Creating a bright future for Nelson

How the community wants Nelson to be in the long term

Nāu te rouou, nāku te rourou, ka ora te tāngata
through our joint contributions the people will thrive

What is a 'community outcome'?

The goals or end results that Nelson residents want for Nelson. We already know Nelson is a great place to live - these outcomes are the sort of things that will make it an even better place. The community outcomes are something to aspire to - that make people say "that's the sort of place where I'd like to live."

Community outcomes are goals. They are broad, high level, long term and inclusive statements. They don't list all parts of the economy, for example, but they are all still included.

Why do we have them?

The short answer is to improve community well-being. The outcomes are all about environmental, social, economic and cultural well-being, on which the overall well-being of the community depends.

The outcome statements will guide the Nelson City Council and other organisations' decisions, plans and policies. The idea is to have everyone heading in the same direction and working together to make the outcomes happen. Once we all know the destination, it will be easier to keep our eye on the goal and head towards it.

Recent changes to the Local Government Act are behind this new way of driving the Council's and others' priorities. All around the country, the people of each city or district decide what they want their area to be like in ten years, and the most important things that need to be done to get there. So, by law, the Council has to undertake this process, but it also sees the benefits of better understanding what Nelson residents would like to see. The Council ran the consultation process, but the draft outcomes were generated by the people of Nelson.

What are community outcomes for?

The community's outcomes will guide what goes into the Long Term Council Community Plan, also known as the LTCCP or Community Plan. They also guide and co-ordinate other organisations.

The Community Plan is a ten year plan for Council activities. But the Council won't be delivering on these outcomes on its own. It coordinates the process, and delivers some parts of the outcomes, like transport networks. Other organisations, groups and individuals will also be working in partnership to make the outcomes happen, such as the Police, the health sector and the business community. The outcomes coordinate everyone's actions, and the Council will assess and report on Nelson's progress towards them over time.

A lot of work is already happening that is consistent with the draft goals. The idea is to improve communication and coordination so everyone knows who's doing what. That way, we won't have duplication or gaps. Working together on shared goals is a more efficient way of doing more, better.

Whose goals are they?

The community outcomes are exactly that - of and from the people of Nelson - not the Council. What the Council does, together with many other organisations and groups, will be strongly guided by the outcomes, but the outcomes belong to the community as a whole.

Where did they come from?

Council staff, Councillors and independent facilitators have been talking to the people of Nelson to find out their long term vision for Nelson.

We asked what their ideal Nelson would look like, what they would do to make Nelson a better place, and what they wouldn't do. We talked to school children, students, environmental groups, tangata whenua, recreational groups, the business community, the elderly, parents, migrants and refugees, government department staff, the arts community, and many others.

Altogether, more than 10% of the Nelson population was involved in the community outcomes process in some way. If you didn't get to talk about outcomes yourself, chances are the people you know, and others like you, were involved. Council staff and facilitators were struck by the very high degree of agreement about the outcomes. We all have different priorities and some different ways of getting to the outcomes, but just about everyone agrees with the overall direction.

There were many themes mentioned by all the groups. These fell under the six headings that evolved to form the six outcomes. As much as possible, the words that explain what each outcome is about came directly from the focus groups and forums - the people of Nelson. Once the draft outcomes were written, they were discussed at a workshop held at Fairfield House that involved over sixty Nelson residents from a range of different backgrounds. Their feedback shaped the revised outcomes you see here.

As well as general agreement about most issues at the broadest level, the discussions with residents highlighted those issues needing more discussion and debate to better understand what they mean for Nelson. The pros and cons of 'growth', and its different definitions, emerged as one topic for further exploration. Many think we also need to look more at the local culture of Nelson. What makes Nelson distinctive, special or unique? What are the things that make Nelson, 'Nelson'?

The Fairfield Workshop

Just over 60 of Nelson's community leaders discussed their vision for Nelson at a workshop on 16 August 2005. View the notes from that workshop.

Those at the workshop refined the draft outcome statements and explored ways for the community to work together to achieve these goals. The first five outcomes were broadly endorsed by the workshop, with some improvements in wording and additional content. Several possible additional outcomes were suggested and discussion of these led to the sixth - on leadership.

Some of the main issues discussed were the need for improved public transport, a more walker-friendly central city, making the most of Nelson's coastal location, the need to emphasise our support for youth, and the need for everyone to work together regionally. One positive image of Nelson was as a battery that recharges people, residents and visitors alike.

As well as the guest speaker Vicki Buck, one of the highlights of the workshop was three youth councillors who gave us a glimpse of what like might be like in Nelson in 2025.

Youth Councillors in 2025

Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders, and today's children will have to live with decisions being made today. Therefore it seemed like a good idea to have some of Nelson's younger residents involved in the Fairfield workshop, and they were the best group to give everyone a glimpse of the future.

Three youth councillors acted as themselves, but aged in their late 30s. They were sitting in a café in the year 2025, chatting about what life in Nelson was like. They mentioned travelling in by electric tram from Atawhai. Cars were rare. Boat people were arriving from the USA . The air was clean and flocks of kaka flew around the place - so many they were getting to be a bit of a nuisance. The Paul Matheson Memorial Performing Arts Centre was a big hit, and there were heaps of festivals throughout the year. Look out if you littered or polluted because you might be sent to a rehabilitation camp.

Some of it was obviously for fun, but there were plenty of people afterwards who said that was the highlight for them, and that they found it thought provoking. One said "The kids were outstanding - articulate, confident and funny."

Youth Councillor, Arahi Hippolite, said "today's youth are the vision drivers of the outcomes - providing fresh views of politics that eliminate bureaucracy and action-hindering processes. The future can only be as good as we want it."

Rita Lowe thought everyone listened to each other well at the workshop. For her, the main issue was "Peak Oil and the establishment of a super-efficient, fast and well publicised public transport system."

Phil Barker also wants an extensive public transport system. "We should be the kaitiaki (caretakers) of the future."

What are the priorities?

It will be up to the decision makers to sort out what to work on first, taking into account what the community wants.

Obviously we can't do everything at once. To do everything on the wish list straight away would take the gross domestic profit of a small nation. Therefore we need to decide what to do first to make the biggest improvement. Everyone at the consultation forums had plenty of suggestions for what should get most of the funding and effort. It is already clear that, at the broad level, doing more for youth and improving public transport would be widely supported. All the suggestions will be collated, compared to the outcomes, and then presented to the decision makers. The consultation processes for the Community Plan, and other organisations' plans and strategies, will ensure you can participate in setting those priorities.