I guess you can call it a Sabbatical – a google search says “The term sabbatical actually is derived from the biblical Sabbath which serves an ancient human need to build periods of rest and rejuvenation into a lifetime.”

Maybe I am not going to be doing so much resting, but with all the interesting things on during my 11 day sojourn I already know its going to be rejuvenating!

So I left Invercargill for Wellington on Tuesday afternoon. My first event was on Wednesday – the Start Local – Building Resilient Communities seminar being held by Inspiring Communities and LGNZ. What an amazing day of stories about communities and what they can do with the help of agencies and government at all levels. Lots of stories of strong partnerships where communities take the lead. Some great insight into how this happens all over the country. I have over 3 pages of notes and a range of thoughts about ways forward for things I am involved in Invercargill.


The difficult to see pic above shows 3 ways in which citizens and government interact. The first is through the centralised system, the second the decentralised system and the third is through a distributed system. Basically the distributed one supports communities to act with government, for things to be locally led and it builds social capital and resilience. The other systems make people feel like there is no point having their say, no point voting because it won’t make a difference and results in government just doing things to the community – sound familiar?? I could write way more about this – there are lots of books on the subject too…… but all I can say is its time to move on.

Today (Thursday) I made a flying visit to Auckland to check in on my oldest son who has lived there for about 6 weeks now. He appears to be in one piece still. I delivered his lego which if you know Andreas you will know he would have struggled to live without. I also bought him some groceries – not a priority for nearly 20 year olds…..

I am super excited about tomorrow as I will be going to my very first unconference. I am still not quite sure what to expect, but the title of the unconference is: Women Who Get Shit Done – so I am sure that you gives you some clues. I am looking forward to learning, being inspired and finding new ways to make a positive contribution to my community. Stay tuned!!

As you may know, I have not always lived in Invercargill, I am from Wanganui so I will be heading there on Sunday until Tuesday to catch up with family who I haven’t seen in a while.

My final event is the IAP2 Symposium in Wellington. IAP2 is all about community engagement. Another opportunity to learn how organisations around the country are making engagement a priority and the positive impact that is having.

So in the mean time if you need me for council stuff – flick me a message or email and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

I also see that the ICC Candidate book is online for the elections – so if you are interested check it out:



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