A cunning plan . . .
The council has a plan. The health board has a plan. The regional council, bless it, has money coming out of its ears, and apparently doesn’t have a plan. Regardless, they all want your opinion, just to be sure their plan is the right one.
So how do you make a submission to something as heavy-duty as a health board strategic plan? What can you and I know that platoons of health specialists, and policy analysts and clinicians, and the Health Ministry don’t already know?
You could ask what their plan has to say about your neighbour who can’t get hip surgery, and is so immobile she can’t do her own shopping. You could ask why there’s no emergency service in lots of places in inland Otago, but there is in others – including a really good one in Dunedin. You could ask how they plan to measure all the unmet health needs in your area, and what they will do with the results. You could ask about the future of Dunedin (and Dunstan, and Frankton) hospitals – what services will they provide in future?
Think about what you know to be wrong, in your family, or neighbourhood, and ask questions about those things.
They won’t give you any answers, but if enough of us ask those awkward questions, they may just begin to wonder whether their plan is the right one.
● Malcolm Macpherson teaches applied business excellence at Otago Polytechnic, is a USqualified business assessor, and writes on business topics for the magazine of the NZ Organisation for Quality. He was Mayor of Central Otago District from 2001 to 2010. Reducing the cost of doing business, by making it easier to get consents for projects with ‘‘economic benefits’’, is high on council and Government radars.
The idea is that simpler, faster consent processes will make us all better off.
The argument is often framed up as ‘‘progressive business people’’ being blocked and delayed by ‘‘environmentalists and community NIMBYs’’. Aurora’s recent application to build a new substation beside the Hawea River shows how this plays out in