Arlene Akhlaq from Nelson City Council tells us about her work as Manager of Business Improvement.

Tell us about your role at Nelson City Council?

I’m the Manager of Business Improvement at Nelson City Council. The Business Improvement team provides a variety of services that aim to ensure consistent service delivery, improve business effectiveness and efficiency, reduce risk and help staff get a great outcome for Council and our customers.

What does a typical day look like?

Most people I know working in local government will tell you there is no “typical day”! It is pretty varied, but over a week I can usually expect a mix of planned project work, regular staff meetings, and plenty of on the spot problem solving.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

By and large, my team’s day job is to make things better, or easier (and sometimes it’s both); balancing the drive and desire for improvement, with the organisation’s overall workload and capacity for change is important but not always easy.

What’s the best part of working in local government?

Being part of something that’s not about making a profit. It is an absolute privilege to be involved in providing services and facilities for the community that I’m part of. I get to work with a lot of really talented people and there’s a real sense of belonging that comes with working alongside hundreds of people who are all coming to work to help make Nelson an even better place.

Why did you join Taituarā and what do you hope to get out of it?

I joined Taituarā to take advantage of the research and resources it makes available, and to connect with others in local government management practice.