As I see it: Rewi Spraggon – Kaiwhakarite Maori Manager at Waitakere City Council

How would you describe the NZ identity?
New Zealand’s identity is simple. It’s all about accent and I don’t just mean the way we sound, but the way in which we do things. There is real Kiwi attitude of taking on the task and worrying about the process later – the ‘number eight wire’ mentality.
We are small compared to the rest of the world; in fact it’s about three degrees of separation. I don’t know how many times I have spoken to people that I have just met who know someone I know. Even better travelling abroad – when you bump into Kiwi, nine times out of 10 they will know someone you know.
Most of us went through the same schooling systems so we understand our culture, which is an infusion of Maori and Pacific flavours. It’s about opening your mind to other cultures and their values, which helps when you work in business globally.

What will be our next major challenge?

Looking after the wellbeing of our environment! Planet Earth is dying and we are its biggest threat; we can’t turn blind eye to the situation. There are species of nature that are now lost forever because of mankind. Everyone thinks that the recession is the next biggest challenge – let me tell you that recessions come and go, but once the planet is gone there will be nothing left.

What do we need to prepare ourselves for this?

Our government needs to take leadership role in looking after our environment; we know that the unhealthy environment around the world has taken its toll on the planet. If we want future for our children and grandchildren then we have to start putting strict measures into legislation to start the revival of survival for our planet. We passed law to stop smoking in pubs so why not pass couple of laws to protect the planet? How about no more plastic bags, no more pollution in our water ways, and look at getting our carbon print down? healthy New Zealand is start to healthier planet.

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