows how
in four quadrants represented by how natural the effects of an ageing population might be
capital is managed and wealth is measured. We reversed. New Zealand accepts a lot of refugees
were helped by many people when writing these fleeing major economic and climate crises and their
stories. The scenarios were developed by engaging knock-on effects. The world is firmly in a global
government agencies, business, regional and local era of unstable prices for power, water, petrol and
stakeholders and the wider community by: food, with long-term risks of occasional explosive
unrests. Many people are on the move and the
1. Reviewing other Scenarios around the world and
in New Zealand
Waikato finds it challenging to absorb the number
of people that come to the region, but it is less
2. Researching the key factors shaping the world, difficult here than it is in the Auckland Region.
New Zealand and the Waikato region
2. Sleeping In
3. Gaining insights from project partners and the
In Sleeping In, the second scenario, there is a lot
of inertia even though some people are doing the
4. Surveying regional strategic thinkers ‘right thing’. We pay little attention to how we
5. Workshops with government agencies, business, use our natural resources until the end of cheap
NGOs and the community to identify key oil begins to hit home. Similarly, greenhouse gas
drivers and to draft scenarios emissions are not seriously addressed until there
are major climate shocks. Once these shocks
6. Testing and validation of draft scenarios
strike, we are able to overcome the stalemates that
7. Reviewing and updating of draft scenarios prevented early action, and manage our natural
resources carefully.
The Waikato scenarios explore some of the deepest
dilemmas of our times: profit versus people; 3. Nature Counts
growth versus the environment; global versus In the third scenario, Nature Counts, conditions
local; and rich versus poor (see figure below). worsen and we can no longer be sure about the
How these dilemmas are resolved might affect our stability and predictability of Mother Nature.
ability to improve economic, social, cultural and The idea of ‘one planet, three decades’ takes hold
environmental well-being. early. Growing local and regional actions begin to
address the challenges of economic development,
Figure 1 The Waikato Scenarios energy security and water quality. Although there
are transition hiccups, the sustained focus helps
drive development of a more sustainable economy.

4. Science Society
Science and Society, the fourth story about the
future, describes a world where advances in the
sciences and technology have fostered deeper
development of a knowledge based economy.
While we become wealthier, there are some
dangers associated with the sciences underpinning
economic developments. The combination of fears
and hopes surrounding the new economy lead
to the imposition of many more regulations. We
measure and monitor everything in society; some
argue that it is just too much.


For more details about the Waikato Scenarios,
including a summary, a full technical report and
stories told by people living in the four alternative
futures in 2050 (‘a day in the life of …’), see

The scenarios help us better recognise emerging

issues and challenges and to think about how we
might respond to these. The scenarios were used by
the Waikato Regional Council:
•• To enhance collective understanding of issues
shaping the region
•• As a learning tool to build capability for futures
•• To inform decision-making
•• To provide input into regional planning, policy
and strategies
•• To help guide development of the WISE model,
an integrated spatial regional computer model,

Beat Huser is Manager of Sustainability Projects at the Waikato

Regional Council. He has been involved in central and local
government in New Zealand for the last 25 years with a passion to
link science and information to policy and decision-making using
horizon scanning, scenario analysis and indicators. Beat currently
works on integrated models to support spatial planning.


The magic is in the process!
Ella Lawton

It is not the destination but the journey that will The following article briefly highlights three
provide us with the tools we need to implement key messages related to the creation of an
a National Sustainable Development Strategy NSDS. Firstly, an understanding that society
(NSDS). These tools include our ability to needs to shift to planning and operating within
collaborate, embrace participation and have a resource constrained world and secondly, the
courage in our vision to be a ‘truly sustainable need to develop a co-created vision based on
nation’.1 clear communicable principles for the country.
Thirdly, a plea to the leaders of New Zealand that
New Zealand remains one of the only OECD – ‘business as usual’ has failed; be courageous!
countries to have no visible, communicable
National Sustainable Development Strategy A Resource Constrained World
(NSDS). With only a single weak attempt to The planet is finite. It did not take my year 8 and
fulfil our international obligation New Zealand 9 students long to understand the consequences for
continues to lack the ability to move forward society when they were shown this picture of the
confidently, with strategic foresight or towards earth, together with a graph showing the increasing
a sustainable future. In turn, the absence of population and in turn, our increasing resource
this overarching strategy limits our ability to consumption. The total area of bioproductive land
create holistic strategies in all other areas of and water on the planet is 11.9 billion hectares. By
resource management such as energy, water, land the end of 2011 the worldwide human population
management, urban design and transport. will reach 7 billion. This equates to each individual
having a ‘fair earth share’ of just 1.7 global
Continued failure to develop that ability will leave hectares. Currently, if everyone on the planet lived
our society vulnerable in dealing with the pace like a New Zealander we would need almost three
of change it will meet during the rest of the 21st planets3 to sustain us.
century, nor will we create the resilient society we
will need to deal with future systemic economic, Society cannot continue to create more of
social and environmental shocks. everything in its unwavering quest to consume!
Managing the way we produce goods and services
The core components of an NSDS have previously will not be sufficient to reduce our resource
been identified by the Sustainable Future requirements to a sustainable level, the significant
Institute in Project 2058.2 Reports 4 and 5 provide reduction must come from lowering societal
a foundation for understanding the necessary resource demands. To do this we require a strategy
components of an NSDS and in particular that individuals and organisations can understand
highlight the importance of the process by which and participate in.
an NSDS could be successfully created and

1 Helen Clark’s vision, 2007

2 Sustainable Future Institute website
3 On average per capita in 2007 a New Zealanders footprint was 4.89 hectares. WWF. (2010). Living Planet Report 2010


A Process of Shared Understanding and Be Courageous
An NSDS requires participation4 facilitated by Creativity comes from recognising constraints and
a process of shared understanding regarding the exploring the boundaries. We need to clarify what
broad sustainability issues we are tackling and these natural constraints are then use innovation
transparent collaboration to co-create a vision we and courage to overcome the challenges of
can all be proud of. operating within these boundaries. We can be sure
that society will change over the next 50 years,
The key to the vision is that it must also provide more than we have in the past 50, so what could
principles5 on which to base decision-making. we look like if we were to prosper within these
This set of principles ensures that the vision is natural constraints? What do we want to look like?
‘truly sustainable’. New Zealand society can then
discuss and weigh-up the steps required to reach I propose that instead of New Zealand using the
the common vision. Importantly, the actions must trends from the last 10 years to forecast our social,
align to the vision, the actions need to be flexible economic and physical infrastructure requirements
so as to evolve and adapt with our rapidly changing for the next 10, we create systems that not only
global context, the development of technology and reduce our overall demand on resources but also
evolution of social norms and finally the actions start to narrow the gap between New Zealand’s
must be culturally, socially and economically resource rich and resource poor.

Ella Lawton holds degrees in law and ecology from Otago

University and was the first New Zealander to complete the
Masters in Strategic Leadership in Sustainable Practice based in
Karlskrona, Sweden. She is also a member of the UNESCO Natural
Sciences Sub-Commission and Youth Bureau. Since 2008, Ella
has worked with the Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable
Practice. Ella is currently the South Island Project Manager for
the new FRST funded research project Ecological Footprint of
New Zealand Lifestyles and Urban Form. Ella has also undertaken
a FRST funded PhD position in the Footprint project through
University of Victoria, Wellington and leads the project in the Real
Change Programme.

4 Report 4: Institutions for Sustainable Development – Developing an optimal framework for New Zealand, p.14
5 In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing:
1. concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust (such as fossil carbon or metals);
2. concentrations of substances produced by society (such as nitrogen compounds, CFC’s, and endocrine disrupters);
3. degradation by physical means (such as large scale clear-cutting of forests and over-fishing)
Moreover, in such a (sustainable) society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically: undermine their capacity to meet their needs
(such as from the abuse of political and economic power).
6 As proposed by the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development


4. Execution
How to initiate change

Execution brings the focus to performance. All the

energy and resources used in clarifying our vision,
gaining foresight and developing an optimal strategy are
squandered if we fail to execute the strategy properly.

The contributions in this section remind us that

the execution of a strategy for the future requires a
structured approach to change, and communication
that facilitates people’s engagement and participation in
a complex development with uncertain outcomes. Also,
that initiating change on a national scale requires strong
vision, foresight, strategy and committed leadership.


Strategy mapping – A technique for
facilitating strategy
Murray Wu
One of the key tools used at the StrategyNZ A national strategy is not a linear set of
workshop was the strategy map, as devised by relationships and any such system made up
Kaplan and Norton.1 The strategy map concept of social, cultural and economic components
gave the participants a structure and process to contains complex interactions and a great deal of
discuss and describe their views of New Zealand’s uncertainty. However, the use of a simple test of
future. In the confines of the workshop format rigour drove meaningful debate without losing
there were compromises: the timeframe was highly people in the deeper details.
compressed, and the strategy map and associated
tools were simplified. With these limitations, did A Format for Communication
the strategy map prove to be a useful way to create The required outputs from each team were a
and represent a strategy for New Zealand? strategy map, a magazine cover and a coat of
arms. These were used in formal presentations and
A Device for Discussion poster displays. The strategy maps tended to work
The essence of a strategy map is a picture best in posters where participants could study the
representing objectives that must be attained proposed strategies. Whereas the magazine cover
to achieve an overarching purpose. It is a and coat of arms were easily grasped but simplistic,
simple concept that conceals the complex and the strategy maps invited analysis and debate.
detailed nature of strategy – a hypothesis of the
interrelationship of inputs with outputs, an entire A Strategy Map for New Zealand
management system that drives actions, measures The practical use of strategy mapping is to drive
outcomes and reviews performance, a means to the execution of strategy. While the participants
allocate resources. in the StrategyNZ workshop strove to develop a
plausible national strategy, this was not the intent.
By stripping back the complexity and presenting Instead, strategy maps were used to facilitate the
strategy in a simple manner, the workshop discussion and sharing of ideas, demonstrating a
enabled teams to concentrate on high level strategy process for creating strategy.
concepts: a vision for New Zealand, areas of
strength or advantage that could be exploited, The StrategyNZ workshop showed that the
and a few easily described themes. In essence, the fundamentals of strategy mapping could be learned
Woodstock principle was applied – ‘stay as high and applied quickly. The benefit is that strategy
as you can for as long as you can’. Participants maps could be used to quickly and easily solicit
were able to learn the key concepts quickly, have ideas from a wide range of stakeholders. This
focussed discussions and stay on task. information could then be used in the development
of a detailed national strategy. The resulting
A Structure for Analysis national strategy map could then form the basis of
One of the attributes of a strategy map is that a rigorous strategy execution system.
it depicts cause and effect relationships. Teams
used the concept of cause and effect to test their
strategies and check that they had identified Murray has the role of Executive Adviser to the CEO of Kiwibank,
the objectives that were the most important providing strategic and governance support. In previous roles at
to achieving the vision. The insights formed Kiwibank he has had responsibility for strategy execution, business
from these discussions helped to refine maps improvement and other enabling functions. As well as banking,
and improve their clarity. Maps could change Murray also has experience in the chemical industry in the United
significantly simply by considering what enablers States. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University
of Auckland and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University.
would be needed to achieve the required outcomes.

1 R. Kaplan and D. Norton (2008). The Execution Premium, Harvard Business Press.


Constitutional review – thoughts on capacity
building and engagement
Roger Tweedy
Changing a nation’s way of working can be done The future is a very uncertain place. We are well
in many ways. past picking winners. A sustainable future is about
building community and government capacity to
Constitutional review may be one way; however engage is a way that can ride the white water.
another is the development of an engagement
culture, a leadership role that can convey all that Developing internationally are many new ways
we do. Citizens must be involved in their local of engaging in much more open dialogue between
communities, their cities and regions, and their citizens and governments and indeed intra-
national direction. government and intra-community. We need to
become a world leader in this space. Our size and
We are in New Zealand at a crossroad. We are lack of layers of government are advantages.
in danger of being controlled by the experts.
Community views and inputs can be squeezed Trust and honesty must become the mantra
out or become window dressing in the name of to moving ahead as opposed to information
consultation. Yet the problems we face as a society management and the expert reports of the past.
are wicked and multi-faceted. They are too difficult
for one group of society to solve – we need all We have some small ‘flaxroots’ starting to
at the table to gain long-lasting and sustainable germinate in New Zealand e.g.
and through the work of IAP2
The best local example in recent years is the
Australian state of West Australia where under the
leadership of Premier Geoff Gallop an engagement
culture was nurtured throughout the state. Roger Tweedy has worked as a strategic broker and networker
across Wellington's business, government and community sectors
This was underpinned by a capacity building unit for over 30 years. His particular passions are work futures,
within the Premier's Office to assist agencies let go community participation and local economic development.
of some power with some outstanding results.


Increasing participation in decision-making:
How to initiate change
Neville Henderson
Two common themes to emerge from the Storytelling and the use of alternative future
StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future workshop were scenarios are effective ways to help raise awareness
the need for more future thinking from all levels of the need for change. This approach has been
of government and greater citizen involvement in used to good effect in the For Maori Future Makers
decision-making. report published by Te Puni Kökiri in 2007.
The report used storytelling to outline two
A major barrier to initiating change to make alternative futures from the perspective of a Kuia
our democratic systems more future focused and reflecting back on her life and her mokopuna. The
participative is likely to be apathy within the scenarios paint the less desirable future that may
community. How do we raise awareness of the eventuate if we do nothing, contrasted with the
need for changing our current democratic systems positive future that might exist if we take action now.
and create a sense that a positive future can be
achieved through more active participation? Creating desire
In order to create desire for change, the benefits for
A useful change model that can provide some people individually need to be clear. Essentially,
insights is the ADKAR model. The ADKAR the ‘what is in it for me?’ question needs to be
acronym describes the process that people tend answered in a compelling way for each individual,
to go through when successfully responding to not just for the community or the country as a
change: moving from Awareness of the need for whole. Using storytelling to demonstrate the direct
change, to Desire to make it happen, Knowledge of benefits for people can also be an effective way to
how to go about doing it, Ability to actually do it, create desire for change.
and finally Reinforcement to continue doing it.
Another effective way to increase desire for change
Raising awareness is to involve people in the design of the change
In raising awareness of the need for change, several itself. Active involvement in decisions around
questions will need to be answered including: Why ‘how’ to bring about the change is one of the best
change? What is wrong with the current way we ways to gain support for the change. Someone who
do things? Why now? has had input into the change will also be able to
explain ‘what is in it for me?’ to their colleagues,
To increase awareness, the need for change and
friends and family.
the risks of not changing need to be addressed.
One approach to achieve this is to ‘create a Increasing knowledge and ability
burning platform’: make it clear that if we do not Once people are aware of the need for change
change now then something negative will result and have the desire to support it, providing the
in future. While this is a common approach, it Knowledge of how to go about making the change
is not always appropriate or successful by itself, and ensuring they have the ability to apply this
because the impact of not changing rarely affects us knowledge is often relatively straightforward. For
immediately: e.g. climate change. simple changes, instructions covering the essential
information (e.g. how to fill out a voting form)
An alternative approach to raising awareness of
can be easily developed to fill any knowledge gaps.
the need for change is to build hope for the future.
For more complex changes (e.g. introducing an
This can be more effective as it taps into people’s
online voting system), self-paced learning guides
need to make a positive difference to their own life
and demonstrations may be required to make the
and the lives of generations to follow. People who
process easy for everyone to follow. This can be
perceive change as a way to help achieve a positive
supported by training to upskill those who need it.
future are signing up to maintain the change until
the end goal is reached, not just until the immediate
danger from the burning platform has passed.


Providing reinforcement The output of the process will be a set of
To be sustained, ongoing support for the change recommendations to relevant organisations with
needs to be provided. Opportunities to reinforce the knowledge and ability to make the desired
the change will need to be created and taken as future happen (e.g. Department of Conservation,
they arise. For example, success stories should Queenstown Lakes District Council and
be communicated and shared. Where mandatory community organisations).
changes are introduced, the consequences of not
changing also need to be managed appropriately The success of the approach will depend on
(e.g. fines issued for ignoring smoking bans). measurable progress being made on the initial
recommendations. Sharing these success stories will
An example of initiating change at a community level help to reinforce the approach and ensure ongoing
community support for the changes.
The Shaping Our Future (SOF) project underway
in the Queenstown Lakes district is a good example The communication of success stories will also
of the ADKAR model in action. The project aims provide insights for other communities and policy
to increase community involvement in decision- makers looking for ways to create positive futures
making on the future of the district. It is loosely through greater citizen involvement.
modelled on a successful approach taken in Canada
called Whistler 2020.
Neville Henderson is a Change Management Consultant at
The unique aspect of the SOF approach is that Adaptation Limited. He has worked in the organisational
the process is driven by the community. Decisions development field for over 12 years. His background in applied
about how SOF is run are made by a Steering Group psychology and human resources has led to his involvement in a
comprised of both Council representatives and other number of successful organisational culture change projects with a
community members who see the value of increased focus on sustainable practice.
community involvement in decision-making.

Community awareness of the need for change

and desire to be involved in making it happen is
being increased through discussion forums. The
topics covered include the drivers of change for
the district, what a successful future would look
like and how to get there. Discussions are being
facilitated through forums, social media (Facebook,
Twitter, and a blog on the SOF website), providing
multiple channels to be involved.


5. Final
Common threads

This section includes two final reflections on

StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future from staff members
of the Sustainable Future Institute. They comment on
the areas of consensus that emerged from both the
workshop and the contributions to this e-book, the
topics that resonated with the audience, and areas
where positive outcomes can be achieved and should
be aimed for. These final words encourage the thinking
and conversations from StrategyNZ: Mapping our
Future not just to continue, but to be acted upon for
New Zealand’s future.


Louise Grace-Pickering

The selection of a diverse, stand-out group of Both speakers aim high. Their ambitions for New
speakers went a long way towards focusing the Zealand are global. Both recognise where change
workshop participants on areas where positive is needed and have a plan for how to achieve this
outcomes can be achieved and should be aimed for. change.
For me, the two most compelling speakers were
scientist Sir Paul Callaghan and lawyer Mai Chen In this book, participants of the workshop provide
and, given that their key ideas are represented their views, which include reflections on the event
throughout the team outputs, they clearly had an itself as well as discussion about opportunities
impact on the entire audience. for long-term gains in areas such as constitutional
reform and refocused economic priorities, as
Sir Paul Callaghan spoke of making New Zealand presented by Sir Paul Callaghan and Mai Chen.
the place ‘where talent wants to live’. He not All the contributions are considered, insightful and
only inspired us with his passion, he provided the informative. The selection of Christian Penny’s
metrics to highlight the feasibility (and desirable piece, ‘Response to the StrategyNZ Hui 2011’, to
economic and social outcomes) of an economy open the book was an obvious one for the editorial
less reliant on agriculture and more focused on team. Christian has captured the spirit of the event
the manufacture of goods with a high ‘knowledge and correctly identified the ‘how-to’ challenge that
content’. faces not only the workshop participants, but all
New Zealand citizens.
Mai Chen presented a compelling argument for
constitutional change to enable New Zealanders
to engage with government in order to resolve
complex and controversial issues. Part of this
change requires creating a longer term of
government, which would lead to the embedment
of long-term thinking at a national level. Mai
posited the idea that New Zealand should
consider itself a world leader in having a problem-
solving government that is citizen-focused when
determining its priorities.


Jessie Prendergast

As I waited to receive the contributions to this Many of the contributions to this e-book focus
e-book I was unsure what to expect. As a member on facing the challenges and the opportunities for
of the Institute who helped organise StrategyNZ: New Zealand in the future, whether they are our
Mapping our Future, but who was absent from geographic isolation, our ability to retain and grow
the event itself, I did not know exactly what the talent, our current political system and lack of a
participants had experienced. What were the written constitution, our diverse community yet
topics that resonated with them? Was my inbox limited cultural awareness, or our current measures
going to be filled with disgruntled comments? Had and concept of economic growth. These themes
those who had been in the room come up with an reflect the fact that StrategyNZ: Mapping our
answer to global poverty that would project New Future provided a place and a process – an agora –
Zealand to the No. 1 ranking in the OECD, with in which New Zealanders could voice their hopes
sustainable growth ten times that of Australia, and and concerns for their country’s long-term future.
free healthcare, tertiary education and emission-
free transport for all? Did the participants even The thinking and conversations from the event
care about, or touch on, achieving any of the should not end here, and the contributions to
above? I was going to find out. this e-book and other feedback the Institute has
received are evidence that many others also feel
At the beginning, even before StrategyNZ was this event could be the beginning of a wider public
conceived, the idea arose of doing ‘something’ conversation. There is a strong impetus to act and
that would engage with people who are interested build capacity for long-term thinking at a national
in the future of New Zealand. As planning for level. It is vital that we work to make this vision a
the workshop developed, that was the only reality and support those who are ready to make
requirement for being involved. What resulted was an impact on New Zealand’s future.
the coming together of a large and diverse group
of participants who were positive and committed
to New Zealand, with an impetus to act to better
our future. Moreover, there was a consensus of
the need for long-term thinking to be embedded
into our government, businesses and the broader
community. The strongest thread that came
through from the participants was that we were
very fortunate to live in New Zealand.


Workshop sponsors and supporters
Thank you for having the foresight to support this and other initiatives that explore the long-term
future of New Zealand.