Inner Musings


What’s on our minds

Welcome to the playground of the Solution Hunters Collective. Take a seat, take your time and take a look around. It is here we ponder our community’s challenges, issues and opportunities, and offer a few solutions along the way. We interview experts, investigate ideas and transmit our inner musings.

Got a topic you want us to explore? Drop us a line. See something you like? Well, why not share it around?

Some shovel-ready advice on writing a business case

Councils are being urged to get infrastructure projects over the line ready for construction workers to begin. So, how do you go from staring into a hole to proceeding with a successful business case?

My thoughts on writing a business case, based on some hard-won experience.

Economic empathy with a depreciation holiday

Measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 will result in financial hardship for many New Zealanders. Councils across the country are under immediate pressure to demonstrate economic empathy. 

Can we deliver economic empathy to ratepayers through smart depreciation?

Local government, where did it come from?

We’re all familiar with the role of local government, but have you ever given much thought to its ultimate purpose?

“When the tragedy of the commons applies…what is good for all of us, is good for each of us.”

The greatest engineering challenge of the 21st Century

Since 1921, New Zealand’s road system has claimed more than 39,000 lives. That’s 400+ people per year on average. Annual roads deaths have also risen for the sixth consecutive year. 

So, what are we doing about it?

Paradigm Paralysis in Paradise

Over a three-day road trip, I became increasingly disappointed at how poorly we are supplying the basic needs of our tourists. As tourist numbers increase at a record pace, it seems we are experiencing a paradigm paralysis in our service delivery.

The case for investing in tourism infrastructure in New Zealand.

The Aspiring Economic Zone – 20 years on

What would it look like if the Aspiring Region (Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell, and Central Otago) had the opportunity to structure its laws, planning and regulatory framework in a way that truly unleashed it’s economic potential. An economic zone perhaps?  

A hypothetical news article set twenty years from now.

Fair go! Give tourism a chance to be awesome too!

Could the idea of a co-operative structure receiving special legal dispensation in exchange for better economic performance be applied to the tourism industry?

Tourism is NZ’s largest export earner yet is still not taken seriously enough.

Queenstown is growing up fast, and so must we

Queenstown is in demand, more than we have ever experienced. The growth is not stopping and I don’t expect demand for infrastructure investment to end anytime soon. This high-pressure workplace culture is not sustainable and I am seeing it more and more in the faces of my clients. Too much work and too little time it seems.

What we can learn from our visitors about taking time to enjoy life.

The Coop

When we formed Utility, we created The Solution Hunters Collective. We opened up our office space to like-minded, passionate individuals. Local talent we could tap into and collaborate with to find better solutions, together.

More than a shared office space, The Coop is a place to share ideas, challenges, solutions and a cold brew after a good day’s work.

Democracy vs technocracy

A mixed model of governance? More reliance on CCOs? Or should local body engineers just step up their game?

I believe it’s time to have ‘the’ debate.

Drop us a line