1. Council needs to be more business-like, professional and collegial. There needs to be a clearer separation between governance and management. Our community also needs our elected Council to accept collective responsibility for making our Council an attractive and rewarding place to work.

2. We need a greater focus on getting results. Plans and strategies are a means to an end and not an end in themselves. Good processes are important but not as important as good outcomes.

3. Council needs to be better connected to the community. Long consultation documents that generate a few dozen submissions may satisfy legislative requirements but only have us engaged with a small section of our Nelson community. We need better tools to ensure we connect more broadly, and we need to spend more time out of Civic House listening.

4. We need to be relentless in seeking value for money for the ratepayers. Households and businesses are under huge financial pressure. Austerity is not the answer, but we must go about all aspects of Council business as efficiently as possible. This includes understanding that time is money.

5. We need to be realistic that Council controls only 4% of GDP compared to Government’s 40%. On issues like housing, climate change, transport and economic development, we need to tailor our responses to the resources we have and ensure we are delivering well on those things only Council can do.

6. Strengthening our relationship and joint areas of work with the Tasman District Council. Town needs country and country needs town.

It is an inevitable consequence of changes like Three Waters, reforms to resource management and the review of local government that change is in the wind. Last Friday's report on the future of local government signals the direction. We will get the best outcome for our region by defining our own future.

Saxton Field, our landfill and wastewater authorities, our approach to biosecurity and emergency management are successful examples of a joint approach. I want to see us adding new areas to that list.