Water and governance under scrutiny at Massey
Framing new ways for organisations to collaborate over controversial decisions, such as water use, is the focus of a
Massey University symposium involving some of New Zealand’s key leaders in governance.
The July 8 symposium, Redefining Governance for the new New Zealand, brings together a diverse range of experts and
thought leaders with experience in governance.
Speakers and panellists include Alastair Bisley (chair of the Land and Water
orum), Suzanne Snivelly (economic strategist), David Shand (public sector reformer and a member of the Royal Commission
on Auckland Governance), Grant Taylor (Auckland Council’s governance director), and Dave Hansford (award-winning
photographer and environmental journalist).
The symposium will explore challenges and complexities in key decision-making areas, from natural resource management to
industry and education. Participants will consider new approaches through a series of workshops, panels and round table
The event is being spearheaded by public policy senior lecturer Associate Professor Grant Duncan, and
politics senior lecturer Associate Professor Richard Shaw – both from the School of People, Environment and Planning –
to generate constructive debate and new thinking in governance for New Zealand.
“It’s timely to reflect on how robust, inclusive and transparent our current governance practices are in some areas, and
how we can do better,” says Dr Duncan. “While New Zealand holds pride of place as the least corrupt society in the
world, we are not immune to economic and political pressures that can
lead to bad decisions with a lasting impact.”
A greater awareness of how to ensure the values and concerns of New Zealand’s increasingly diverse population are
represented at governance level is among topics for discussion at the event, hosted at the Albany campus.
“New Zealand is a comparatively well-governed country. But we need to continuously improve the way we address complex
social, environmental and economic problems that affect multiple communities,” Dr Duncan says.
“While we won’t all agree with one another on critical issues, we need to learn more effective ways of governing
collaboratively. As a small country we have the ability to work together across sectors:
public, not-for-profit and private enterprise. Applying concepts such as Crown–iwi partnership, co-governance and
co-production, working inclusively across diverse cultures, and meeting requirements for transparency are just some of
the challenges that we face.”
Among Massey University participants are Professor Claire Massey (Director of Agrifood Business); Professor David Tripe
(researcher and commentator on New Zealand’s banking sector); Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley (researcher and
commentator on migration and population trends); and Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey (currently working on new approaches
to government and public service for the 21st century).
Registration is still open for this free event, and those interested in attending can register here.