LocalNZ was a four-day workshop that was held from the morning of Sunday, 16 November until the evening of Wednesday, 19 November 2014. This workshop brought together members of youth councils and other youth interested in local government from throughout New Zealand. The first two days were spent at the A Place to Live conference in Wanganui, followed by a day where the participants focused on workshopping their thoughts and observations. On the final day participants presented their combined thinking at two presentations  held at Parliament and the Treasury.

This workshop connected 35 New Zealanders between the ages of 18 and 25, providing a collaborative space for them to identify existing and emerging opportunities and challenges. This initiative formed part of the McGuinness Institute’s TalentNZ project  creating an informed, focused and networked group of young New Zealanders able to engage effectively with government and the communities in which they live.

This workshop was a collaboration between the New Zealand Treasury, Wellington City Council, the MacDiarmid Institute and Victoria University of Wellington, in association with the Royal Society of New Zealand, Wanganui District Council and the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board (the organisers of the A Place to Live Conference), and the McGuinness Institute.

About the New Zealand Treasury

The Treasury is the government’s lead advisor on economic, financial and regulatory policy. Its main functions are to:

  • advise ministers on economic and fiscal performance;
  • manage the financial affairs of the Crown;
  • help the government develop its overall strategy for state services;
  • monitor the performance of state sector agencies; and
  • provide commercial policy advice and financial operations services.

About the A Place to Live conference 

The A Place to Live conference was organised by Victoria University of Wellington and the MacDiarmid Institute, in association with the Royal Society of New Zealand, Wanganui District Council, and the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board, and Kiwibank was the major partner. Sir Paul Callaghan was strongly supported by Kiwibank as their 2011 New Zealander of the Year, and the conference was opened with a public talk by Dame Anne Salmond, 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. It was a sequel to the Transit of Venus Forum (2012) and Valuing Nature (2013), and it honoured the memory of Sir Paul Callaghan, who grew up in Wanganui and wanted to make New Zealand ‘the place talent wants to live’.

About the Wellington City Council

Wellington City Council is a territorial authority in the Wellington urban area of New Zealand. Wellington city extends as far north as Linden, and includes the rural areas of Makara and Ohariu. It is New Zealand’s third-most-populous city, behind Auckland and Christchurch. The role of the Wellington City Council is:

  • ‘To enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities;
  • To meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulator functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.’

About the MacDiarmid Institute

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is a national network of New Zealand’s leading scientists, leveraging strength across the country and internationally. They build materials and devices from atoms and molecules, developing and applying cutting-edge techniques in physics, chemistry and engineering.

The MacDiarmid Institute partners with New Zealand businesses to take innovative new technologies to export markets in various sectors and train entrepreneurial and socially aware young scientists.

Through sharing the results of their scientific research with the public and with government, the MacDiarmid Institute is inspiring researchers and working to generate a nationwide culture change where science and innovation are celebrated as the keys to New Zealand’s future prosperity.

About the McGuinness Institute

Based in Wellington, the McGuinness Institute is a privately funded, non-partisan think tank working towards a sustainable future, contributing strategic foresight through evidence-based research and policy analysis.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Institute to discuss this workshop. For all enquiries, please contact us at localnz@mcguinnessinstitute.org.