This online forum explores how the well-being of communities can be factored into the scope of recovery measures. Our expert panelists consider the challenges and opportunities of a well-being focused recovery in the wake of the pandemic crisis and the role local governments can play in developing a sustainable, inclusive and resilient plan.

About this event

The voice of your community will tell you what life looks like for them. This voice is especially important in the recovery phase from COVID-19. Through your council processes, your community will be participating in real conversations about their aspirations and their well-being in the future.

Now is the time for councils to consider the wider social, environmental, and cultural trade-offs that come with economic recovery solutions, rather than locking in strategic plans that prioritise unsustainable, business-as-usual practices.

This Forum is delivered digitally and covers innovative approaches to have those all important well-being conversations. It consists of live forums with our panelists, case studies and examples from councils who have maintained community conversations in the midst of COVID-19.

Registration guarantees you a place in the live forum and access to the pre-recorded sessions

The cost of this online forum is $350+GST per council (limit 3 per council).

Speaker Line-up

Please see the speaker line up below and check back as more expert speakers are being added soon

Helga Sonier & Lisa Gooding, Panuku Development Auckland

Panuku, a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) of Auckland Council, will discuss public participation in a COVID-19 environment, inclusion, and embracing change. This session will showcase digital engagement tools that enabled community-led conversations in three diverse Auckland neighbourhoods. The result of this co-design process profoundly changed the diversity and inclusivity of participation. The session will also highlight a range of other ways to tailor specific consultation requirements and to meet the needs of our communities.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand how digital engagement and crowd source tools can help you to engage
  • See and hear real examples that you could adapt to your area of mahi
  • Come away with new ideas of how to be creative in communities that evokes public participation in a way that resonates

Dr. Girol Karacaoglu, Head of School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington

Professor Girol Karacaoglu came to Victoria University of Wellington from the New Zealand Treasury, where he was Chief Economist. Before then, he was the Chief Executive of the Co-operative Bank of New Zealand for nine years. His previous roles included General Manager at Westpac NZ, Chief Economist at the National Bank of NZ, and lecturer in Economics at Victoria University of Wellington

Megan Courtney, Inspiring Communities

Inspiring Communities’ Megan Courtney will discuss the insights emerging from the Covid-19 lockdown experience. Inspiring Communities has recently conducted over 70 interviews with a range of community-led development practitioners and sector leaders with an interest in CLD for their Shaping the Future Project. With their final report to be launched at the end of July, she’ll provide suggestions for how our local, regional and national systems can more effectively support and enable community wellbeing. She will also talk about how Councils can facilitate authentic, valuable community conservations, using tools such as powerful questions to uncover the issues, opportunities and outcomes that matter most to local communities. And then reimagining together how to do things differently to get there.

Helen Grant, Auckland Council

Auckland Council has been on a journey to procure and implement digital technologies to help shift our practice from point-in-time engagement to ongoing two-way conversations. The intention is to scale-up participatory engagement that is transparent, inclusive, creative and measurable; we know that wellbeing is enhanced when people have the power to influence decisions that affect their lives. We also know that many Aucklanders have low trust in our engagement processes and feel that we don’t listen. How might effective online (and offline) engagement help combat this problem?

The answer doesn’t lie in digital tools alone - it lies in involving communities much earlier on in the process, giving them a clear line of sight from the start to the finish, and most importantly by shifting more decision making power to citizens. This session will delve into the challenges and opportunities of digital engagement tools, projects and experiences, and what we have learned along the way from the front line of change.

Pre-recorded Speaker Line-up

Miriana Stephens, Wakatū

Miriana is a Director on the Wakatū, Whenua Board, the Wawata Board, and is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. Miriana also leads the Wakatū Health and nutrition solutions business, AuOra. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts in New Zealand History and a Law Degree, majoring in Commercial Law. Miriana was born and raised in Motueka and is of Ngāti Rārua, Ngāiterangi and Ngāti Ranginui descent.

Dr Ganesh Nana is the Chief Economist and Executive Director at BERL.

Ganesh is a first-generation New Zealander, born and bred in Wellington. He has over 30 years of experience in the field of economics including research, tutoring and lecturing at Victoria University and a four-year stint consulting in the UK.

Ganesh joined BERL full-time in 1998 and has since worked on a wide range of projects, including development strategies; cost-benefit analyses; labour market projections; infrastructure assessments; and examining policy options.

Ganesh’s area of expertise is where numbers and economics intersect. The imperative for New Zealand’s competitive export-oriented economy to be strengthened has been a common theme throughout most projects. Over the past few years Ganesh’s work has seen a focus on the Māori economy and incorporating this information into a nation-wide modelling framework. In addition, he has worked to advocate the use of broader indicators of wellbeing beyond the conventional GDP and productivity measures of economic prosperity.

Ganesh is an experienced conference speaker and is a regular commentator on the New Zealand economy for various media. Outside of economics, he is an avid cricket purist, and is regularly in training for his next marathon.